Information Systems (MSc Information Studies)
In the first semester you will get an overview of the Information Systems domain, including essential concepts, theories and problems. In addition to the general introduction to IS, you will be provided with an in-depth understanding of human driven generation, maintanance, and distribution of information in the context of intelligent interactive systems. As further specialisation you gain insights in the theory of complex adaptive systems. The focus here lies on techniques for the analysis of the effect of interactions in complex adaptive systems, specifically structured equation models and system dynamics. There is space for individual preferences, by chosing an elective from a set of suggested courses, from either the Data Science track, or any relevant course offered at a Dutch University.
In the Data Systems Project you learn and experiment with the creative process of developing an interaction environment as part of research into complex systems, with a particular focus on stakeholder-research, user-research, context mapping, agile development to a technologic prototype, including its validation.
In the second semester you will investigate the interface between sensors, data, APIs, machine intelligence and societal interventions with practical application to people and real world problems. Research led activities will be centred around applying theory in projects involving building and programming prototypes of remote sensing devices and physical data driven interventions. You will be encouraged to reflect on the societal impact of data and ubiquitous computing systems as distributed data driven services.
In addition you will follow another elective course, again either from a suggested set of courses or from courses of related IS disciplines such as Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence or Media Studies. The final phase of the programme is devoted to the Master's Thesis. During this project, you will demonstrate the knowledge and skills you have gained.
The last part of the Information Systems programme is dedicated to an individual research project, culminating in a Master's thesis (18 EC). This can be a general study regarding multiple organisations, or a study conducted within a specific organisation (your current workplace, for example). You can also choose to join an ongoing research programme within the UvA. Examples of research questions include:
- How do people respond to a lying robot?
- How can we apply mobile technology to prevent those in the early stages of dementia from getting lost?
- What is the most effective way to present users complex information?
- How can we improve digital communication between the Ministry of Education and individual schools?
- How can we use an interactive game to help children find their way around the library?
A few abstracts of recent examples of Master's theses in Information Systems from the UvA are:
The programme is also available on a part-time basis, in two years instead of one. You follow one half of the curriculum in the first year and the other half in the next. There are no lectures in the evenings or weekends. It is expected that you spend at least 20 hours a week on your studies.
Combining IS with your job
It is possible to combine the part-time programme with a (serious) job. However, with regard to the full-time programme, we do not recommend it. During weekdays you must be available at varying times between 09:00 and 18:00, and you are expected to spend at least 40 hours a week on your studies.
Adapted study programme
If you already completed another Master's programme, it is not possible to follow an adapted, shorter version of the programme. You might be exempted of some of the courses though. This is based on the curriculum of your previous Master’s programme.
Bring your own device
All students enrolled in Information Studies are requested to bring their own laptop, due to the nature of the programme. More information on specific system requirements can be found here.