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Business Intelligence


Enterprises have no trouble collecting a mass of data: the big problem is finding the information therein.  Business Intelligence describes a set of technologies that are used to extract information from data. Our MSc in Business Intelligence teaches the fundamentals of transactional processing and analysis of information. These skills are highly attractive to both the business and commercial world.

Closing date: For entry Jan 2015, apply before 15th Nov 2014, if you need a visa to study in the UK.

Why study Business Intelligence at Dundee?

Our MSc Business Intelligence is based upon the premise that the teaching of Business Intelligence (BI) should not be about training in the use of particular packages: it should be concerned with the fundamentals of how data can be handled for transactional processing (relational structures) and for analysis (multi-dimensional structures).

MSc Business Intelligence is designed to give students a Masters' level postgraduate education in the knowledge, skills and understanding of business intelligence to enable them to operate effectively and professionally in the application of business intelligence in industry, commerce and research.

Such skills are in high demand. According to Gartner ("The Quest for Talent – You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet"), the leading IT research and advisory company, the BI world is desperately short of well-trained BI people yet a comprehensive understanding of BI is rare.

On completion, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of a range of specialised theories, principles, concepts and technologies for business intelligence, including transactional processing and analysis,
  • apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to structure and handle business intelligence data,
  • employ a range of research and other specialised techniques to plan and execute a significant research project to extract information from data,
  • deal with complex professional, legal and ethical issues relating to business intelligence,
  • demonstrate awareness of current issues at the forefront of business intelligence.

What's so good about Business Intelligence at Dundee?

Our lecturers are some of the best in the field. This innovative degree is delivered largely by Dr. Mark Whitehorn, an internationally recognised expert who specialises in the areas of data analysis, data modelling, data warehousing and business intelligence. His main area of interest is best practice – with reference to the design and implementation of data management systems in general and BI systems in particular.

BI skills are typically focused on the skills necessary to drive a particular product, not on a core understanding of how data should be structured and handled for analysis. However, it is exactly this core understanding that the MSc in Business Intelligence here at the University of Dundee delivers to its students. This gives our students a broader skill set and ultimately makes them more employable.

Our facilities

You will have 24-hour access to our award winning and purpose-built Queen Mother Building. It has an unusual mixture of lab space and breakout areas, with a range of conventional and special equipment for you to use. It's also easy to work on your own laptop as there is wireless access throughout the building.

Postgraduate culture

The School of Computing maintains a friendly, intimate and supportive atmosphere, and we take pride in the fact that we know all of our students - you're far more than just a matriculation number to us. We have a thriving postgraduate department with regular seminars and guest speakers.

Who should study this course?

We normally expect applicants to have a degree in Computing, with a grade equivalent to at least a class 2.1 honours degree from a UK university, or the equivalent. However, we also accept applications from people who have equivalent experience in the field without this qualification.

Related courses

Teaching & Assessment

This course is taught by staff in the School of Computing .

For full time students there are four intensive weeks, one each in January, February, April and May. In addition there is a day school in June to coincide with exams. For 2013 the detailed course dates are still to be confirmed, however the course will start on January 14th 2013.

How you will be taught

The programme is delivered largely by Dr Mark Whitehorn in an innovative blend of lectures, master-classes, seminars and tutorials. A series of guest speakers from the BI industry also provide case studies.

The programme is provided on-campus for full-time students (over one year, January - January), part-time students attend two of the intensive weeks in their first year and two in their second year. Other classes are taken off-campus using the university's VLE and other technologies as appropriate.

What you will study

You will study six taught modules, three per semester, during the period January - June as shown below.

Semester A (January-March)

  • Business Intelligence Systems Introduction and Overview (20 credits)
  • Transactional Database Models and Design (20 credits)
  • Analytical Database Models and Design (20 credits)

Semester B (April-June)

  • MultiDimensional eXpressions - MDX (20 credits)
  • ETL Theory and Practice(20 credits)
  • Data Analysis and Visualisation (20 credits)

Masters students then proceed to a research project from July-December, worth 60 credits.

For more information about the content of the course, please visit the course webpage on the School of Computing website.

How you will be assessed

Assessment will be by examination, practical coursework, team project and research project.


Possible career opportunities are in intelligence analysis, data management/database maintenance, data processing manager, database development and research, business intelligence consultant and more.

Entry Requirements

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

You should have, or expect to have, an honours degree at 2.1 or above, in Computing (or equivalent qualifications).

However, if you don't meet this requirement you may still apply in which case you will need to prove that you have equivalent experience in the field in order to be accepted onto the course.

All applicants will be phone interviewed, with an opportunity to highlight any areas of experience that demonstrate an appropriate aptitude.

English Language Requirement

IELTS of 6.0 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English. Please check our Language Requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English Language courses.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes and Foundation Programme(s) which are designed to prepare you for university study, the 24 week and 10 week programmes provide additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and 0.5 IELTS respectively. Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer. The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 to 1.5 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

Fees and Funding

Academic Year Home/EU Overseas
2014-15 (January 2015) £6,900 £15,750

Sources of Funding

Information about the School of Computing scholarships can be found on the School of Computing scholarships webpage.

Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

SAAS tuition fee loans are available for this course for students who meet the eligibility criteria. Visit our SAAS tuition fee loan webpage for more information and links.

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application

Apply online via UKPASS

You must read the information regarding how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.


Programme Director

Dr Keith Edwards
School of Computing
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 384463 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384463 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 385509 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 385509 (from outside the UK)


Admissions Contact

Postgraduate Admissions
Admissions and Student Recruitment
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 384 384 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384 384 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 385 500 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 385 500 (from outside the UK)