What It’s Like Studying Information Systems at QUT | Art of Smart

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QUT Information Systems - Fact Sheet

Think of yourself as a bit of an IT fanatic? Love computing, programming and data? Want to learn more about applying your knowledge of databases and software to the business sector through a QUT Information Systems degree?

Well, look no further because we’ve got everything you should know about the Bachelor of Information (Information Systems) at QUT.

If you want an outline of the course, units, assessments and the culture of Information Systems at QUT, then keep on reading!

What is a Bachelor of Information Technology (Information System) at QUT?
Core Units for this Degree
How to Get into Information Systems at QUT
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Information Technology (Information Systems) at QUT?

QUT’s Bachelor of Information Technology (Information Systems) is a 3-year undergraduate degree for students keen on developing their knowledge of the technical and professional skills required to plan, create and monitor complex IT projects. 

Let’s break it down. Information Technology or IT is a discipline that uses computers to store and retrieve important data and information.

It’s usually business-focussed and relies on advanced processes that apply statistical and mathematical techniques to computer programs and software. So, if you’ve gotten through high school loving Maths, ICT or Business, then this degree may be right up your alley! 

As an Information Systems graduate, you’ll have access to a world of professional opportunities. Since our society is becoming more and more digitised, we’ll be needing more IT professionals to understand everything there is to know about processes, data and the tools needed to design, analyse and monitor IT products! 

Can this degree be studied in conjunction with another?

Sure can! If you’re keen on broadening the content you study, want to gain a competitive edge or you’re looking for some greater career flexibility, then a double degree may be perfect.

It’ll take you another year to complete but since you’ll be undergoing fast tracked studies, it’ll take far less time than completing two separate undergraduate degrees.

Luckily for you, QUT offers plenty of options for Information Systems students to simultaneously study another discipline. Some of these include:

  • Bachelor or Business 
  • Bachelor of Communication 
  • Bachelor of Creative Industries 
  • Bachelor of Design
  • Bachelor of Education
  • Bachelor of Engineering 
  • Bachelor of Laws 
  • Bachelor of Mathematics 
  • Bachelor of Science 

See! There’s a lot. Of course, there is no requirement to complete a double degree because it would require significantly more work, but it’s good to know the option’s there! 

Take a look at all QUT’s degree combinations right here

Career Paths

As a graduate from the Bachelor of Information Technology (Information Systems) at QUT, you’re going to have access to a wide scope of career opportunities within and beyond the IT world. It’s no secret that you’ll graduate having developed essential skills in design, analysis, systems thinking, stakeholder engagement and modelling and abstraction — characteristics that are going to help you out no matter where your degree takes you.

Depending on your interests and your favourite parts of the degree, you could always look into scoring a position in business management, social media or mobile development. Seriously, the world is your oyster.

Some other examples may include:

  • Business analyst 
  • Games developer 
  • IT consultant 
  • Database administrator 
  • Business process analyst 
  • Enterprise architect 
  • Entrepreneur 
  • IT project manager 
  • Solution architect 
  • Systems analyst 
  • Academic or teacher 

Check out other careers in IT here!

Core Units for this Degree

To successfully graduate from the Bachelor of Information Technology (Information Systems) you’ll need to take 288 total credit points throughout your 3-year course.

While it sounds a little daunting, credit points are basically a university’s way of measuring the workload of particular subjects. Each university has their own unique way of measuring credit points and they’re used to give you an idea of the kinds of commitment you’ll have to give a particular subject.

At QUT, each of your subjects are typically 12 credit points each. That means you’ll be completing 96 credit points each year or 8 subjects. Each semester you’ll be taking 4 different subjects, so you’re going to be completing a pretty standard study load and staying on top of those classes every week. 

Let’s get into a little more detail — your 288 total credit points will be broken down into three distinct categories. These include:

  • 6 core units (or 72 credit points) 
  • 10 major units (or 120 credit points)
  • 8 complementary units (or 96 credit points for a second major, two minors or electives)

First Year

As with most university courses, your first year is going to lay the foundations for the rest of your degree. You’ll be taking a bunch of introductory classes to get you up to speed and you’ll be getting stuck into all the bits and bobs that make up Information Systems. 

Some of those classes include:

Introduction to Computer Systems

In this unit, you’ll be learning all about computer systems, how modern computer systems work, how they’re structured and how they operate. Computers are everywhere, in fact it’s likely you’re using one right now!

With that in mind, this is a relevant and fundamental subject to dissect the inner workings of a computer. You’ll learn to understand and utilise computer systems to effectively engage in the IT industry. So, important stuff! 

IT Systems Design 

This introductory unit will teach the importance of developing innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions to various complex IT issues.

You’ll be learning to identify IT issues, collecting information to support your solutions, understand the computer’s components and feel confident in your techniques to fix the problem. You can expect this subject to be extremely hands-on with practical-based classes.  

Building IT Systems

In this subject, you’ll gain a practical introduction to computer programming and coding with a focus on topics like expressions, assignment, functions, choice and iteration. This is a class where you’ll be developing this understanding through practice.

Database Management

As its name suggests, this unit will introduce you to databases. You’ll learn the core concepts, requirements and methods needed to understand databases.

You’ll also dive into conceptual data modelling and learn how to transform the data model into a relational database design.

Second Year

In your second year, you’ll start picking up subjects other than those core units that you’re required to do. So, alongside the subjects below, you’ll have a few complementary units where you can either choose a second major, a minor or a couple electives. Some of these include:

Business Process Modelling

This subject introduces the business process management concepts involved in IT. As we mentioned earlier, this subject relates to how IT is utilised in a business sense as opposed to entertainment.

This unit will give you a good idea as to how businesses can improve their processes in terms of cost, quality and time. This will be one of your first subjects to have a major focus on business. 

Business Requirements Analysis

Another business focussed subject! Woo! This unit will provide an introduction to the role, knowledge, skills and techniques needed as a business analyst.

So, to all you budding business analysts out there, here’s where you’ll get a taste of your years ahead. You’ll also focus on skills like creativity, communication and teamwork. 

IT Project Management

Here’s another industry-based subject to get you confident for the workforce. It’s a unit that focusses on complex solutions, management frameworks and prepares you for your major placement subject next year! 

Third Year

Your last year! Doesn’t time fly!? Your third year is basically your chance to consolidate the knowledge you’ve developed over your degree.

You’ll mainly focus on your second major, minor or series of electives and your Capstone unit. We’ll explore this Capstone Project in a little more detail later on but it’s basically your main placement program. One of the main subjects you’ll complete is:

Enterprise Architecture

This unit teaches the intersection of business and IT systems, how they’re planned, designed and monitored. So, this is like your ticket into the business industry, where you can utilise all of those funky IT skills that you’ve learned along the way. 

Second Majors

As you’re choosing how to best use those left over complementary units, take a look at your main second major options below. 

  • Computational and Simulation Science This second major comprises subjects like:
    • Introductory Calculus and Algebra 
    • Introductory Computational Mathematics 
    • Computational Explorations 
    • Modelling and Simulation Science 
    • Visualising Data 
    • Aspects of Computational Science 
  • Data Science This second major consists of units like:
    • Data Analysis 
    • Data and Web Analytics 
    • High Performance and Parallel Computing 
    • Search Engine Technology 
    • Regression and Design 
    • Generalised Linear Models 

Minor Options

It’s clear that this degree is pretty customisable. You’ve got quite a lot of chances to tailor the program to your own interests.

Just to make the choice even harder, with even more options, here are some of the minors you can choose from: 

  • Business Process Management 
  • Computational and Simulation Science 
  • Computer Science 
  • Enterprise Systems 
  • Intelligent Systems 
  • IoT and Mobile Technologies 
  • Network and Security 
  • Software Development for IS and Games 
  • Business Intelligence 
  • User Experience 

Take a scroll through the subject outline to compare subjects and dive into all your options right here

Is there a built-in internship program?

Yep! As we mentioned earlier, your third year will practically revolve around the major placement program built into your degree. This is divided into 2 main subjects: Capstone Project Phase 1 and Capstone Project Phase 2.

Both of the subjects are going to teach the fundamentals of working in the industry. You’ll get to apply the knowledge you’ve developed into real world solutions while being guided and mentored by your tutors and stakeholders.

The end goal is a final project which will be professionally delivered (and, importantly, will look great on a resume). 

QUT Information Systems - Quote

How to Get into a Bachelor of Information Technology (Information Systems) at QUT

To get into the Bachelor of Information Technology (Information Systems) at QUT, you’ll need to receive a minimum ATAR of 70.

If you didn’t quite get the marks, don’t worry! QUT offers various alternative entry pathways to ensure that everyone who wants to can apply for the IT degree. QUT understands that there’s no way a single mark is a fair indicator of your abilities, passions or interests. 

If you’ve acquired experience at TAFE or gained important skills in your professional life, you should take a look at the different options available to you right here

If you graduated Year 12 but didn’t get the necessary marks, you should check out QUT’s ATAR adjustment schemes to check and see if you’re eligible to adjust your marks by a maximum of 10 ATAR points. If you got an ATAR of 60 or above, we definitely suggest you check this out. Extra marks can be awarded to students who:

  • Are in difficult circumstances like financial hardship, emotional difficulties, illness or disabilities 
  • Elite athletes 
  • Have achieved excellent marks in particular Year 12 subjects. 

Take a deeper look right here

As an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student, you may be eligible for QUT’s Centralised Assessment Selection Process. This is a great avenue into uni if you didn’t quite meet the requirements or didn’t complete Year 12. 

Early Entry

As a potential student at QUT, you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to applying for Early Entry Schemes. If you’re sure of the degree you’d like to pursue or just need a bit of a stress reliever of results day, check out QUT’s Early Offer Options here

These are generally awarded to students who’ve excelled academically in Year 11 and 12, have engaged deeply with the community or are elite athletes. If you’re nearing the end of high school, this is definitely an option to check out! 

Any assumed knowledge?

As long as you graduate Year 12 with English or Literature and General Maths or Mathematical Methods, you’re good to go. QUT assumes that you’ve developed basic Maths and English skills as a student in the IT degree.

Still, this doesn’t hinder you from applying if you haven’t completed these subjects in Year 12. There are plenty of short bridging intensives that you can take to hone in on those topics. 

Take a deeper look at QUT’s assumed knowledge and prerequisites right here

Scholarships

QUT also offers some pretty generous scholarship packages for all sorts of students. Whether you’re in financial difficulties, come from a non-English speaking background, are a migrant or refugee or have excelled academically, there’s a scholarship for you. 

No matter your situation, background or study experience, QUT wants you there. 

You could apply to scholarships like the Wilson Security Indigenous Scholarship, the QAS Tertiary Scholarship, the ARC Discovery Project Scholarship or the Morey Learning Potential Fund Scholarship

Take a look for yourself here

What’s the Teaching Format? 

The Bachelor of Information Technology (Information Systems) is taught in two main sessions per year. This means you’ll be studying in the semester system, so you’ve got 2 large study sessions with pretty decent breaks in between.

If you’re someone that values those extra holiday weeks to recharge, intern or take summer classes, this system may be a perfect fit. 

Information Systems at QUT is taught mainly through tutorials, practicals and lectures. Let’s dive into them now. 

Class Structure 

As we’ve mentioned, you’re taking 4 classes each semester meaning on a weekly basis, you’re juggling 4 tutorials, 4 lectures and a couple practicals. While it sounds like a lot, this is a pretty standard uni load and will be much more manageable than you think.

With this in mind, you can expect to be on campus for over 15 hours each week. This will give you a chance to attend all your classes (which are compulsory, by the way) and also spend some time doing independent study in the library. 

QUT Information Systems - Class Structure

Lectures 

A lecture is like your preliminary study material. It’s taught in a theatre with around 50 other students and takes 1 to 2 hours to complete. You’ll be introduced to the weekly content, be able to take notes and plan the questions you may want to ask your tutor in the tutorials to come. 

It’s a pretty passive exercise so you won’t really be required to answer questions or facilitate group discussions but it’s great to get your head around the content as soon as possible. 

Tutorials 

Like lectures, these classes will last around 1 to 2 hours. Unlike lectures, tutorials will have less than half of the students with around 20 peers in each of your classes.

You’ll be given more extensive information on the content covered in lectures and you’ll be able to ask those questions that you planned out in lectures. 

Importantly, tutorials are the perfect classes to get to know your peers, get involved in group work, chat with your tutor and lead discussions. 

Practicals 

While this kind of class won’t be used in all of your subjects, practical classes are exactly as the name suggests, practical.

You’ll get to apply the theoretical knowledge that you’ve developed to real world situations in a classroom setting. A practical class is like a tutorial in that they last, again, between 1 to 2 hours and will contain around 20 other students. 

These classes will teach all of the physical content that you’ll need to complete assignments, engage in the Capstone Project and build up a portfolio to show future employers. You’ll learn how to dismantle a computer, how its system works and utilise practical solutions to a range of industry-level issues. 

Assessments 

When studying QUT Information Systems, you’ll be graded on a variety of different assignments and projects. For the most part, you can expect practical, hands-on assessments that will involve some kind of report or reflection. 

There’ll likely be a mix of reports, exams, oral presentations, reflections and you’ll get to build some IT systems too. 

For example, in your first core unit Introduction to Computer Systems, you’ll have 3 major assessments that will dictate your final mark. Your first 2 are forms of workbooks where you’ll complete practical exercises, investigation questions and quizzes.

The first workbook relates to Low Level Technologies and the second focusses on High Level Architecture. To finish off the subject, you’ll be assessed on a final project where you’ll design, construct and configure a small computer system. 

In the second semester of your second year, the subject IT Project Management comprises two main assessments. The first is a series of case studies where you’ll produce project planning documents for each situation. Secondly and finally, you’ll be assessed on an open book examination covering the subject material from the unit.  

“It depends on the subject but for the most part, assessments are quite practical. For example, I think it was either IAB320 or IAB203. Effectively, what they had us do was in groups map out a business process, so they gave us a few companies and processes to choose from, but we chose Ebay’s login process.

“We mapped out the entire process, how that works, how customers interact with it. I think that was pretty cool, it was pretty practical. There weren’t many where you’d just have to write a word document — they’d be based on solving a problem or practically doing something.” Jack Buckman

Skills You Refine and Learn

QUT Information Systems - Skills

You can count on learning some essential and transferable skills as an Information Technology student at QUT. In particular, thanks to all of those presentations and projects, your communication, innovation, problem solving and collaboration skills will be through the roof.

A major perk of IT at QUT is that your assignments will reflect the demands of the workforce, so not only will they come in handy for your portfolio but they’ll also develop some fundamental skills for future practice. With all your project management classes, you can also expect your management and organisation skills to be top tier. 

Keep in mind that you’re not expected to possess all of these skills as soon as you enter the degree. They’ll be built up over time and you may not refine them until you’re out in the workforce! As long as you’re giving everything a go and trying your best, these skills are going to eventually come naturally. 

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

Like all university courses, you’ll be surrounded by a dramatic mix of people. Some will be extremely friendly and welcoming while others may prefer to stick to themselves.

Either way, you’re bound to make a great group of friends who’ll be your support group throughout uni. While QUT Information Systems is pretty flexible, you’ll get plenty of chances to get to know the students in your core classes. 

As an Information Systems student at QUT, your go-to faculty will be the Faculty of Science and within the faculty, you’ll report to the School of Information Systems. This means you’ll have access to accomplished and experienced tutors and lecturers who are also going to majorly help you out along the way. 

Clubs and Societies

QUT has a range of clubs and societies for all current and potential students. If you’re keen on that sort of thing, and we strongly recommend it, join a few!

They’re a great place to network, make industry connections and form new friendships. The best bit is that you can find people with similar interests in and beyond IT. 

You could join the Civil Engineering Social Society, the Cliffhangers Rockclimbing Club, the Consulting Society, or even the Dungeons and Dragons Guild! Seriously, there’s everything. 

Check them all out here

Resources

Whether you’re in need of academic help, counselling facilities or financial support, QUT has got you covered. QUT’s Student Page covers issues like mental health support, disability assistance, LGBTQIA+ support, medical help and financial assistance. 

As a student you’ll also get access to QUT webinars, library resources, student stories and class reminders by checking out the Resources for Students page right here


Gemma Billington is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and an undergraduate student at the University of Technology Sydney. While studying Journalism and Social and Political Sciences, Gemma enjoys spending her time at the gym or reading about Britain’s medieval monarchy – ideally not at the same time. She currently creates and administers social media posts for Central News and writes for the student publication, The Comma. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to study a Masters of Medieval History and is very excited about the prospect!



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