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October 12: Please note that last year's exam has been posted on the assessment page. I will go through this exam during the review lectures in week 13, discussing how the questions should have been answered.

September 20: Second assignment can now be downloaded from the assessment page

September 11: Please note there will be no lectur on Monday, September 12 due to lecturer's ill-health. The material which was to be given in this lecture will be posted as an exercise which students can go through in their own time. The lecturer will not be available for consultation on Monday. Since this will disrupt some students' assignment work, the deadline for the assignment has been extended to Friday, September 16.


August 31: Please note: There will be a major information session on the assignment in the lecture on Monday, September 5

August 28: Please note: As indicated last week, there is no lecture on Monday, August 29, because I have to attend a faculty review day. Also, the deadline for assignment 1 has been extended. Assignments must be handed in during the tutorial class of week 9, (ie the week beginning Monday September 12).

Note that the documents for the assignment discussed in Wednesday's lecture have been posted on the assignment page.

August 3: The assignment has now been posted on the assessment page. Please read carefully. The first discussion of the assignment and the data you need will be given in the lectures next week (ie week 4). This information will not be repeated in subsequent weeks.

August 3: Please Note: As from next week, rolls will be kept of attendance in all classes. These will not be used as a part of formal assessment of performance, but will help with decisions about unsatisfactory progress and supplementary assessment. Sorry for the inconvenience.

July 25: Please Note: As from this week, the Wednesday lecture in this unit has been switched from B213 to B214.

IMS1805 : Systems Analysis

Following is an overview of the main features of the unit. You can download the full unit overview here.


This unit will provide students with an introduction to systems analysis, and give a broad overview of some of the basic techniques commonly used for carrying out the analysis and specification of requirements for an information system. The unit will introduce students to the nature of systems analysis as a communicative process, describe the key elements of analysis, and explain the place of the analysis phase within the system development life cycle. The following key tasks in systems analysis will be studied:

•  Systems analysis in context

•  Analysis and problem-solving

•  Fact-finding and data gathering

•  Introduction to modelling

•  Process modelling

•  Data modelling

•  Object modelling

•  Soft systems modelling

•  The system specification


At the completion of this unit the students will:


•  basic concepts of systems analysis for communication in problem-solving;

•  the main types of modelling techniques which are used in systems analysis (process, data, object and soft systems modelling), and the purpose for which each is used ;

•  the basic techniques which are used to build these models


•  the purpose and objectives of the systems analysis phase of the systems development life cycle, and the tasks which are required to carry it out ;

•  the way in which techniques of systems analysis are applied during the process of information systems development;

•  the key issues involved in gathering data about system requirements and preparing the models used in a system specification

be able to:

•  develop a data gathering strategy and carry out data gathering as part of an analysis of user needs for an information system ;

•  interpret basic process, data, object and soft systems models of a simple business system ;

•  prepare process, data, object and soft systems models for a simple business system;

•  prepare and present a specification of system needs for a business system

have developed attitudes which enable them to:

•  recognise the value of a systematic, team-based approach to the development of information systems;

•  recognise the importance of the analysis phase of the systems development process

•  recognise the strengths and weaknesses of basic techniques for data gathering, system modelling and system specification

Prerequisite knowledge:



Unit structure and organisation:

The following table shows the planned sequence of material for this unit. Note that it is subject to change without notice if circumstances require.







July 18

Introduction to analysis and modelling

Analysis; analyzing systems

July 25

Analysis and modelling of Information Systems

Analysis and information systems

August 1

Introduction to modelling and data gathering

Modelling and data gathering as activities

August 8

Process modelling with DFDs

Process modelling

August 15

Process modelling with DFDs

Process modelling

August 22

Data modelling with E-R diagrams

Data modelling

August 29

Data modelling with E-R diagrams

Data modelling

September 5

Object modeling

Object modelling

September 12

Soft systems modelling

Soft systems modelling

September 19

Soft systems modelling

Soft systems modelling

September 26



October 3

Data gathering

Data gathering

October 10

System specification and presentation

Data gathering

October 17





This is a six point unit which, according to University guidelines, means the average student will need to spend about 12 hours per week of study on it (a total of at least 156 hours per semester).

This anticipated workload is distributed as follows:

•  2 hours per week lecture

•  2 hour per week tutorials

8 hours per week preparation and assignment


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