Master of Information Sciences

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Focus on information sciences

The Master of Information Sciences will give you in-depth knowledge and expertise in information sciences.

What is it like?

Studying towards your master's is a satisfying and challenging process that will give you a sought-after postgraduate qualification. If you want to gain a more detailed understanding of an area of study, either for interest, or to perhaps move up the hierarchy in your career, you should consider this qualification.

Some courses in the Master of Information Sciences provide an overview of current general topics (for example, cyber security).  Other courses have a strong focus on specific technical areas (for example, computer graphics). These technical courses require an appropriate background as the content is at an advanced level. The best preparation for these courses is to complete several appropriate computer science courses at 300-level.

In demand

Employers are always seeking increasing numbers of staff. Look at the SEEK website to see the demand for ICT professionals in New Zealand. The majority of the hiring is taking place because of increased demand and new projects.

High demand areas include software development, analysis, network security, project management and data/database. Graduates who hold a Master of Information Sciences from Massey are well placed to find a career in these, and other, areas.

What will you learn?

During your study you will learn how to apply problem-solving and analytical thinking skills to the analysis of, and solutions to, general software-based problems within the broader ICT community.

You will gain skills in evaluating policies and processes used in the design, construction, testing and maintenance of advanced technological solutions in order to make informed strategic decisions.

Topics you will study include

  • (Computer Science) Artificial intelligence, computer graphics, computer vision, parallel and distributed computing, operating systems and advanced computer systems.
  • (Information Technology) Systems security, geoinformatics, research methods, software development, user requirements.
  • (No subject) Project management, marketing or an elective (your choice)

Flexibility of focus

The Master of Information Sciences gives you the option to focus and major in computer science (including topics such as artificial intelligence and graphics) or information technology (including topics such as geoinformatics and security) or software engineering (a mix of these two areas). Or you have the freedom to select no subject and mix and match the topics that interest you the most. All students should start by selecting “no subject” for maximum flexibility.  You can change to a particular subject at the end of your first semester of study.

Find which pathway is best for you

The Master of Information Sciences provides you with two pathways – the professional pathway and the research pathway. You don’t even have to select a pathway when you enrol as all students start by selecting 60 credits of taught courses in their first semester. At the end of the first semester you decide if you want to continue with the professional pathway (select another 60 credits of taught courses followed by a 60 credit project) or the research pathway (120 credit thesis). The research pathway is best for students wanting to continue to PhD study.

Accessible lecturers

We work to help you succeed. Massey University offers smaller classes and more personalised learning, giving you greater access to lecturers and the help you need to succeed and thrive during your master’s study.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Information Sciences will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

A good fit if you:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree (or graduate diploma) in information sciences or equivalent degree
  • Have achieved at least a B grade average in your previous degree or graduate diploma
  • Want to progress your career to the next level or
  • Want to be involved in advanced research (for example, PhD)
Dion Shepherd
Master of Information Sciences (Computer Science)
Graduated in 2015

“I believe Massey set me up very well to succeed in my chosen field of computer science…”

One of the things I found most useful about Massey’s master’s degree was getting to work with a company and see the real world applications of my learning. I think that made it so much easier to slip straight into a developer role, as I already understood the inner workings of real companies.

The way the programme at Massey is structured, from learning the basics of programming up to introducing more complex high level languages later in the degree, is a very successful method.

I was working full-time up until I turned 26 when I decided to get a degree. I had always liked messing around with computers and had built a few with friends over the years so it just seemed like a natural progression.

I went around all of the major universities that offered computer science. I met Chris (Scogings) at Massey who offered me the best advice on computer science. I also liked the idea of the small class sizes (compared to somewhere like Auckland) and I liked how the programs were structured at Massey.

My first year was hard, trying to get myself accustomed to studying again. Things got easier through second and third years when I realised that, because of the small class sizes, the computer science faculty were easy to approach and always willing to help out.

A highlight of my study was a summer internship with some of the staff and their research fields. It was very interesting to get involved in real world research.

I really enjoyed my honours degree too. I got to work closer with our lecturers and we had discussions around new technologies and new advancements in computer science on a more peer-to-peer basis.

Now I am a full time developer. That involves anything from website development, to server maintenance and mobile app development.

Careers

A Master of Information Sciences gives you the best of theory and practice in information sciences. You will have the ability to run projects in professional practice and it is a stepping stone into a leadership role. It will open up greater opportunities in your career, more quickly.

Earn more

A 2017 Ministry of Education publication The post-study earnings and destinations of young domestic graduates, found that in New Zealand:

  • Young master’s graduates earn more than one and a half times more than the national median (five years after study)
  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed
  • Five years after completion, the median earnings of young master’s graduates are 15% higher than for those with a bachelor’s degree.

World-leading lecturers

Massey’s information sciences staff are internationally renowned for their research and teaching and learning methods. You will be working with recognised science practitioners, like:

Associate Professor Ian Bond

Associate Professor Ian Bond is an internationally-recognised computer scientist and astrophysicist. He is the principal investigator for MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics), an international astronomy study. His research projects at Massey have focused on microlensing, the most recent project developing computer software that has led to the internationally-significant discovery of free-floating ‘orphan’ planets that has major implications for understanding the dynamics of solar systems.

The MOA study focuses on a segment of roughly 50 million stars at the centre of the Milky Way, which are 25,000 light years away and are a fragment of the estimated 100-400 billion stars and 50 billion planets in the galaxy.

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