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«Brochure 2015 Table of Contents 1. Research in Informatics (Information Systems) 1.1 Informatics (Information Systems) as discipline 1.2 Research ...»

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Department of Informatics

MCom (Informatics) and

MIT (Information Systems)

Brochure 2015

Table of Contents

1. Research in Informatics (Information Systems)

1.1 Informatics (Information Systems) as discipline

1.2 Research areas in the Department of Informatics

1.3 Objective of Masters studies (research)

2. Admission requirements and procedures

2.1 Academic requirements

2.2 Application procedure

3. Supervision

3.1 The role of the supervisor

3.2 The role of the student

4. Registration and re-registration

5. Submission

6. Informatics Seminar information (INF830)

6.1 MCom(Informatics) / MIT(Information Systems) – Lecturer’s details

6.2 Prescribed books

6.3 Dates and Venues

6.4 Assessments

6.5 Syllabi 2015

6.5.1 Seminar topics

6.5.2 INF890: Dissertation

7. Important information and web addresses

8. International students


How to avoid plagiarism

Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It

Avoiding Plagiarism

You may use material written by other people, but then the thing to do is to cite the material

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What is plagiarism?


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1. Research in Informatics (Information Systems)

1.1 Informatics (Information Systems) as discipline Modern organizations cannot function without information and the technology with which they gather, store, compute and make available the information. The successful application of technology is, however, more than just writing computer programs. Computer programs are important, but an understanding of the business within which the organization functions and an understanding of the use of information and information technology to support the objectives of the organization, are

far more important. This can clearly be seen in the description of the discipline:

Informatics (Information Systems) is a multi-disciplinary subject, where information, Information Systems, and the integration thereof into the organization, are studied for the benefit of the entire system (individual, organization and community).

1.2 Research areas in the Department of Informatics In general research in the department deals with fundamental concepts of information and information systems, humans as part of the information system and the broader system and IS in service of the organization and the community.

The three focus areas are

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A detailed summary of each faculty member’s research interest can be found at http://informatics.up.ac.za.

1.3 Objective of Masters studies (research) A Masters graduate has an in-depth and broad knowledge of a specialized area of the discipline, is well versed in the scientific method and has proven through independent and guided research that he/she can apply the scientific method in a scientific study. The candidate must submit a research article (which might be presented to a journal for possible publication) together with the dissertation at the end of the Masters studies.

2. Admission requirements and procedures

2.1 Academic requirements A prospective Masters student must be in possession of a four year degree in IT/IS or must be admitted to that status by the Dean. An attainment of at least 65% for the honours degree in IT/IS (or equivalent) or fourth year is required. International students see point 8.

All students are expected to enroll for INF830. The Informatics Seminar has course code INF 830 but this is not a credit bearing module. During the seminars candidates will be guided towards writing a research proposal. Candidates must obtain at least 50% for the assignments during the seminar in order to proceed with the Masters studies.

More information about the seminars is given in point 6.

2.2 Application procedure  A Masters candidate must apply for the degree on-line at www.up.ac.za. The MCom(Informatics) is administered by the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences whereas the MIT(IS) degree is administered by the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology.

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 The candidate will be informed of the status of the application.

3. Supervision The success of the Masters studies depends to a large extent on the successful partnership between the student and supervisor. All students will receive a copy of the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) required by UP via e-mail from Rhona van der Merwe. This MOU needs to be signed by the supervisor and student.

According to the MOU and to the rules within the department, each of the role players has certain responsibilities as

described below:

3.1 The role of the supervisor  The most important role of the supervisor is to guide the student and not to give active assistance to the student.

 The supervisor expects regular contact (either face to face or via e-mail) - at least once every three months. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange these sessions and to report on his/her progress during these sessions.

 These reports must be clearly written in an acceptable standard of English. It is not the supervisor’s duty to do “rough editing” and (s)he will merely concentrate on contents and structure.

 The supervisor will give feedback on any submitted work within one month.

 The supervisor has to provide motivation to faculty administration for continuation of the Mastsers study if its duration exceeds three years.

3.2 The role of the student  It is the student’s responsibility to arrange sessions (either contact or virtual) with the supervisor and to submit written reports for discussion.

 The student has to determine whether no other similar study has already been undertaken.

 The student is responsible to arrange for language editing and to apply the correct referencing styles.

 The student has to write the research proposal under guidance of the supervisor and other lecturers.

4. Registration and re-registration Once the application has been approved, the candidate need to register on-line for INF830, MCom(Informatics) or MIT(IS), from 2 January 2015.

MCom(Informatics) candidates can also register at Marie Muller, EBW Faculty administration, (012 420 3322), catharina.muller@up.ac.za.

Candidates can also register at Dawn Taljaard, Eng 1, level 6, (012) 4204095, dawn.taljaard@up.ac.za Student have to register for the Master’s degree every year of their studies. From the fourth year of registration the student will need a permission letter from the supervisor to be able to register.

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30 June/ 27 February: student informs the supervisor that he/she plans to submit before 31 August/ 30 April.

31/August/30 April: student submits signed submission form and examination copies (ring bound and electronic copies) 15 January/ 15 June – e-copies with corrections as suggested by external examiners, received from students; supervisors check that all corrections have been done; student submits UPeTD upload form;

22 January/ 22 June: student submits hardbound copies.

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6.4 Assessments There will be assignments during the seminars as well as a research proposal. You need at least 50% for each of these assignments and research proposal in order to carry on with your dissertation. Note that the seminar does not carry any credits but serves as prerequisite for the dissertation/thesis. There are NO aegrotates or supplementary examinations on postgraduate level. Students who miss a module test or exam will have to repeat the whole course.

6.5 Syllabi 2015

6.5.1 Seminar topics  The philosophy behind the main research paradigms in IS research. These are the positivist, interpretive and critical social paradigms. Students are challenged to become aware of and question the underlying assumptions in IS thinking.

 A discussion of various Information Systems Theories, including systems, social and information theory as applied in Informatics.

 Research methods and approaches in Information Systems.

6.5.2 INF890: Dissertation The compulsory dissertation is typically a 35000 word individual report of independent research under the guidance of a

supervisor. The purpose of the dissertation is to demonstrate that:

 The student can plan and execute research  The student can interpret some practical context in terms of the theory presented in the courses and come to appropriate conclusions  That the student can interpret and present his/her research findings.

7. Important information and web addresses

Important Web addresses: Information on all Informatics postgraduate courses can be found on the web at:

–  –  –

Please contact the Client Services Centre at csc@up.ac.za (e-mail) for information regarding fees and bursaries, and/or visit http://web.up.ac.za/default.asp?ipkCategoryID=121 Please consult the following websites for general information and for information on the correct application procedure

Details about M.IT and other IT programmes in the School of IT:

–  –  –

Information Science:

http://web.up.ac.za/default.asp?ipkCategoryID=2074 OR http://is.up.ac.za.

Computer Science (Honours) http://www.cs.up.ac.za/content.php?spc=dc Computer Science (Postgraduate) http://www.cs.up.ac.za/content.php?spc=dd Please contact csc@up.ac.za for information on other courses.

8. International students http://web.up.ac.za/default.asp?ipkCategoryID=92 International students have to provide proof of SAQA accreditation. In some cases the TOEFL/IELTS tests might required.

SAQA: www.saqa.org.za TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language): www.ets.org/toefl IELTS (International English Language Testing System): www.ielts.org Also compare http://scarlacc.up.ac.za/CEatUP/default.aspx for information on certificate courses.

For academic information regarding postgraduate courses in Informatics, please contact Mrs Rhona van der Merwe at rhona.vandermerwe@up.ac.za


The Merriam Webster dictionary defines plagiarism as:

 to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source  to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

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The Encyclopædia Britannica defines plagiarism as:

 the act of taking the writings of another person and passing them off as one's own.

 The fraudulence is closely related to forgery and piracy—practices generally in violation of copyright laws.

"plagiarism" Encyclopædia Britannica http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=61807 [Accessed September 3,2002].

Plagiarism is illegal and you can be expelled from the university if you plagiarise.

With all information available on the World Wide Web, it is probably very tempting to cut and paste parts of articles for assignments and so on, but remember that this is illegal and that the lecturers can find the sites very easily themselves.

How to avoid plagiarism

There are a number of sites on the World Wide Web that deal with issues around plagiarism:

Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/wts/plagiarism.html Avoiding Plagiarism http://sja.ucdavis.edu/avoid.htm#mexamples You may use material written by other people, but then the thing to do is to cite the material Guide to Citation Style Guides http://bailiwick.lib.uiowa.edu/journalism/cite.html



Harvard Style:

An updated version of the EMS document on Harvard referencing is available at:

http://www.ais.up.ac.za/eco/referencing.htm References/Bibliography HARVARD STYLE http://www.library.uq.edu.au/training/citation/harvard.html

–  –  –

What is plagiarism?

You commit plagiarism when in any written work you use another person’s words, ideas or opinions without acknowledging them as being from that other person. You do this when you copy the work word-by-word (verbatim); or submit someone else’s work in a slightly altered form (such as changing a word with one meaning to another word with the same meaning); and you do not acknowledge the borrowing in a way that shows from whom or where you took the words, ideas or reasoning.

You must provide references whenever you quote (use the exact words), paraphrase (use the ideas of another person, in your own words) or summarise (use the main points of another’s opinions, theories or data).

It does not matter how much of the other person’s work you use (whether it is one sentence or a whole paragraph), or whether you do it unintentionally or on purpose. If you present the work as you own without acknowledging that person, you are committing theft.

Because of this, plagiarism is regarded as a very serious contravention of the University’s rules which can lead to expulsion from the University.

Even if another student gives you permission to use one of his or her past assignments or other research to hand in as you own, you are not allowed to do it. It is another form of plagiarism. You are also not allowed to let anybody copy your work with the intention of passing it off as his/her work.

While academic staff must teach you about systems of referencing, and how to avoid plagiarism, you too need to take responsibility for your own academic career. Speak to your lecturer if you are at any stage uncertain as to what is required.

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