MSc IT Systems Administration and Management

Oxford Brookes University, Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment

Program Description

MSc IT Systems Administration and Management

Oxford Brookes University, Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment

The IT Systems Administration and Management programme teaches the fundamental theoretical concepts needed and gives students the opportunity to put these skills into practice in our VM platform, dedicated server laboratory, and networking laboratories.

These facilities, along with access to enterprise level software, through departmental VMWare and MSDNAA subscriptions, as well as University agreements with companies such as ServiceNow and Numecent, allow students to work on complex scenarios using industry standard hardware and software.

Why choose this course?

  • It is taught by domain experts, many of whom are also practitioners in the field.
  • Dedicated server and networking laboratories with enterprise equipment including Cisco switches, routers and firewalls and Dell servers.
  • Dedicated virtualisation platform to practice cloud deployment.
  • Access to a wide range of enterprise software to ensure realistic deployment environments.
  • An emphasis on live projects, alongside group work modeled on industry standard working patterns, gives you the opportunity to develop more business oriented skills such as project management, team management, and customer relationship management to equip them with the skills required for IT systems management.
  • An opportunity to apply to undertake a placement which enables you to practice and refine your skills within a company or organisation.

This course in detail

The MSc in IT Systems Administration and Management has a modular course-unit design providing you with maximum flexibility and choice. To qualify for a master’s degree without placement, you must pass modules amounting to 180 credits. This comprises six taught modules (20 credits each) plus your dissertation (60 credits). To qualify for a master's degree with placement you need to a one year placement in between the taught component and the dissertation.

The Postgraduate Diploma in IT Systems Administration and Management allows you to concentrate on the taught part of the degree and is ideal for people working in the communications industry who wish to brush up their skills. To qualify for a Postgraduate Diploma, you must pass modules amounting to 120 credits. This comprises six taught modules (20 credits each). In some cases, it may be possible for a student on a Postgraduate Diploma to do 3 taught modules (20 credits each) plus your dissertation (60 credits).

The Postgraduate Certificate in IT Systems Administration and Management allows you to concentrate on the taught part of the degree and is ideal for people working in the communications industry who wish to learn a specific area in this rapidly changing discipline. To qualify for a Postgraduate Certificate, you must pass modules amounting to 60 credits. This comprises three taught modules (20 credits each).

We also offer a Postgraduate Certificate IT Systems Administration and Management Research Project.

Semester 1

In Semester 1 you can choose from the following modules:

  • Research and Scholarship Methods (compulsory for MSc and PG Dip) is designed to equip students with the tools necessary for the scholarship and research skill needed for the IT management field as well as equipping them with the professional skills and outlook needed for a lifelong career in the communications industry.
  • Network Principles (compulsory for MSc and PG Dip) teaches the principles and practice of computer networking with an emphasis on data communications and local area network technologies and design.
  • Secure Systems Architecture (compulsory for MSc), on which you will study computer and network security and the ways that computer systems can be secured. This module will look at both the technological and human issues involved in securing and assessing the security level of a modern networked computer system. It also introduces basic concepts of operating systems and architecture.

Semester 2

In Semester 2 you can choose from the following modules:

  • Multiservice Networks (compulsory for MSc) - builds on the foundations laid in Network Principles and analyses the technologies and protocols used for multi-service networks in order to enable the student to develop the knowledge and skills required to design multi-service networks. The networks are illustrated with case studies, including state-of-the-art practice and recent research and development in the field.
  • Systems Administration (compulsory for MSc and PG Dip) studies the technical aspects of the application of theoretical concepts in operating systems, computer networks, and IT systems administration to the practical implementation of designing, implementing, and managing a small heterogeneous, multi-platform network. The material covered will prepare students for industrial and business problems they will face after graduation. This will be largely a directed study module, with students being supported in the design, implementation and subsequent maintenance of a proof-of-concept system.
  • IT Systems Management and Governance (compulsory for MSc) complements the material studied in Systems Administration. The module takes a more strategic look at systems administration by considering the management and governance aspects. Students will look at how enterprise networks consisting of different, interconnecting technologies, should be managed and improved efficiently. The material covered in this module prepares the student to manage large networks according to appropriate IT governance procedures and to effectively lead system administrator teams.

As courses are reviewed regularly, the list of taught modules offered may vary from the list here.

If you are studying for an MSc you will also take:

MSc Dissertation, which is an individual research and development project that allows you to study a topic of your choice in depth, guided by your supervisor. The work may be undertaken in close co-operation with a research, industrial or commercial organisation. You will undertake your dissertation over the summer period.

MSc students have the option to apply to undertake a placement. Placement positions are not guaranteed, however the department will help and support students in finding a placement. Students on the placement will also take:

Work Experience Placement, which is an optional element of all the department's CCT programmes, and provides professional and practical experience in the computing, communications, or media industries. The nature of the work undertaken will be relevant to a student’s programme, and may provide a basis for the development of the dissertation.

Teaching and learning

The taught modules include lectures, seminars, library and internet research, and practical design and experimentation.

Teaching staff include experienced academic staff and practitioners in the field of IT Systems Administration and Management. Visiting speakers from business and industry help to maintain relevance to the evolution of the industry.

Laboratory facilities include dedicated server, security and networking laboratories.

Approach to assessment

Assessments include coursework exercises, presentations, lab work, reports and examinations.

Specialist facilities

Our labs are equipped with industry-standard equipment and software tools. This enables students to develop skills of immediate relevance to industry needs while also providing a sound practical basis that enhances their understanding of theoretical concepts.

Our server lab has a mixture of client PCs and Dell servers to allow students to set up a wide variety of complex IT systems. In addition to the server capacity in the lab, there is a dedicated Virtualisation Platform for use in cloud based scenarios. Students have access to a range of Microsoft systems software, VMWare virtualisation management software and a wide range of other software used in the management of enterprise IT systems.

Networking laboratories are equipped with modern Cisco routers, switches and security devices to enable design construction and testing of complete high bandwidth, secure, wired and wireless networks.

Additional costs

Students on placement are responsible for living costs associated with their placement.

Attendance pattern

Part time study is an option on this programme for students who wish to combine their study with work. Where possible we try to ensure that part time students only need to attend for 1 day a week, although students will be expected to undertake additional independent study.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Cost & Fees

Home / EU full-time on-campus fee: £5,480 Masters (12 months) £3,660 Diploma (6 months) £1,830 Certificate (3 months)

Home / EU part-time on-campus fee: £2,790 Masters (2 years)

International full-time on-campus fee: £13,730 (12 months)

Placement fee in 16/17 £1,680 (Home) £4,120 (International). Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only, Fees will increase by approximately 2% each year.

Last updated August 28, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
3 - 24 months
Part time
Full time
5,480 GBP
United Kingdom - Oxford, England
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
United Kingdom - Oxford, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
- UK and EU; £13,730 - Non-EU