Department of Information Science

Stellenbosch University

Undergraduate Modules as offered prior to 2024

This page documents undergraduate modules offered by the Department of Information Science up to and including 2023. From 2024, an all-new curriculum will be offered which is documented on the Undergraduate Modules page. Please note that this page exists for existing and past students who have already completed the below modules.

These modules were presented to students in multiple faculties. In the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, the modules fell under the name Information Systems Management (ISM). In the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the modules fell under the name Socio-Informatics (SI). Please take note that the modules Socio-Informatics 114 and 144 still exist, but with revised content. The updated descriptions are available on the Undergraduate Modules page.

Socio-Informatics 114

Credits: 12

This module traces the history and drivers of global change in society from a scientific, economic, industrial and technological perspective, leading up to the modern knowledge economy. The turning points that radically transformed society and altered the course of history since the emergence of the early civilizations are examined in terms of their contributing causes, main actors and transformative effects. The module also considers various social and economic implications of the most recent technological revolution – the digital revolution.

Socio-Informatics 144

Credits: 12

This module lays the foundation for understanding the role of computation in the modern knowledge economy. It begins with a whirlwind tour of the history of computing and the Internet — arguably two of the biggest advances in humankind, accelerating rapidly in the last four decades. This leads naturally to a discussion of computational thinking in general, and an introduction to some of its cornerstones — abstraction and symbolic representation, critical thinking, designing and reasoning about algorithms, and pattern recognition. The module also introduces a selection of impactful application areas in computing, in particular e-commerce (online shopping, but also interaction with other companies), and information- and cyber-security — the much needed defences against the newest criminal and international threats.

Socio-Informatics / Information Systems Management 212

Credits: 8

This module focuses on elements of information systems development such as organisational management and the networked enterprise, information technology infrastructure, securing information systems, key system applications for the digital age, managing knowledge and building managing systems. The business environment in which information systems are built is becoming increasingly complex and dynamic – and the above-mentioned business environmental factors are broadly discussed and applied to many uses of information systems, including the digital economy and e-commerce. Fundamental concepts are reinforced by real-world business scenarios and data, helping students discover the connection between information systems and business performance.

Socio-Informatics / Information Systems Management 224

Credits: 16

This module provides students with an introductory course in problem solving, computational thinking, and basic computer programming using the Python language. The module assumes no prior programming experience and works from first principles towards the completion of various individual programming projects. It is designed to be relevant for students across the social, management, and natural sciences and feeds into subsequent modules in this fields. During this module students gain practical experience with fundamental programming concepts, including various data types (e.g.strings, lists, dictionaries, etc.), sorting and searching techniques, input/output processes, flow control techniques (including iteration and decision structures), and program structures (functions, modules, object oriented designs).

Socio-Informatics / Information Systems Management 254

Credits: 16

This module is an introductory course in front end web development languages. It focuses on the markup language HTML and the presentation language CSS to teach students how to design and implement standards compliant web pages. Students are introduced to the underlying theory in web page design, including concepts to make web pages accessible to users on a wide variety of devices. The module then puts considerable focus on an in-depth study of the latest versions of both HTML and CSS to put students in the position where they can construct modern web frontends themselves. The module is highly practical, and students will design a comprehensive personal website during the semester.

Socio-Informatics / Information Systems Management 262

Credits: 8

This is an intermediary module focusing on the phenomenon of organisation. Organisations are structures that require decision-making and implementation but that also provide structures that make it possible. Views on how organisations function or ought to function, differ – as we will see in this module. With the help of Gareth Morgan’s seminal organisational metaphors, we will investigate different theories of organisation. This module will introduce you to a wide range of theories on organisation and will focus your attention on those views that see organisations as interpretative systems. You will discover that some views on organisations provide better perspective on the role of knowledge and information in organisations than others.

Socio-Informatics / Information Systems Management 314

Credits: 18

This module covers the design, development, and interaction with database systems in the context of information management. The module builds on the second year foundation in Socio-Informatics/Information Systems Management and assumes basic programming knowledge in Python. In this module students learn how to model, design, develop, and interact with database systems using modern approaches and tools. Practical experience developing and manipulating relational databases is gained through the use of Python and SQL. The module concludes with a focus on data warehousing and more advanced business intelligence content.

Socio-Informatics / Information Systems Management 334

Credits: 18

The analysis and design of socio-technical work systems present a critical skill set in the digital economy. In this module students are introduced to the principles of socio-technical systems and their operation in business and other organisational contexts, with emphasis on their analysis and design as part of agile development projects. The module has a strong practical focus for which the Unified Modelling Language (UML) is adopted. In a range of practical assignments students analyse business cases, and design socio-technical solutions based on client requirements.

This module uses industry standard UML tools provided by Visual Paradigm. Visual Paradigm grants Stellenbosch University UML tools, BPMN tools, Agile Story Mapping tools and DFD tools under the Academic Partner Program.

Socio-Informatics / Information Systems Management 354

Credits: 18

This module is the capstone module to an undergraduate major in either Socio-Informatics or Information Systems Management. It brings together knowledge obtained across many of the other modules to form a complete end to end systems design and development process. In doing this, students are exposed to new techniques and/or programming languages and additional concepts not introduced in earlier courses. Students will spend most of their semester analysing a case study which they will then use to design and build a complete and functional business information system.

Socio-Informatics / Information Systems Management 364

Credits: 18

This module presents a comprehensive approach to managing knowledge work and innovation in organizations. Students will learn about the unique challenges of managing a highly skilled work force, the role of ICTs in facilitating (or hindering) knowledge work, and the importance of shaping the organizational culture to promote innovation. The module also explores the different strategies available to organizations to create enabling contexts for knowledge work and innovation to take place with the use of illustrative case studies.