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Diploma Overview

Diploma in Computing with Information Systems


Introduction The MQF Level 5 Diploma in Computing with Information Systems (60 ECTS) provides students with knowledge of the principles of computing. Students will improve their problem solving skills together with programming and mathematical computation skills. By the end of the diploma programme, students would be able to understand problems that are faced in the business world and develop solutions, as well as participate in software development.

General Learning Outcomes The Diploma in Computing with Information Systems will enable participants to: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Recognise and recall the principles of computing; Examine simple problems and devise solutions; Interpret software design and implement solutions through programming; Recognise fundamental concepts and evaluate approaches that may be taken when planning information systems.

Progression, Duration and Entry Requirements Saint Martin’s Institute of Higher Education has been delivering a similar University of London qualification since 2001 and students who have successfully completed the Diploma in Computing and Information Systems have in their vast majority continued to read for a BSc (Hons) in Computing & Information Systems conferred by the University of London over a further two academic years. The National Commission for Further and Higher Education has accredited the Diploma in Computing with Information Systems at Level 5 of the Malta Qualification Framework, which is equivalent to a first year of a degree programme. The programme is of 60 ECTS. The Diploma in Computing with Information Systems is offered over one academic year to students who are 16 years and older, earning stipends and maintenance grants during their academic year. Those already in work may wish to study the Diploma in Computing with Information Systems as an evening student over two academic years whilst keeping their jobs. The minimum age accepted for evening study at Saint Martin’s is of 20 years old. Students must possess a minimum of 4 ordinary level SEC at grade 5 or better, including mathematics and English language.

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Fees 2018/2019 Full-time (EU)

Full-time (Non-EU)

Part-time (EU)

Application Fee

€125

€125

€125

Registration Fee

€950

€950

€480

€4,990 €3,550/year

€6,490 €4,180/year

€1,495/year

(one time non-refundable) (one time non-refundable) Diploma MQF 5 (Tuition & Examination Fees)

Course over one year Course over two years

Students following the Diploma on a full-time basis will benefit from: • A fixed stipend of €1348 between 1st October and 30th June (applicable to EU students only). In addition to this students will also receive a yearly sum of €698.81 to partly cover expenses related to educational material & equipment and a one-time grant of €698.81 payable in the first year of their studies. Students are required to refer to the MGUS Regulations for further details regarding eligibility and conditions with respect to the scheme. The scheme is administered by Students’ Maintenance Grants Section, within the Ministry for Education and Employment. • Upon successful completion of the Diploma, the graduate will benefit from a tax credit and thus will be eligible to recover 70% of the costs incurred once in employment. If a parent/guardian is paying the tuition fees, the parent/guardian will be able to benefit from the tax credit. The maximum value of tax credits refundable is €3500. Students following the Diploma on an evening basis are eligible to recover €2450 (70% of the cost of programme) in tax credit following successful completion, resulting in a net cost of €1055.

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Compulsory Units The following subjects are compulsory to the Diploma in Computing with Information Systems: SMc10306 SMc10314 SMc10315 SMc10333 SMc10334 SMc10335 SMc10337 SMc10339 SMc10340 SMc10341 SMc10342

Introduction to Java Programming (7 ECTS) Introduction to Information Security (2 ECTS) Introduction to Front-End Web Development (4 ECTS) Introduction to Algebra and Matrices (4 ECTS) Introduction to Graphs (2 ECTS) Introduction to Calculus (4 ECTS) Principles of Computing Architecture (4 ECTS) Implementing and Querying Databases (3 ECTS) Core Database Principles (3 ECTS) Foundations of Information Systems (7 ECTS) Implementing Information Systems (7 ECTS)

In addition to these units, a combination of elective subjects to a minimum total of 13 ECTS’s must be chosen. These may be found on Page 27.

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SMc10306

Introduction to Java Programming (7 ECTS) Programming is an essential tool for any computer scientist. In this study unit, students are exposed to different programming principles including sequences, selection and iteration structures, rules and syntax used for the JAVA Programming Language. Thus, students will be able to build a simple toolset of concepts and ideas used in programming. Students will be able to translate and programmatically implement solutions to simple problems. This unit serves as a basis for further programming study units.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Write Java programs that output messages to the terminal. 2. Use comments in a program. 3. Define String constants. 4. Compile and run Java programs. 5. Interpret some common compiler error messages. 6. Fuse arithmetic expressions in programming to perform calculations. 7. Use integer and real types in programming. 8. Concatenate Strings using the ‘+’ operator. 9. Write expressions which would be used to calculate data. 10. Declare variables with appropriate variable names. 11. Write assignment statements. 12. Calling methods. 13. Write programs which accept input from the user and then behave in different ways depending on the input. 14. Use if-else statements in order to introduce branching within one’s program. 15. Make use of Boolean expressions. 16. Program repetition using loops. 17. How to declare and initialise an array. 18. Use for loops to process arrays. 19. Use nested loops when needed in one’s programs. 20. How to create one’s own methods within a Java program. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. About directory structure and where to put the programs one writes. 2. About the CLASSPATH system variable. 3. That Java is case sensitive. 4. About the purpose and syntax of the main method in a Java application. 5. The different between print() and println() method. 6. How the division operator gives different types of results depending on its operands. 7. About the use of operator precedence in expressions. 8. About the use of brackets in computing expressions. 9. The purpose of variables. 10. The differences between the primitive types of Java. 11. About the allowable String used for variable names.

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12. What a method is. 13. The existence of pre made methods in classes provided by Java. 14. What method signatures are. 15. About some graphical methods. 16. The Scanner class. 17. Java APIs. 18. Syntax and semantics of the if statement. 19. Syntax and semantics of the for, while and do while loops. 20. Method overloading and type-checking. 21. What arrays are and how to use them. 22. Nested loops. 23. Why methods are useful. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Demonstrate how arithmetic expressions are used. 2. Demonstrate how to use integer and real types in programming. 3. Demonstrate how to use string concatenation in order to produce more meaningful output. 4. Demonstrate which data type to choose in order to represent certain kinds of data. 5. Show how to use assignment statements. 6. Show how method calls are done. 7. Show how to use methods of other classes which are premade by Java. 8. Define method signatures. 9. Demonstrate how to prompt the user for input for different types of data such as int and other types. 10. Show what the Scanner class provides in terms of functionality. 11. Demonstrate how to look up Java APIs. 12. Define the syntax and semantics of if-else statements. 13. Show how to use all three of the basic loops. 14. Differentiate between static and non-static methods. 15. Differentiate between the use of void and non-void methods. 16. Demonstrate when one should use arrays. 17. Define how nested loops work. 18. Show how to use parameters.

Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Distinguish when one would use the print() or println() methods. 2. Distinguish when to use integer or real types. 3. Distinguish which operations should be used in order to obtain the required data. 4. Deduce what kind of data is being used in order to select the best data type in order to faithfully represent that data. 5. Determine the best time to prompt the user for input. 6. Determine the best methods to use from Java APIs. 7. Determine the appropriate conditions to use within one’s if-else statements. 8. Determine which of the loops is best suited for a particular problem. 9. Determine the cause of index out of bounds exceptions. 10. Determine how to solve problems using nested loops. 11. Determine when to create void and non-void static methods. 12. Determine what parameters are needed for one’s methods. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10314

Introduction to Information Security (2 ECTS) Information security deals with the protection of our information. This is particularly relevant in today’s world with the dominant use of the Internet. Whether sending a simple message or effecting a financial transaction, data needs to be protected from malicious intent such as that of unauthorised access, modification, disruption, use or deletion of information. Such protection extends to both software and hardware. This study unit introduces the student to concepts dealing with the security of our information including a look at different viruses, hackers and security principles in general. It also dwells into legal aspects such as copyright and patents, as well as, the Data Protection Act and the Computer Misuse Act.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Increase awareness of the threats surrounding our data on the on-line world. 2. Distinguish between patent and copyright, discuss their application in software and discover the difficulties in enforcement. 3. List the principles of data protection. 4. Identify the rights people have in relation to organisations holding their data. 5. Explain the procedure required by companies to remain within the law (in relation to data of individuals). 6. Refer specifically to the Data Protection Act and the Computer Misuse Act. 7. Discuss the legal implications of computer hacking, viruses and unauthorised access. 8. Discuss and distinguish between methods of authorised and unauthorised access. 9. Explain the differences between viruses, worms and Trojan horses. 10. Describe software vulnerabilities which are exploited and the techniques used in exploitation. 11. Suggest ways of avoiding exposure to malicious code. 12. Explain the general operation of anti-virus software. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. Increase awareness of the threats surrounding our data on the on-line world. 2. Distinguish between patent and copyright, discuss their application in software and discover the difficulties in enforcement. 3. List the principles of data protection. 4. Identify the rights people have in relation to organisations holding their data. 5. Explain the procedure required by companies to remain within the law (in relation to data of individuals). 6. Refer specifically to the Data Protection Act and the Computer Misuse Act. 7. Discuss the legal implications of computer hacking, viruses and unauthorised access. 8. Discuss and distinguish between methods of authorised and unauthorised access. 9. Explain the differences between viruses, worms and Trojan horses. 10. Describe software vulnerabilities which are exploited and the techniques used in exploitation. 11. Suggest ways of avoiding exposure to malicious code. 12. Explain the general operation of anti-virus software.

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Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Explain different threats on-line for a user. Explain the difference between patents and copyrights. Quote and discuss the Data Protection Act and the Compute Misuse Act. Recognise the legal applications associated with specific crimes. Distinguish between different types of malware and the methods to deal with them.

Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Recognise different on-line threats. Appraise the use of patents and copyrights while distinguishing between them. Adapt the Data Protection Act and the Computer Misuse Act as necessary. Relate crimes with their consequences. Recognise different vulnerabilities and threats to a particular system.

Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10315

Introduction to Front-end Web Development (4 ECTS) With today’s technological advances and the reduction in price for Internet subscription packages, browsing through different web pages is as normal as reading a magazine or a book. Thus, it is essential that computing students are exposed to the process of developing web pages. In this study unit students will be exposed to the techniques needed to be able to build simple web pages using HTML5 and CSS3. Furthermore, students are shown how to build such web pages using best-practice methodology as well as adopting a mobile-first approach. This study unit serves as a basis to other web development units.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Choose the right colours and fonts for a website. 2. Add multimedia interaction to a website. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Basic design principles. Developing a website. What HTML is and how it is able to display web pages. Use of HTML Tags. What is CSS. CSS properties. Develop webpages for multiple devices. Develop webpages for multiple resolutions.

Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Demonstrate how to write HTML/HTML5 script. Demonstrate how to write CSS3 scripts. Show if a website is using plugins. Add plugins to their webpages. Recognise how to develop scalable front end websites.

Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Criticize the overall design of a website. 2. Judge the quality of a website. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10333

Introduction to Algebra & Matrices (4 ECTS) A strong basis of algebra is essential for many disciplines within other mathematical and computing fields. This study unit thus enables the student to revise the work covered in Ordinary Level (or equivalent) relating to algebra and enables the student to build upon this knowledge to tackle more advanced problems in this field. Furthermore, this unit also introduces the student to the topic of matrices – a mathematical and convenient way of representing data in a table format. It introduces the student to the basic arithmetic operations involving matrices together with their use in the solution of simultaneous equations and transformations.

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Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Revise the use of directed numbers, fractions and BODMAS. Round numbers up or down depending on the required level of accuracy. Recognise the presence of surds. Identify the rules of indices. Carry out arithmetic operations involving surds and indices. Revise prime factorisation, highest common factors and lowest common multiples. Work out operations on polynomials including basic arithmetic, simplifying and expanding. Factorise polynomials through common factors. Factorise quadratic polynomials through common factors, difference of two squares and trinomials. 10. Evaluate sums involving algebraic fractions. 11. Factorise polynomials of degree of three or higher through the remainder/factor theorem. 12. Decompose algebraic fractions into their subsidiary partial fractions. 13. Evaluate expressions with the unknown in the power, using indices. 14. Identify the use of logarithms. 15. Identify and recall the laws of logarithms. 16. Convert between logarithmic form and index form. 17. Solve expressions with the unknown in the power, this time using logs. 18. Explain what a matrix is and use correct notation and terminology related to matrices. 19. Find the transpose of matrices. 20. Carry out arithmetic involving matrices including: addition, subtraction, scalar multiplication and matric multiplication. 21. Recognise the conditions necessary for matrix arithmetic. 22. Represent a system of linear equations in matrix notation and using the augmented matrix. 23. Solve a system of simultaneous equations in 2 unknowns using the inverse method. 24. Apply matrices in simple transformations.


Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. Revision of secondary school mathematics mainly involving directed numbers, algebra and fractions. 2. Manipulation of further algebraic techniques such as logarithms, remainder theorem and partial fractions. 3. The formulation and manipulation of matrices and their applications in transformations. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Work confidentially material from secondary school mathematics such as directed numbers, algebra and fractions. 2. Tackle problems involving furhter algebraic topics such as logarithms, remainder thoerem and partial fractions. 3. Use and manipulate matrices. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Identify which algebraic technique to use in a particular context. 2. Recognise the need of advanced topics of algebra. 3. Recognise where to use matrix operations and recognise where in which contexts these will be applied in. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10334

Introduction to Graphs (2 ECTS)

Learning Outcomes (Competencies):

Various units in computing programmes require good and proficient use of graphs which were studied in secondary school. This study unit thus enables the student to consolidate the work covered in Ordinary Level (or equivalent) related to this unit and builds upon this knowledge to be able to confidently sketch and interpret a variety of graphs.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Plot and identify points within the Cartesian co-ordinate system. Interpret and obtain equations of straight lines. Sketch and interpret graphs of straight lines. Define the concept of the function and identify what constitutes to a function. Define and obtain the domain and range of a given function. Combine functions using arithmetic operations and composite functions. Sketch the graphs of constant, linear, quadratic, cubic and simple rational functions. Sketch functions involving exponential and logarithmic functions.

Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. Revision of secondary school mathematics mainly involving graphs and functions. 2. Algebraic, logarithmic, exponential and simple trigonometric functions. 3. Graphs of basic functions and their transformations. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Work confidentially material from secondary school mathematics such as graphs and functions. 2. Tackle problems involving algebraic, logarithmic, exponential and simple trigonometric functions. 3. Sketch and interpret graphs of basic functions and their transformations. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Recognise and distinguish different functions. 2. Interpret and manipulate graphs of different functions. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10335

Introduction to Calculus (4 ECTS) This study unit introduces the student to a very important branch of mathematics. Calculus is the study of how things change and has very important applications relating to modelling and predictions. The unit looks into the three main branches of calculus; differentiation, integration and series. It provides the student with the mathematical foundations in these areas, necessary for applications which are found in other study units throughout the programme.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

Explain the concept of the gradient function. Recognise and use correct notations involving the first and second derivatives. Differentiate functions of the form y = axn. Differentiate functions using the chain rule, product rule and quotient rule. Use differentiation to find the critical points of a function. Determine the nature of critical points of functions by using the first and second derivatives. Find points of inflexion of a function. Sketch functions using all the information obtained above. Differentiate functions involving exand ln x. Distinguish between arithmetic and geometric series. Work out problems involving terms and sums of arithmetic and geometric progressions. Decide on whether a series converges and diverges and find the sum to infinity where possible. Express series in terms of the sigma notation. Expand series represented by the sigma notation and find their sums. Recognise and apply the notation for definite and indefinite integration. Carry out basic integration involving simple powers, logarithmic and exponential functions. Evaluate definite integrals in simple cases. Use integration to find the area under a curve or in between two curves.

Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1.

Differentiation and integration of basic rules and the application of such rules to more complex functions and graphs 2. Distinguishing between different types of series Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1.

Differentiate and integrate basic functions as well as apply these concepts in relation to curve sketching and areas under graphs. 2. Demonstrate and recognise the different types of series and solve problems using such series. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1.

Recognise the need for differentiation and integration and recognise where in which contexts these will be applied in. 2. Interpret problems involving series and recognise which series can be used in each case. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10337

Principles of Computing Architecture (4 ECTS) What do computing devices have in common? What are the basic building blocks of such devices? From laptops and tablets, to smartphones, game consoles and technological equipment at data centres, they all feature the main basic elements of an input-processoutput system and work with the binary system. Ultimately, all boils down to a series of ones and zeros, on and off signals or fluctuations in voltages and/or magnetism. But what is this all about? What does it entail? How are these stored, and how are they interpreted by the computer as instructions or data? This study unit is designed in order to answer all of these questions. It explores how the humble transistor, when connected in circuits, can in actual fact accomplish all of this. The unit gives the necessary understanding of the most basic of computer elements in order to understand the composition of the computer and how it works.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Determine the best computer architecture design for a given problem. 2. Identify client requirements and build or modify a system to suit their needs. 3. Assess a given system and report on its performance and any issues pertaining to the system that might have an adverse effect on the overall operations. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Outline the history of computers, including the five generations of computers. Explain the Von Neumann architecture. Explain the advantages of using the binary system in computing. Outline the difference between electronic, magnetic and optical memory. Explain how data are stored in these three types of memories. Explain main terms concerning memory, e.g. memory capacity, access time, transfer rate. Explain the components of the CPU and their functions. Explain how integers are represented in computers, e.g. using unsigned notation, signed magnitude notation, excess notation, and two’s complement notation. 9. Describe the functions of the operating system and its major components. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Design a system according to requirements and depending on the functionality of the system, its desired features and performance. 2. Assemble a system according to a given design. 3. Prepare, install, configure and test a system to ensure proper and reliable operation. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Compare and contrast between different systems and be able to select an appropriate one to cater for client’s needs. 2. Decide whether a given system is efficient and effective for the task at hand. 3. Determine the right course of action to be taken to troubleshoot a given system to minimise on the downtime and other consequences. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10339

Implementing & Querying Databases (3 ECTS) This study unit complements ‘SMc10340 :: Core Database Principles’, giving the student a practical approach to the design, implementation, testing and maintenance of databases. Applying the concepts learned in the core study unit, students are able to take a database project through its entire phases – from design to implementation and maintenance. This study unit goes through the theoretical concepts of data definition and data manipulation, and focuses on how these are effected through a query language such as SQL. Learns will have the opportunity to assess their implementation and come up with suggestions to improve the system overall, in the context of the applicable scenario and problem domain.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Develop a design for a database in terms of a set of relations, given a written statement of the data requirements (scenario). 2. Implement a database based on an initial database design. 3. Query a database in terms of given criteria and be able to issue reports accordingly. 4. Take appropriate measures to improve the overall efficiency of databases and querying. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Express and query a database through a language such as an SQL dialect. Express and implement a database system using query language. Define the data objects at the conceptual level. Define integrity constraints.

Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Become proficient in creating databases using a query language such as SQL. Use data definition language to specify the data types and constraints on the data. Use data manipulation language to insert, update, delete and retrieve data. Transform and implement natural language queries.

Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Assess the performance of a query and determine appropriate action where needed. 2. Decide on a path to troubleshoot issues pertaining to a database system and querying, and take appropriate action accordingly. Learning Outcomes (Communication): 1. Be able to produce query results which are meaningful and present them appropriately in a manner than can be easily understood by non-technical persons. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10340

Core Database Principles (3 ECTS) Data is at the core of every information system and the overall usefulness, effectiveness and efficiency of a system, very much depends on the quality of its data. This study unit gives a wide perspective of databases, but focuses on relational database systems, predominantly used by businesses across many industries and sectors. The study unit introduces the student to the three main components required to design and maintain database systems: database concepts, database design (including ERD modelling) and normalisation techniques. The study unit introduces the student towards a solid understanding of the underlying concepts in databases such as relational theory and set theory. These concepts are then applied to good practices in terms of database design and modelling using different design notations. Finally, the students are exposed to the process of finetuning designs by looking at, and solving common issues of data handling such as entity-relational traps and data anomalies and inconsistencies, along with way of preventing each.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Develop a design for a database in terms of a set of relations, given a written statement of the data requirements (scenario). 2. Implement a database based on an initial database design. 3. Query a database in terms of given criteria and be able to issue reports accordingly. 4. Take appropriate measures to improve the overall efficiency of databases and querying. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Express and query a database through a language such as an SQL dialect. Express and implement a database system using query language. Define the data objects at the conceptual level. Define integrity constraints.

Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Become proficient in creating databases using a query language such as SQL. Use data definition language to specify the data types and constraints on the data. Use data manipulation language to insert, update, delete and retrieve data. Transform and implement natural language queries.

Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Assess the performance of a query and determine appropriate action where needed. 2. Decide on a path to troubleshoot issues pertaining to a database system and querying, and take appropriate action accordingly. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10341

Foundations of Information Systems (7 ECTS)

Learning Outcomes (Competencies):

This study unit examines the role that information systems play in enabling organisations implement their business strategy and in helping them achieve, and maintain, a competitive advantage. It looks at the different types of information systems that are deployed in organisations, and the importance and impact of each type. The focus is from a business perspective rather than a purely technical one. The unit identifies the three models of information system design – focusing on the data model, the decision making model and the transaction cost model – and explores their organisational implications, suggesting which model would be best suited for adoption in specific cases. It also covers the key concepts of strategy, technology infrastructure and implementation issues, and introduces the concepts of electronic commerce.along with way of preventing each.

1. Give a balanced opinion on whether the investment on a planned information system is justified, in the light of the benefits that its implementation will bring to an organisation. 2. Recommend the best model on which a new information system should be designed. 3. Recommend to management the best way to procure a new information system in order to maximise return on investment.

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Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. Define the fundamental concepts needed for understanding information technology in organisations from information systems theory, organisation theory and economics perspectives. 2. Distinguish between the different approaches used to design information systems: the decisionmaking model, the transaction cost model and the data model. 3. Recognize new, critical ideas in management thinking related to the use and implementation of information technology in organizations. 4. Describe contemporary information technologies including computer hardware, software and networking. 5. Describe changes in contemporary approaches to the management of the information systems function within organisations. 6. Indicate how information systems, including e-commerce, may be used to help an organisation achieve its strategic objectives. 7. Describe the key issues that managers need to address in order to maximise investment in information systems. 8. Recognise that the implementation of a new information system is not solely dependent on the technology but also on the organisation’s complementary assets. 9. Describe the different options available to procure software, and recognise the advantages and disadvantages of each option.


Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Evaluate the different approaches that may be taken when planning a new information system. 2. Consider the holistic needs of the organisation, from the low end users through the levels of management, to ensure that an information system meets the demands of all stakeholders. 3. Appraise the complementary assets of an organisation and determine their impact on a planned information system. 4. Appraise the information requirements of the various users and levels of management when planning a new information system. 5. Evaluate the strategic fit of a planned information system to corporate strategy. 6. Determine the overall benefit a planned information system will accrue to the organisation. 7. Assess the different options to procure software, and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Prescribe the best underlying model on which a new information system should be designed. 2. Identify whether a planned information system is feasible or not and whether it should be implemented. 3. Identify and recommend the best option for the procurement of a new information system depending on the relative circumstances. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10342

Implementing Information Systems (7 ECTS) This study unit builds on ‘SMc10341 :: Foundations of Information Systems’. It delves into the importance of efficient communications, and the part played by the advances in communication technologies in promoting the importance of the World Wide Web as a commercial vehicle in today’s commercial world. It also introduces the human element in Information Systems, and the various ethical and social issues linked to them, like for example resistance to change. The unit emphasizes on the importance of information security, detailing a number of security threats to information systems, and the tools and techniques available to mitigate these threats. Finally it covers the different methodologies, together with the relevant techniques, that may be adopted to develop an information system for an organization.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Recommend a data and voice communications strategy. 2. Recommend tools and techniques to counter particular security threats. 3. Recommend solutions to counter ethical and social issues that may negatively impact the implementation of information systems. 4. Recommend methodologies to be used to develop information systems depending on particular circumstances. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. Define contemporary communications technologies including different wired and wireless transmission methods of voice and data. 2. Describe how information and communications technologies change organisations and industrial structures, using appropriate models. 3. Recognise the importance of the human element within organisational information systems, and the human interests such systems serve including automation of tasks, support for processes of management and decision-making. 4. Describe the ethical and social issues faced by management in implementing and managing information systems. 5. Describe the different threats to information security faced by organizations, and have an understanding of the tools and techniques that may be employed to safeguard security. 6. Differentiate between the alternative approaches to developing information systems based on different paradigms such as structured analysis and design methodologies and object-oriented techniques. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 7. Compare the different methods of data and voice communication within an organisation and with the outside world. 8. Appraise the different security threats posed by the varying methods of communication. 9. Appraise the tools available to counter such security threats. 10. Appraise ethical and social implications when designing and implementing information systems. 11. Appraise the methodologies that can be used in particular situations for the development of an information system.

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Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Determine which methods of data and voice communication that are applicable in a particular scenario. 2. Identify potential security threats posed by the methods of communication chosen. 3. Recommend tools to counter such security threats. 4. Investigate ethical and social issues that may impact the designing and implementation of information systems. 5. Recommend solutions to eliminate or reduce such issues. 6. Recommend appropriate methodologies to be used in particular situations for the development of an information system. Learning Outcomes (Communication): 1. Draw and/or interpret various models that are used by system analysts to communicate with users to ensure that the correct functional requirements have been identified. 2. Draw and/or interpret various models that are used by system designers to communicate with development staff to ensure that the system caters for the functional requirements. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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Elective Units In addition to the compulsory units (Page 6), a combination of subjects to a minimum total of 13 ECTS’s, taken from Groups CDS, PSE, UEX and JBX.

Group JBX - Job Experience Code

SMc10345

ECTS Value

3

Study Unit

Job Shadowing Programme

Group CDS - Computing, Databases & Security Code

SMc10301 SMc10314 SMc10338

ECTS Value

3 2 4

Study Unit

Introduction to Data Communications Introduction to Information Security Intermediate Computing Architecture

Group PSE - Programming and Software Engineering Code

SMc10307

ECTS Value

7

Study Unit

Intermediate Java Programming

Group UEX - User Experience Code

SMc10344

ECTS Value

4

Study Unit

Introduction to Interaction Design

and SMc10336 - Maths for Business (2 ECTS)

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SMc10301

Introduction to Data Communications (3 ECTS) Computer networks have become an integral part of our society and lifestyles. From sharing of resources in an office layout, to social networks and to the many other applications on the Internet, it is difficult to imagine our lives without networking. This study unit introduces the student to what lies beneath the networks we use. It looks into the standards and protocols which help our networks to operate smoothly on a day to day basis. The unit introduces the student to both hardware and software perspectives of networking, focusing in particular on the OSI and TCP/IP reference models.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Define a computer network and its advantages and uses. Define basic terminology related to data communications and networking. Identify different types and sources of noise in data communications. Distinguish between networks and internets. Identify the different topologies and discuss their limitations and applications. Classify networks according to their scale, connection method, network architecture and topology. 7. Discuss different technologies associated with wired and wireless networks. 8. Identify and discuss circuit and packet switching. 9. Distinguish between logical and physical addresses. 10. Discuss the needs and advantages of layer architectures in computer networking. 11. Identify the different models of such architectures and be able to explain the main functions of each layer. 12. Distinguish between the roles and applications of the different intermediate devices found in computer networks. 13. Recognise the role and importance of standards (or protocols) in computer networking. 14. Recognise some of the main standardisation bodies. 15. Discuss in some detail the headers of TCP and IP. 16. Relate how such headers are used for a number of operations relating to TCP/IP, namely: opening and closing connections; routing; flow control and reliable data transmission. 17. Identify the different classes of IP addresses. 18. Use subnet masks to break down IP addresses into network, subnet and host IDs. 19. Discuss the reasons for the shortage of IP addresses and ways of dealing with this shortage. 20. Identify and distinguish between addresses and properties of IPv4 and IPv6. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

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Definitions and terminology associated with data communications and computer networks Important distinctions in networking Main ways of classifying networks The different technologies associated with computer networks The role of standards and protocols in networking A selection of standardization bodies Details relating to TCP and IP and how these are used for various operations in networking Concepts and needs of subnetting Different versions of IP


Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Adequately define terms associated with data communications and computer networks. 2. Classify networks according to their scale, connection method, architecture and topology. 3. Classify and recall the different technologies associated with computer networks. 4. Recall different standardization bodies and their roles in computer networking. 5. Work simple problems involving subnetting. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Identify aspects of computer networking and data communications outside of the classroom and this unit. 2. Design and analyse networks according to their connection methods. 3. Select the most appropriate technology for a particular situation. 4. Apply concepts of subnetting. 5. Research different standards from various authorities according to the given situation. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10336

Maths for Business (2 ECTS) This study unit aims at directing the student to apply different mathematical concepts to solve practical problems within a business and economic context. Typical examples and areas covered include appreciation and depreciation, maximum profit, market equilibrium, supplydemand and interest.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Apply the theories of the straight line in business and economics applications: production constraints, linear depreciation fixed and marginal costs, profit, budget and isocost lines. Apply the theories of the straight line in business and economics applications: production constraints, linear depreciation fixed and marginal costs, profit, budget and isocost lines. Apply the theories of the straight line in business and economics applications: production constraints, linear depreciation fixed and marginal costs, profit, budget and isocost lines. Apply matrices in simple business problems. Represent and manipulate linear inequalities. Identify regions of a graph represented by an inequality. Sketch feasible regions defined by simultaneous linear inequalities. Solve linear programming problems graphically using the extreme point theorem. Apply differentiation in business and economics applications: marginal revenue and cost; average revenue and cost; maximum and minimum points of an economic function. Relate and work out problems involving growth rates. Distinguish between simple and compound interest. Calculate values using simple interest, annual compounding, multiple compounding and continuous compounding. Solve business problems through geometric series. Apply integration in business and economics applications: total cost or revenue of a function from their marginal equivalent; finding consumer and producer surplus.

Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1.

Applying the understanding of various mathematical topics in finance dealing with algebra, graphs, matrices and calculus.

Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Identify the topic behind a particular financial problem. 2. Tackle confidentially financial problems involving algebra, graphs, matrices and calculus. material from secondary school mathematics such as graphs and functions. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1.

Recognise the need for differentiation and integration and recognise where in which contexts these will be applied in. 2. Interpret problems of finance and recognise which series can be used for implementation. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10338

Intermediate Computing Architecture (4 ECTS) Everyday we witness computer devices becoming smaller, faster and more efficient. We see new operating systems coming on the market, promising more functionality than ever before. But how is all of this achieved? How does the computer interpret what the user wants into instructions that a device can understand? This study unit builds on ‘SMc10337 :: Principles of Computing Architecture’ by looking into the inner workings of the CPU and what techniques are used in order to optimize its performance. We also look into the Operating System and the differences between different kinds of Operating Systems. We shall see how operating systems try to make optimal use of the devices connected in order to provide the user with responsive interaction.

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Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Recognise client requirements and build or modify a system to suit their needs. 2. Select the right hardware and software environment needed to support the needs of an organisation. 3. Examine the implications of particular setups on the performance, availability and reliability of a given system. 4. Assess a given system and report on its performance and any issues pertaining to the system that might have an adverse effect on the overall operations. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Explain how data are stored in these three types of memories. Explain how main memory is constructed using logic gates. Explain the components of the CPU and their functions. Explain the instruction format and the instruction cycle. Illustrate how the CPU executes instructions using a concrete example. Explain how integers are represented in computers, e.g. using unsigned notation, signed magnitude notation, excess notation, and two’s complement notation. 7. Explain how characters are represented in computers, e.g. using ASCII and Unicode. 8. Explain how colours, images, sound and movies are represented in computers. 9. Explain how integers are represented in computers, e.g. using unsigned notation, signed magnitude notation, excess notation, and two’s complement notation. 10. Explain the concept of process, and describe the process control block. 11. Explain how the long-term, short-term and medium-term schedulers operate on processes and the process queues. 12. Explain how the operating system manages memory by using techniques such as swapping, partitioning, paging, demand paging and virtual memory.


Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Design a system according to requirements and depending on the functionality of the system, desired features and performance. 2. Assemble a system according to a given design. 3. Prepare, install, configure and test a system to ensure proper and reliable operation. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Compare and contrast between different systems and be able to select an appropriate one to cater for client’s needs 2. Decide whether a given system is efficient and effective for the task at hand 3. Decide on the right architecture and evnironment necessary to support a given situation 4. Determine the right course of action to be taken to troubleshoot a given system to minimise on the downtime and other consequences Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10344

Introduction to Interaction Design (4 ECTS) Why do we design? How should we design? When should we design? Interaction design does not just happen. It has to be the philosophical foundation of and motivation behind any software. From the design of information systems to the design computer games, the user has to be kept at the centre of the process. This is easier said than done without the right tools and approach. We start this study unit by seeing how the relationship between users and machines evolved throughout the years and understanding what makes a user in the 21st century. Having said that, who is the user? Does the average user exist? This unit also provides an introductory background about the psychological and sociological profiles of users and what makes us all different. It is at this point that we can start venturing into the tools needed to deliver meaningful experience design. We will be exploring the importance of usability while practicing the principles of sketching tools and approaches to create initial prototypes that generate conversations and instigate feedback.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Gain a historical perspective of the field. Identify user profile with respect to psychology and social context. Sketch illustrations that facilitate the appreciation of software and its use. Design information for different scenarios.

Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. Recognise the importance of Usability. 2. Recognise and recall principles of design. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 3. Apply the principles of this field in relationship to other disciplines (e.g. Software Development, Psychology and Engineering). 4. Make use of usability concepts in appreciating, using and building interactive solutions for a range of applications. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 5. Crticise and improve interface designs. 6. Choose a User Centered Design approach. Learning Outcomes (Communication): 1. Sketch software interfaces. 2. Report on design principles that are present or missing in a given interface. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

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SMc10345

Job Shadowing Programme (3 ECTS) Through the job shadowing programme, students spend forty hours spread over a number of weeks on site with an expert in an industrial company. This will either take place during study days within scholastic terms or as appropriate. As observers, students will have the opportunity to see how the professional goes about their daily tasks. Job shadowing gives students the opportunity to meet professionals and better understand the work culture. One can ask questions, find out the challenges professionals face, and learn from their experience. Above all, this is an excellent opportunity for students to get started on networking. The more experience and dedication students demonstrate in their field of interest, the more attractive they will be as candidates in the future.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Perform duties in a supervised environment. 2. Identify issues and/or questions and put them forward to their supervisors to attain help in a given situation. 3. Prepare report as needed regarding the status of a particular task. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. Obtaining understanding of the work culture. 2. Gaining knowledge of typical challenges faced by an organisation. 3. Gaining knowledge in the respective subject area. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Work on small tasks provided as deemed necessary by their supervisor. Get used to the dynamic and relationship between the employer and superiors. Report on the status of tasks. Identify and tackle issues that may crop up during execution of a given task. Discuss issues with supervisors or senior employers.

Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of presentations and reports.

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Glossary National Commission for Further & Higher Education (NCFHE)

The NCFHE was officially launched on the 14th September 2012 and is legislated by the revised Education Act’ which came into force on the 1st August 2012. Their mission statement is:

Higher Education

All non-compulsory non-formal and informal learning or research which serves to obtain a national qualification classified at Level 5 of the Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF) or higher, or a foreign qualification at a comparable level.

Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF)

The MQF assists in making the Maltese qualifications system easier to understand and review, and more transparent at a national and international level. The framework is also a referencing tool that helps to describe and compare both national and foreign qualifications to promote quality, transparency and mobility of qualifications in all types of education.

European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The ECTS is a system adopted by the European Union authorities to determine the value of a learning experience of a student at every level. 60 ECTS is equivalent to 5 contact hours to every credit which may include formal lectures, tutorials, supervised group work and other learning activities which are under the guidance of a lecturer and 15 hours of student self-study.

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“To foster the development and achievement of excellence in further and higher education in Malta through research, effective licensing, accreditation, quality assurance and recognition of qualifications established under the Malta Qualifications Framework.”


Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes are statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process. Learning outcomes are used to express the requirements or standards set by the qualifications. They serve a variety of purposes: to recognise prior learning; to award credit; to ensure quality; to improve credibility; to increase transparency.

Academic Year

The academic year is spread over 36 weeks, 12 weeks for the Autumn semester (Oct to Dec), 12 weeks for the Winter semester (Jan to Mar) and 12 weeks for the Spring semester (Apr – Jun). Full-Time – lectures are normally scheduled from Monday to Thursday between 08.30Hrs and 20.00Hrs, with the possibility that lectures may also be scheduled on Fridays and/or Saturdays. Evening – lectures are normally scheduled between 18.00Hrs and 20.00Hrs from Monday to Friday, with the possibility that lectures may also be scheduled on Saturday mornings from 08.30Hrs to 10.30Hrs or between 10.45Hrs to 12.45Hrs. You will need to attend a two-hour lecture every week for each course chosen and alternate weeks in the case of half courses. Lectures falling on a public holiday will be reschedule on a Friday between 18.00Hrs to 20.00Hrs.

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Phone +356 21235451 infodesk@stmartins.edu ©2017 Saint Martin’s Institute of higher Education Higher Education Institute License no. 196 by NCFHE

Diploma in Computing with Information systems  

The Malta Qualification Framework (MQF) Level 5 Diploma is aimed at students who wish to have a grounding of computing as implemented in org...

Diploma in Computing with Information systems  

The Malta Qualification Framework (MQF) Level 5 Diploma is aimed at students who wish to have a grounding of computing as implemented in org...

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