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Bachelor of Information Systems

From UX to app design, analytics to database development - solve business problems with the UNSW Bachelor of Information Systems.

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The Bachelor of Information Systems, UNSW Sydney, provides a solid foundation to prosper in a tech-driven future. This 3 year program combines courses on information system (IS) topics and core business concepts, with the freedom to choose exciting electives and study overseas. There’s also the opportunity for professional recognition.

Graduates have highly prized information systems expertise and business skills, both practical and conceptual. Following the degree, graduates will have the skills to become a vital addition to any organisation or entrepreneurs in their own right.

Why choose this bachelor’s degree?

The Bachelor of Information Systems is taught with innovation in mind. Lecturers set up digital playgrounds, called Sandboxes, where you can test code on real challenges in real time. Putting skills to the test through trial and error helps information retention for when it’s needed – in exams and at work – and creates opportunities for surprising outcomes.

The core IS courses explore digital transformation, programming, business analysis, database management, enterprise systems and mobile app development. The core business concepts cover accounting, finance, management, economics and statistics.

The program features an International Information Systems and Technology Practicum, where students travel overseas to develop first-hand awareness of the IS industry from a global perspective. See the program structure for detailed information.

The practicum is organised through Career Accelerator, a portfolio of professional development opportunities that are exclusive to UNSW Business School students. Additional opportunities include:

The Bachelor of Information Systems is accredited by Australian Computer Society (ACS) at the Professional Level, preparing you for professional practice in information and communications technology (ICT).

Depending on the courses you complete, you can earn an SAS Certificate in Business Analytics, awarded jointly by UNSW and SAS. SAS Certification credentials are globally recognised as the premier means to validate SAS knowledge. With an SAS Certification credential, you will set yourself apart from others and prove that you have the SAS knowledge to make a difference within an organisation.

Limited places are also available for the Bachelor of Information Systems (Co-op) (Honours), a 4 year program that incorporates an annual scholarship, 3 internships, industry mentoring and a research project.

UNSW Business School degrees are shaped by industry leaders and world-class academics who recognise the future will present career opportunities that don’t exist today. Our Bachelor of Information Systems is designed to train your mind to adapt to future challenges. You will understand technical concepts and methods, practise problem-solving, and build skills in critical thinking and decision making.


Who is this degree for?

  • Those who want to be business savvy IS graduate
  • People seeking accreditation with the Australian Computer Society (ACS)

Job and career prospects

Information Systems graduates are in high demand, and they have been successful in securing jobs such as:

  • Business Analyst
  • IS/IT Architects
  • IS/IT Consultant
  • IT Infrastructure Developers
  • Management Consultant
  • Network Developers
  • Systems Analyst
  • Technical Manager

Find out how we prepare our graduates for career success


Why the Business School?

UNSW Business School is a leading business school in the Asia-Pacific, consistently ranking within the top 50 worldwide for Computer Science and Information Systems. We ranked 1st in Australia, 3rd in the Asia-Pacific and 9th worldwide in the 2018 Association for Information Systems (AIS) ranking, with 5 of our academics listed among the Top 200 Scholars worldwide. We are also rated “Well above world standard” for Information Systems by the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) government assessment. Read more about our rankings and reputation.

Our students build professional networks among more than 90,000 Business School alumni worldwide and begin their new career before graduation. This undergraduate degree incorporates a suite of professional development opportunities offered by Career Accelerator, that are exclusive to UNSW’s Business School students. Career Accelerator helps you build industry connections through networking and mentoring, and you can undertake internships and global business practicums for credit towards your degree.




The Bachelor of Information Systems is a 3 year degree program consisting of 24 courses (144 UOC). The program includes:

  • Core information systems and business courses
  • Higher level 2/3 information systems electives
  • Free electives
  • General education courses (choose from other faculties)

Core courses

Information systems courses

INFS1602 Digital Transformation in Business

This is a foundational (Level 1) Information Systems (IS) course that introduces students to the use of IS in business and society. As an overarching theme, INFS1602 examines the issues and management of IS in relation to human behaviour and its consequences. Through this course, students will learn to appreciate existing and emerging technologies affecting businesses, business relationships and their products and services. In taking this course, students will be provided with tasks and assignments that will aid in refining their professional business skills and the ability to evaluate the value of technology to businesses. This includes communication and group work skills, time management and research skills.

The topics that are covered in INFS1602 include understanding the role of Information Systems and IS Professionals in Global Business, the relationship between Information Systems, Organisations, and Strategy, the dominant Business Models enabled by the Internet and the emergence of Web 2.0 technology. The course will also explore contemporary technology-enabled phenomena that are disruptive to the current business landscape such as Sharing Economy, Blockchain and the Internet of Things. The course also touches on popular enterprise-level information systems such as Enterprise Systems, Supply Chain and Customer Relationship Management Systems and the emergence of business intelligence in supporting organisation decision making. The course also involves discussion of the considerations behind the acquisition and building of IS and the issues common to the management of IS projects. Lastly, the course addresses the need to secure the IS and the potential ethical and social issues faced by businesses in relation to their use of IS.

INFS1603 Introduction to Business Databases

This is a foundational (Level 1) Information Systems (IS) course that introduces students to the concepts, techniques, and technologies relevant for creating and managing business databases. It will explain the major components of IS, which are critical to capturing, transmitting, storing, retrieving, manipulating and displaying information used in business processes. Through this course, students will be exposed to the fundamental knowledge of business databases, which are foundational for many advanced courses. Students will be given tasks and assignments to help them acquire the ability to create and manage business databases.

INFS1609 Fundamentals of Business Programming

This is a foundational (Level 1) Information Systems (IS) course that introduces students to application programming. The course provides a first step towards learning the principles of object-oriented programming through the Java programming language. Programming refers to the development of software, which is also called a program. Essentially, software contains the instructions that tell computerised devices what to do. In lectures, students will be introduced to the theoretical component of the course, learning fundamental programming concepts. During weekly workshop tutorials, students will engage in the practical component of the course, learning how to write code using the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment.

The topics that are covered in INFS1609 introduce students to the fundamentals of Java programming. This begins with an overview of data types and methods before introducing students to small problem-solving exercises that require the use of conditional statements, loops and arrays (including multi-dimensional arrays and array lists). Students are then introduced to the topics of modular programming, testing and debugging (using JUNIT). Finally, having gained a general understanding of these concepts, students further explore the principles of object-oriented programming, including objects, classes, abstraction, polymorphism, inheritance and encapsulation.

INFS2603 Business Analysis

INFS2603 is a Level 2 course that continues students’ study of Information Systems by furthering their knowledge and skills in relation to business analysis in contemporary settings. This course utilises the principles of design thinking and object-oriented approaches to understand and solve business problems. In lectures, students will study a range of methods, tools and techniques used in planning, analysing, designing and implementing business relevant systems. During weekly practical workshops, students will get the chance to apply design thinking principles to understand and solve real-world cases, utilising their conceptual knowledge.

INFS2605 Intermediate Business Programming

This is a Level 2 Information Systems (IS) course that continues students' study of IS by furthering their knowledge and skills in relation to business application programming. The course continues the study of Java programming from INFS1609/INFS2609 and examines contemporary approaches to software development. In lectures, students will study a range of topics from advanced Java concepts, software development frameworks, and practices, to user experience and design. During weekly workshop tutorials, students will engage in the practical component of the course and problem-solving exercises through the development of Java applications using the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment.

The topics that are covered in INFS2605 build on the programming skills introduced in INFS1609/INFS2609, providing students with a thorough review of software development processes and object-oriented programming principles. Students will then expand their Java skills and knowledge through the study of Model View Controller architecture, event-driven programming and Graphical User Interfaces (GUI). Specifically, the course introduces students to the development of JavaFX GUI applications, using Scenebuilder. Building on this, students are then provided with an overview of exception handling and taught how to develop basic database applications using Java Database Connectivity, an application programming interface (API), which defines how a client may access a database. This course concludes with an introduction to API’s that facilitate the development of reporting functionalities (e.g. exporting data to excel) from database applications.

INFS2608 Database Management & Big Data Infrastructures

INFS2608 is a Level 2 Information Systems (IS) course that continues students’ study of IS by covering various advanced topics pertinent to big data management, which includes both relational and analytical data system infrastructure. It will explain advanced concepts used to design and manage relational and analytical big data system infrastructure. Through this course, students will learn to evaluate issues associated with big data management and business data analytics such as data quality and security. In taking this course, students will be provided with tasks and assignments that will aid in refining their ability to evaluate the value of data focused infrastructures.

INFS2621 Enterprise Systems

The aim of this course is to introduce you to enterprise systems (ES), to show how organisations use enterprise systems to run their operations more efficiently and effectively, to learn about the critical success factors and implementation strategies that lead to enterprise system success, and to consider the informational, knowledge, and decision-making opportunities afforded by enterprise systems. The course will examine typical ES modules: manufacturing, supply chain management (SCM), financials, projects, human resource management, and customer relationship management (CRM). Enterprise systems (ES) use a single database to integrate business transactions along and between processes, leading to benefits such as efficient and error-free workflows plus accounting, management reporting and improved decision-making. The course will incorporate a laboratory component using the SAP software.

INFS3603 Introduction to Business Analytics

This is a Level 3 Information Systems (IS) course and a foundational course in Business Analytics (BA). This course provides students with an understanding of business needs and technology trends driving investment in business analytics and big data technologies. The course also presents the fundamentals of implementing and managing business analytics in organisations. In lectures, students will learn business analytics methods and tools as well as the challenges associated with implementing business analytics projects. Through real-world case studies, students will develop their understanding of the applications of business analytics as well as the social and ethical implications of business analytics. Students will also improve their critical thinking, problem-solving, research, communication and team-working skills through group assignments.

Topics covered in this course include: decision-making process; business analytics concepts, methods, and frameworks; frameworks for putting analytics to work; the governance, oversight and business value gained from business analytics within organisations; ethical and social implications of business analytics; and future directions for business analytics.

SAS software tools will be used for the skills components of the course including: Applied Analytics Using SAS Enterprise Miner, Text Miner and Visual Analytics.

INFS3604 Business Process Management

To meet the demands of today’s competitive marketplace, enterprise processes must be lean and customer focussed. This course looks at ways in which business processes can be analysed, redesigned, and improved thus ensuring that they are meeting the needs of customers and the enterprise. A business process is a set of related activities that jointly realise a business goal in an organisational and technical environment. These processes take place in a single organisation but may need to interact with processes in other organisations. Business process management (BPM) is concerned with the concepts, methods, and techniques that support the design, improvement, management, configuration, enactment, and analysis of business processes that deliver lean and customer focused business processes. BPM includes process modelling that explicitly represents processes – once they are defined, processes can be analysed, improved, and enacted. Software in the form of business process management systems can be used to manage business process.

INFS3605 Information Systems Innovation & Transformation

Project 2 is a capstone course focusing on the implementation phase of the development of information systems. The earlier phases of requirements and design have been considered in previous information systems courses (see prerequisites). You will work in a team to experience the system development process. The vehicle for the practical component is a specification of a non-trivial information system which will be implemented by teams in the Java programming language.

Project 2 considers in detail the issues of coding and implementing quality information systems in an organisational context. These issues include: identifying attributes of quality, project management (resource management), project effort estimation, software testing, maintenance, evaluation of software products and processes. Quality is an overarching issue that is a consideration within the domain of all the above issues and is a unifying theme throughout the whole course. To achieve the objectives of the course the concepts, principles and theoretical approaches outlined in the weekly lectures are reinforced by the practical components of the course. The majority of the lecture material will be directly related to the practical component of the course.

INFS3617 Networking & Cyber Security

This is a Level 3 Information Systems (IS) course that continues students’ study in IS by further developing their knowledge and understanding in information technology infrastructure and security in a business environment. The course will provide students with a learning experience that encourages participation and building of ideas in regards to current issues in business data networks, telecommunications, and infrastructure along with class discussions on the topics. The course has a technical component in which students gain practical knowledge and experience in networking and IS security techniques.

Topics to be covered in this course include inter-networked data communications and distributed data processing. Topics covered include, the business imperatives for distributed systems, systems architectural design (client/server; distributed processing, etc) layered architecture models (TCP/IP, OSI, etc), key network models and technologies, security issues related to architecture, design and technology, network configuration and management techniques.

INFS3634 Mobile Applications Development

This is a Level 3 Information Systems (IS) course that continues students’ study of IS by furthering their knowledge and skills in relation to mobile application programming. Continuing from INFS2605, this course focuses on the development of software applications using the Android mobile platform. In lectures, students will be provided with an overview of mobile programming concepts and tools, and engage in case studies with regards to mobile app development and the current mobile market. During the weekly practical workshops, students will use the Android Studio Integrated Development Environment to learn how to design and develop a range of mobile applications. Students will be required to evaluate the quality of their own and their peers’ coding solutions. Students will also research and analyse current trends in the mobile market and present a portfolio of their design work at the end of the course.

Business courses

Compulsory courses

ACCT1501 Accounting and Financial Management 1A

The compulsory core accounting unit will have a preparer perspective. It will provide an introduction to basic concepts in accounting and their application for decision making by a wide range of potential users (eg, shareholders, investment analysts, lenders, managers etc).
 
This unit should benefit students who wish to specialise in accounting, and will also be of value to students whose primary interest lies elsewhere in the field of business. On completion, students should have a clear understanding of the accounting process and the language of accounting to enable communication with an accounting professional, understand the relevance of accounting information for informed decision making by a wide range of potential users, and have the ability to analyse and interpret accounting information.
 
Topics covered will include the accounting equation, general purpose financial reports, cash and accrual accounting, adjustments, internal control, financial statement analysis, and interpreting and preparing information for managers to use in planning, decision making and control.

MGMT1001 Managing Organisations and People

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental principles, practices, issues and debates associated with the management of public, business and third sector organisations. The frameworks, concepts and theories covered in the course are introduced to explain how managers deal with the diversity of issues faced in the effective management of contemporary organisations.
 
The underpinning themes of the course centre on how managers can deal with the multiple demands of complex and turbulent environments, promote and sustain competitive advantage, manage changing social, political and technological factors inside and outside the organisation, ensure ethical and social responsibility, develop global organisations and manage diversity in the workforce. How management goes about its principal tasks of managing strategy, structures, people and systems are the key focus issues of the course. The main roles of modern management - planning, leading, innovating, organising and controlling - are also examined.
 
Topics include the emergence, evolution and structure of management, conceptions of managerial work; management fads, fashion and knowledge; the task and internal environment; regulating people; the nature of organising; change and innovation; decision-making; influence processes; power and politics; ethical issues and professionalism in management; performance management: control and planning; and current trends.

Choose one from the courses below:

ACCT1511 Accounting and Financial Management 1B

During Summer Term, this course is available as General Education to students from faculties outside the UNSW Business School.

All students taking this course during Summer Term will be required to pay full tuition fees. This includes Commonwealth supported students who are studying at UNSW. Please see the Business School courses - Summer Term fees for more information.

Taken together, the accounting course in the compulsory core and this accounting course form an integrated study program designed to give students an understanding of the way in which financial information is generated and used, and to provide an appropriate platform for further study in accounting.

On completion the first year accounting courses seek to develop:

  • Technical competence in recording economic events in the accounting system
  • A critical understanding of key technical terms and concepts so as to interpret accounting information and reports in the financial press
  • An ability to argue a reasoned position on key questions of accounting theory and practice
  • Familiarity with institutional structures that affect the practice of accounting

Topics covered in this course will include accounting for the major transactions cycles, cash, receivables, inventory, non-current assets and liabilities, cash flow statements, accounting policy choice, further detail on management accounting (including costing systems and budgeting), corporate governance, and professional ethics.

ECON1101 Microeconomics 1

In order to understand the workings of markets and the economy, one has to take on an 'economic mindset'. This introductory course covers the fundamental principles that economists use to understand and analyse economic behaviour. Understanding these basic principles equips students for further studies in economics and business. Topics and issues covered in this course include how individuals or firms make decisions about the demand or supply of a particular product, how we can judge the relative efficiency of different types of markets, how we explain why governments may need to intervene in a particular type of market while not in others, and how different government policies are more efficient than others.

Choose one from the courses below:

ECON1203 Business and Economic Statistics

This course introduces students to basic statistical concepts and methods that are widely used in economics, finance, accountancy, marketing and, more generally, business. Emphasis is placed on applying statistical methods to draw inferences from sample data as an aid to informed decision-making.  Course topics include: descriptive statistics, probability distributions, point and interval estimation of parameters, hypothesis testing, and regression models. Students will learn to solve statistical problems in an EXCEL spreadsheet environment.  This course provides the basis for further study of statistical and econometric methods.

MATH1041 Statistics for Life and Social Sciences

Probability, random variables, independence. Discrete distributions, Poisson and binomial distributions. Data analysis, Descriptive statistics. Sampling, Continuous distributions, the normal distribution. Estimation of mean and variance. Tests of hypotheses. Linear regression and correlation. Tests for goodness of fit. Bayesian statistics. Assumed knowledge: As for MATH1031Note: This course is not intended for students who propose to study a substantial amount of Mathematics beyond first year level. Many later year courses in Mathematics have completion of MATH1231, MATH1241 or MATH1251 as a prerequisite.

Entry to this degree is based on your Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or an equivalent rank derived from the following:
  • Australian interstate Year 12 qualifications (e.g. OP rank)
  • New Zealand NCEA Level 3
  • Equivalent overseas qualifications e.g. International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, GCE A-Levels
  • Post-secondary or tertiary qualifications
  • An alternative entry qualification

Domestic students
For further information on domestic admission requirements, see UNSW Future Students degree finder.

International students
For further information on international admission requirements, see the International Undergraduate Direct Entry Table.

The UNSW English Language requirements also apply to this degree.

Alternative entry pathways
If you did not meet the entry cut-off of this degree, you might want to consider studying a different undergraduate degree (either at UNSW or another university), achieve good marks for your first year of study, and then apply for transfer into this degree.

If you did not have the required academic qualification for admission, visit the UNSW Future Students website to find out what other options are available to you.

Alternative pathway - BISAS
The Bachelor of Information Systems Admissions Scheme (BISAS) offers an alternative pathway for domestic students only into the Bachelor of Information Systems.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Information Systems Admissions Scheme (BISAS).

Domestic students

If you are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or New Zealand citizen, you apply online through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

International students

If you are an international student, and you’re completing an Australian Year 12, or the NZ NCEA Level 3 qualification in Australia or overseas, you apply online through UAC International.

All other international students apply directly to UNSW.

Transferring students

Transferring within UNSW

Current UNSW students can apply to transfer from one UNSW degree to another (e.g. from Bachelor of Arts to Bachelor of Commerce) as long as the entry requirements of the new program are met.

Assessment is usually based on your high school qualification (ATAR or equivalent) and/or results from your UNSW studies. In most cases, you need to have completed a minimum of 6 courses (36 UOC) at UNSW.

You can apply for transfer to another UNSW degree by:

If you gain entry into the new program, you will then be assessed for transfer credits for courses already completed. You can see the transfer credits on myUNSW.

Transferring from outside UNSW

Students studying at another institution can apply to transfer to a UNSW business degree as long as the entry requirements of the program are met.

Assessment is usually based on your high school qualification (ATAR or equivalent) and/or results from university studies. In most cases, you need to have completed a minimum of 6 courses (36 UOC) at the other university.

You can apply for transfer to a UNSW degree by:

  • Applying through UAC (if you’re a domestic student) or directly with UNSW via Apply Online (if you’re an international student)

If you gain entry into the program at UNSW, you will need to apply for transfer credits for courses already completed. Find out more about credit transfer at UNSW.

For a list of pre-assessed business courses, visit our transfer credit guide.

Note:
  • If you’re a domestic student and have completed one semester of study, and your high school results (e.g. ATAR, IB score) met the entry requirements, you may be eligible to apply for transfer via UAC based on your high school results only.
  • If you’re an international student and have completed one semester of study, and your high school results (e.g. ATAR, IB score) met the entry requirements, you may be eligible to apply for transfer directly with UNSW via Apply Online.

UNSW Business School students are some of Australia’s best and brightest, with a reputation for drive and innovation. Our graduates have exceptional employability rates, performing well above the national average. The majority of our students are employed full-time within four months of graduating and earning a wage higher than most business & management graduates.

Our degrees include up to two for-credit industry experiences, such as internships or global business practicums. These experiences are part of a suite of opportunities that is exclusive to UNSW’s Business School students and organised through Career Accelerator. The professional development opportunities complement your studies, build connections to industry and give you a clear advantage after graduation.

The opportunities are grouped within the Networking, Mentoring, Internships, and Global sections of Career Accelerator.

Networking

The people you meet during your time at university can play a profound role in positively shaping your career. Connect with like-minded and influential people through:

  • Business Connect - an introduction to Networking
  • Industry Insights – workshop sessions delivered by industry partners
  • Industry Events – invitation-only events hosted by industry partners
  • Business Case Competitions – impress future employers with your problem-solving skills

Mentoring

Participating in a mentoring program will boost your confidence, help grow your professional network, develop your communication, teamwork and leadership skills as well as building upon your business acumen.

  • Mentor Connect – a quick, online chat with an AGSM MBA student about your future
  • Career Mentoring Program – a 10-week program of career mentoring and coaching

Internships

UNSW Business School’s for-credit and not-for-credit opportunities such consultancy projects, social entrepreneurship practicums, virtual internships and extra-curricular experiences.

  • Internships & Consulting Projects – real-world and virtual projects for program credit
  • Social Entrepreneurship Practicum – practicum to develop professional team skills in a real project for program credit
  • Business Experience – real-world and virtual projects for professional development

Global Opportunities

The personal and professional benefits of living, studying or working in a different culture are immense and recognised by employers.

  • Global Business Practicum - work in small cross-disciplinary student consulting team on a genuine business issue, usually in Asia
  • Social Entrepreneurship Practicum - build entrepreneurial, workplace and leadership capabilities in India
  • Business Immersion China - blend business, culture and Chinese language classes with company visits and excursions to sights of significant cultural importance around Shanghai
  • International Information Systems & Technology Practicum – experience how e-business systems differ across international borders
  • Student Exchange – live and study overseas for up to 3 terms at one of our 200 partner universities

A Bachelor of Commerce prepares you for long-term business success. UNSW Business School graduates are currently employed in a variety of professions including: accountant/auditors, commercial managers, economists, financial advisors, human resource consultants, ICT business/system analysts, international business development managers, investment bankers, management consultants, marketing/brand managers, property business analysts, recruitment officers, and tax advisors – to name a few.



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Quick facts for students

Program code
3979
UAC code
424500
Award
Bachelor Degree
Assumed Knowledge
Mathematics
Lowest Rank
90.00
Hsc Plus Bonus Points
English and Maths
Other qualifications considered
Accepted Qualifications for High School Graduates
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
144
Study Mode
Face to face
Duration
3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
Commencing terms
Term 1 - February
Term 2 - June
Term 3 - September
HECS fee band
Band 3
Program fee (total)
$34,071

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