Diploma in Information Technology
Duration: 2 Years
This unit explains how to use different tools and techniques for designing, implementing and testing programs, following the system life cycle. The unit provides examples of the C programming language and covers the principles of good programming. The unit primarily focuses on (i) providing an understanding of core programming principles and key concepts, (ii) providing a comprehensive set of guidelines for developing computer programs based on client briefs, and (iii) explaining the process of program evaluation.
Computer Systems and Software
This unit will develop learners’ understanding of the integration of hardware and software components. Learners will explore how hardware serves specific computer processing functions and investigate the use of various software applications.
Learners will learn about different e-commerce models and applications, and how these can be used to develop e-commerce in a small business. They will research the stages involved in setting up e-commerce and then use e-commerce applications to meet a client brief. The unit also considers e-commerce models used in small businesses, evaluating appropriate models, critically comparing e-commerce revenue models and explaining stages used to develop an online presence.
Human Computer Interaction
Learners will develop an understanding of principles and models of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). They will evaluate existing HCI design and principles, using this to help them plan their own prototype user interface. They will formulate design documentation to plan an interface for a product. Learners will implement the plan to create a prototype and then review and amend it based on user feedback.
Information Systems Theory and Practice
Learners will understand the benefits of using information systems to plan a project. They will use an information system to plan and implement an information systems project. In addition, they will find out about different information systems project management tools and techniques, using them to plan, implement and review their own information systems project.
IT and Society
The unit considers a number of IT issues and their impact on society. In particular, it attempts to explain the significance of digital citizenship to society, the impact on individuals of living in the information age, and evaluate current issues in society relating to personal data.
Management Information Systems
Learners will investigate different Management Information Systems and evaluate the common features. They will analyze an existing information system that is in use by an organization and review records, observe performance and understand the legal and organizational requirements that apply to an information system. They will then use their findings to recommend improvements to a Management Information System, presenting their findings to a client.
Relational Database Systems
This unit will develop learners’ understanding of database systems, and data analysis and modeling. It will explain how normalization and functional dependency theory is used to design a relational database and how the client-server model is used.
Learners will gain an understanding of the need for software engineering, and its different methods and techniques. This module initially discusses the software engineering approach to the design and development of software, with emphasis placed on software engineering principles, traditional software development approaches and software modeling. The module continues with discussion on key software engineering aspects and, in particular, analysis tasks, software development alignment to business information, and software engineering structures, roles and tasks. Finally, the unit explains the software engineering approach to software and systems development, focusing on project management for software development, and modeling.
Systems Analysis and Design
Learners will be able to understand the systems development life cycle and the role of systems methodologies within the life cycle. Learners will be introduced to different fact-finding and problem-solving techniques and will use these to analyze an existing system. They will be able to recommend improvements and to plan to implement these improvements for a client.
Computing Research Methods
Learners will develop an understanding of different computer-based research methods. They will plan their own research and carry out a research project based on an area of interest to them within computer science. The first part of the unit covers aspects associated with the understanding of issues relating to computer research. Emphasis is placed on the review of certain research techniques, evaluation of sampling techniques and discussion of data analysis tools. The second part of the unit discusses issues relating to the planning of research studies. Emphasis is placed on the development of research proposals, the planning of data collection and the evaluation of the feasibility of a research project. Finally, the unit discusses what is required for undertaking a research project and focuses on data collection, analysis and reporting of key findings.
Learners will develop an understanding of the importance of cyber security to organizations. They will understand industry standards of cyber security and be able to recommend improvements in security to a client’s network. The first part of the unit discusses the impact of cyber security threats to organizations with special focus on cyber security risks, network vulnerabilities and the overall impact of security. The second part of the unit discusses issues relating to cyber security industry standards, such as cyber security management and different strategies. The final part of the unit is concerned with the improvements necessary for a client to secure a network against cyber attacks and issues relating to network security training.
Database Design and Development
In this module, learners will extend their understanding of database design and development. They will research database management systems and be able to design and implement a complex database. The first part of the unit focuses on issues relating to the development of databases for organizations, covering database design aspects, database connectivity and database management systems. The second part of the unit discusses planning relational database design and considers issues relating to database design, especially normalization. The third part deals with database construction, implementing database features and database testing. The unit concludes with database documentation and a review of the database development process.
Ethical, Legal and Regulatory Issues
In this module, learners will develop an understanding of ethical, legal and regulatory issues and professional responsibilities relating to working in IT. The first part of the unit focuses on the understanding of ethical issues in IT and, in particular, the review of ethical practices and the role of ethics in data mining, as well as the importance of ethical guidelines in IT and the impact of ethics in organizations. The second part of the unit is concerned with legal and regulatory issues relating to the use of IT in organizations and, in particular, the evaluation of the impact of a legal or regulatory issue in IT on an organization, as well as the role of contracts in IT development and the impact of legislation in human computer interaction. The third part of the unit considers the professional responsibilities relating to working in IT and explains the standards that apply to working as a professional within the IT industry.
Innovative Technologies in Computing
Learners will develop an understanding of innovative developments in technology and their impact on the computer industry. The first part of the unit is concerned with an overview of innovative developments in technology and, in particular, the evaluation of innovative technologies, the analysis of the impact technological innovations have on society, and reflection on success and failures of technological innovation, as well as the way the environment is affected by such innovations. The second part of the unit is primarily concerned with impact of technological innovation on the computer industry, with emphasis on the way computers are used, along with ethical and legislative issues.
Management Information Systems
Learners will develop an understanding of the importance of integrating organizational strategy with information systems, alongside the tools and techniques that can be used to analyze strategy. They will analyze business processes and recommend improvements. The first part of the unit is concerned with the explanation of information systems, the setting up organizational strategies, integrating IS and defining their role in organizations. The second part of the unit describes strategic management tools and techniques in detail, covering further aspects of IS integration. The remaining sections cover IS organizational needs and strategic planning, as well as IT strategy implementation and the range of risks associated with the use of IT.
Managing a Computer Project
Learners will find out about different tools and techniques that can be used when managing a computing project. They will use tools and techniques to plan, implement and review their own computing project. The first part of the unit discusses project-planning methods, with emphasis placed on project specification, project plan structure and performance criteria. Then project team structures are explained, focusing on project roles, team structure, and managing and motivating members. Various project management tools are described in detail, including Brainstorming, Fishbone Diagrams, Critical Path Analysis Flow Diagrams, and Gantt Charts. Finally, the concept of project quality is explained in relation to quality characteristics, quality assurance and quality control. The second part of the unit discusses project plan structures and, in particular, the work breakdown structure and logic network methods. Then, discussion concentrates on managing project risks and, more specifically, understanding risks, risk factors, risk assessment and risk management strategies. Finally, the monitoring of project progress is explained in relation to measuring progress, schedule plans, dealing with problems, and the PRINCE2 approach. The third part of the unit discusses the project evaluation stage, with emphasis placed on evaluation plans, data interpretation and communication of evaluation results. The remaining sections focus on post completion reporting and, in particular, presenting deliverable assessment, discussing maintenance needs and reflecting on project impact.
In this module, learners will learn the fundamentals of IT network design and will design a network for a client in accordance with a design brief. The first part of the unit is focused on networking fundamentals, including discussion of different network protocol types, hardware devices and software applications. Emphasis is placed on the role and use of wireless networks and the importance of network operating systems. The second part of the unit is concerned with design issues for IT networks, with emphasis on networking requirements (e.g. bandwidth, availability and connectivity). Issues discussed include design, implementation and evaluation aspects of networking. The third and final part covers implementation aspects and, in particular, topologies and infrastructures. Testing, performance evaluation and security are areas of networking which are covered in these sections.
Software Development Methodologies
Learners will learn about using software development methodologies to develop an information system. This unit consists primarily of two parts, focusing first on the role of methodologies in software development and then on the information system design process using a software development methodology. The first part of the unit revisits aspects of the systems lifecycle and its importance for software development; it discusses certain software development approaches and presents different software development methods. The second part of the unit discusses issues relating to the selection criteria for a methodology approach; it presents agile methods and describes the process followed for evaluating methodologies.
Web Based Development
Learners will develop an understanding of web-based development. They will research different technologies that can be used to create dynamic and interactive websites and they will use this research to develop their own website. They will investigate e-marketing and SEO techniques to promote websites and they will suggest appropriate techniques to solve a business problem. Learners will create a back end database to allow the database to interact with the website and they will critically review the web-based solution against client requirements.