Fundamentals of Information Systems

Subject ISYS90026 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 10 hours, comprising 5 two-hour seminars
Total Time Commitment:

An estimated total time commitment of 8-10 hours per week for the duration of the subject is required. 120 hours total.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Shanton Chang


Subject Overview:

Information Technology now impacts on people and processes within and beyond organisational boundaries. The discipline of Information Systems is concerned with the effective use of IT by people and organisations. This subject provides context on Information Systems practice and use viewed through a range of roles that interact with these systems, including those of system developers, users, business managers, IT managers, and vendors. It provides students with a foundation that is further built on in other information systems subjects.

The subject supports course-level objectives by allowing students to understand the complexity of real-world applications of information systems within a range of industries. It challenges students to integrate concepts, theories and frameworks with case studies and examples drawn from industry. The emphasis is on gaining a tool kit for a rich understanding of the practical problem solving rather than learning the theory per se. The subject contributes to the development of independent critical inquiry, case study analysis and problem solving.


On successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Explain the importance of understanding IT in its context to successful IS practice by looking at issues such as IT-supported core competencies, competitive advantage, business-IT alignment, governance and outsourcing, and change management in IT.
  • Apply key areas of research and practice in information systems
  • Identify interrelationships between concepts in information systems
  • Critically discuss and analyse information systems issues at an advanced level
  • Exploit the key knowledge and transferable skills as a basis for further post-graduate level study
  • Use the learned context to assess the role of IT/IS in organisations

Part A: Ongoing Online Discussion
20 % (addressing ILO 1, 4 and 5)

Part B: 3 Case Studies Discussions
10% +10% +10% = 30 %(addressing ILO 2 and 3)

Part C: Group Case Study Discussion
30 % (addressing ILO 2,3, and 6)

Part D: End-of-Semester Case Discussion
20 % (addressing 2,3, and 6)

100 %

All of the assessment in the subject takes the form of case discussion and analysis. This approach trains students in solving problems from different points of view and equips you with critical analysis skills and competencies. It also requires students to respond to business problems, highlight weaknesses and opportunities for the businesses, and provide a credible solution and analysis for the business.

In Part B of the Assessment, students complete 3 separate case studies over a period of time (Weeks 4, 7 and 11), each addressing a particular theme within the subject. Part C and D (the Group Case (due Week 12) and End of Semester Case) requires an integration of all concepts learned during the semester.

Assessment Standards (Amount)
Part A: Ongoing Online Discussion
Ranges from 1500 - 2000 words
Part B: 3 Case Studies Discussions
Maximum of 1200 words each
Part C: Group Case Study Discussion
Maximum of 2500 words per group of 5 students
Part D: End-of-Semester Case Discussion

Maximum of 1500 words

While this is more than the standard 12.5 credit Postgraduate subject, the main reason is the ongoing online discussion – rather than class attendance each week and participation. This is in effect the class participation of students over the semester.

Prescribed Texts:

Most reading materials will be made available online. Web sources will also be used in the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

This subject should enhance the following:

  • Analytical and interpretive skills through introduction to and use of case studies
  • Ablity to look at cases and business contexts from multiple perspectives
  • Research and critical thinking skills through preparation of discussion materials
  • Team work through group and project work
  • Confidence through online discussion

This subject is normally only available to students in the 200-point 2 year Master of Information Systems.

Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Information Systems
Master of Information Systems
Master of Information Technology
Master of Information Technology
Master of Philosophy - Engineering
Master of Science (Information Systems)
Ph.D.- Engineering

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