Ulster University welcomes applications to its new Business In Technology Masters

  • As Belfast continues to trademark itself as a worldwide tech hub, Ulster University is offering a course to encourage and educate more people about the merging of business and technology.  

    The Business in Technology Masters is a first-of-its kind, interdisciplinary programme that was developed as a direct response to the industry’s growing need for people with a combination of technological skills, business acumen and leadership capability. The first two cohorts will graduate this December.

    We sat down with Paul Mellon, Lecturer in Business Analysis and Technology and Dr Matthew Burns, Lecturer in Computing Science, to find out more about the course offering.

    The course is a joint creation between the Ulster University Business School and the School of Computing, ensuring that the very latest in business and teaching developments were married with the latest technologies such as cloud computing and data science. Not only has it been an internal collaboration, but the programme has also been co-designed with industry, with firms such as PwC providing input in the development of the course to ensure the key skills needed to succeed in the sectors are included in the teaching.

    The content will appeal to and benefit a wide group, including people who are in tech roles who want to further develop their leadership and business skills in order to develop their careers or explore new opportunities in the sector. Additionally, it may appeal to those who work in business but want to improve their understanding of technology and its uses and implementations in business – the all-important “cross over skills”.

    Learners will explore topics such as business analysis and consulting, stakeholder and client management, tech and data science in consulting, leadership, strategy, and transformation, equipping them with the skills and capabilities to influence and lead change in their organisations. 

    The course is delivered in a way that is accessible and flexible to those with different skill sets, with both the technology modules and business modules being manageable for people of different backgrounds, regardless of previous careers or degrees.

    Paul explained that the university aims to offer as flexible a delivery model as possible to keep up with the post-Covid working world, as many people are no longer in the office five days a week.

    A blended approach has been developed with a mix of on-site learning activities to utilise the wider campus experience, as well as remote input such as pre-recorded and live lectures. As many people completing the program are in full-time employment, the teaching schedules and content are designed around learners being able to access that around a busy role.

    With a mix of lectures and practical sessions, students can apply the theory they learn which also serves as support for their assignments. The hands-on approach gives students an opportunity to truly understand all aspects of the curriculum with support provided whenever it's needed, whether that’s in-person or remotely.

    Paul explained, “We align the assignments and projects with real-life projects that students are doing in their jobs. This means they are bringing real value to their businesses immediately. We worked very hard with students to ensure that they’re not just completing assignments for the sole reason of getting a mark to pass a module, but instead, has currency and can be implemented within a business context.”

    Ideally, applicants will have a prior business degree or computing qualification, but the university also considers the APEL route, which stands for Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning. This means that if someone who applies doesn’t have the required qualifications, they will look at any significant and relevant previous experiences as an alternative route to qualifying for the course. This is done on an individual basis, considering what core skills they have built from their experience and then decide if they will truly benefit from the course content.

    Based on the experience of students currently completing the programme, Paul stated that there is an array of opportunities upon completion of the course: “Certainly within professional services, there seems to be a huge desire and demand for people with this type of qualification as it allows them to code switch, which means that they can speak the language and understand the terminology of both the technology and business worlds. Additionally, there is major opportunity in the tech sector, with Belfast overflowing with new tech companies and the career opportunities that come with that. Indeed we also have participants who are self-employed as well, who have taken the learning from the course to implement changes in their own business.”

    Matthew also explained that the projects are built to merge learning with business practices. “I work on a couple of research projects with BT and PwC, where we explore different approaches to support various business processes. Having been involved in those projects and the course, I definitely feel like the course is something that assists students in understanding both the technology and business sides of these types of projects. The things we teach are things that students will take into their career and future jobs as the idea of partnering business with technology isn’t something that is just done for the course, it’s very much happening in the real world.”

    Applications are currently open. To find out more and to apply, visit

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