IS Degrees: Sociotechnical or Technosocial? A Reflective Analysis

Conference paper


This paper describes a reflective and empirical investigation by staff involved in delivery of the Heriot-Watt University Information Systems undergraduate degree. It looks particularly at the practical relevance of the IS 2010 model curriculum, asking to what extent the Heriot-Watt University Information Systems teaching staff supports the model and identifying areas of conflicting opinion. These are compared with empirical evidence of relevance to employability in the form of statistics on graduate destinations from cohorts in 2010 and 2011. An IS virtual alumni forum was set up for past students to debate the IS degree and discuss areas of relevance to careers and suggestions for further improvement. In agreement with the IS 2010 model, graduate discussion and working panel reflection both propose the inclusion of a project management course. Graduates also suggest the need for more specialised technical skills in software and web development and a stronger grounding in spreadsheet application software including statistical processing methods. In agreement with the working panel, graduates state the importance of having quality experienced teaching delivered with skill and enthusiasm. Further work is then proposed to encourage continuous reflective practice and enhance student experience.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computing ScienceHeriot-Watt UniversityEdinburghUK

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