The M.Phil. program consists of 1) taught courses 2) a research project, and 3) a master’s thesis defense. The thesis is supervised by a committee of principal and secondary advisors, who are highly qualified research scientists in the area.
The M.Phil is an 18-month degree program. Courses are taught through lectures, tutorials, and research seminars. The international faculty will conduct in-class and online sessions and students will be required to present essays on assigned topics.
The M.Phil. in ICT program consists of 24 credits of coursework and the master’s thesis of 24 credit hours, which totals 48 credits. The program structure is outlined below.
Structure of M.Phil. in ICT
|Category or Area||Credit Hours|
|Research & Thesis||24|
|Total Credit Hours||48|
|Management Information Systems||3|
|Philosophy of Science||3|
|Quantitative Research Methods||3|
|Quantitative Research Methods||3|
|Total Credit Hours||12|
|ICT Diffusion, Transfer and Adoption||3|
|E-government and Institutional Change||3|
|ICT and Healthcare||3|
|Information Technology Policy and Strategy||3|
|Total Credit Hours||12|
Course Name: Management Information Systems
Course Content: The course will examine the theoretical underpinnings of the competitive advantage of information systems, information systems development process, the practical and policy aspects of information systems planning, and the ethical issues in information systems. This course covers the application of people, documents, technologies, and procedures by managers to solve business problems, tied to the automation or support of human decision making. Executive Information Systems (EIS) and Decision Support Systems (DSS) are discussed in detail.
Course Name: Philosophy of Science
Course Content: This course will explore what science is, what it does, and how it works. It will examine: the assumptions, foundations, and implications of science; the difference between science and non-science/pseudo-science; philosophical assumptions of social science and knowledge; the difference between a theory and an observation; and the nature of scientific explanation, objectivity, validity and generalization.
Course Name: Quantitative Research Methods
Course Content: A variety of quantitative research methods available for applied research are taught, providing you with sufficient background to choose techniques and methods suited to different data-sources and models. The focus is on the way techniques relate to theory, and on the insights that can be drawn from their application. You will learn the interpretation and appraisal of results, and emphasize applied work. Example topics include: Probability distributions, Descriptive statistics, Testing hypothesis, Simple and multiple regression, Linearity, nonlinearity and categorical variables, Properties of regression coefficients, and Time series models.
Course Name: Qualitative Research Methods
Course Content: This course will examine the phenomological methods of designing research to explore the meanings, complexities and contextual realities behind a social phenomenon and which may not be possible to capture through numerical “facts”. The course will cover basic philosophical concepts and tools, epistemology, the principal types of qualitative data, study of research design, the links between theory, methodology and choice of research techniques, issues of qualitative research validity, reliability, bias and ethics, and the analysis of qualitative research data.
Course Name: ICT Diffusion, Transfer and Adoption
Course Content: This course examines the interplay between the diffusion, transfer, adoption and impact of ICTs on resource poor environments and institutional elements that shape it. The course explores the diffusion, transfer and adoption of ICTs at three levels: individual, firm and national. It will cover the theories of technology diffusion and transfer and the behavioral, cultural and environmental factors which influence adoption and usage.
Course Name: E-government and Institutional Change
Course Content: The course explores how ICTs are affecting how people interact with government, and how governments are using and managing ICTs to promote transparency and offer better information and services to the public. The course will cover methods for developing and assessing e-government applications using Internet, mobiles and other forms of ICTs, and the policy, privacy and ethical issues relevant to the implementation and management of e-government systems. Other topics include use of ICTs in non-governmental organizations, tele-democracy and aligning IT resources in the public sector.
Course Name: ICT and Healthcare
Course Content: This course examines the use of telemedicine, Internet applications, multimedia tools and other advanced applications for the provision of health care services and education at a distance. This course provides the participant with a unique opportunity to learn about the application of telemedicine technologies in resource-poor environments. Based on our extensive experience with telemedicine and distance learning, this course has developed "best practice" models for both clinical and technological procedures using telemedicine.
Course Name: Information Technology Policy, Strategy, & Security
Course Content: The course provides a comprehensive understanding of the strategic value of information systems, and the planning and development of strategies and policies to support the use of information systems in the context of organizations and institutions. This course explores the core information systems capabilities which enable managers to understand the processes of policy-making, develop competence in communicating with policy makers, demonstrate leadership in technology strategy, manage ICT outsourcing and risk management, develop literacy on technology law, and develop the knowledge to identify, acquire and implement new technology applications to sustain competitive advantage.
In this regard, the M.Phil. in ICT program is broad-based and covers a range of technical and soft skills that Information Systems and ICT scholars are expected to possess.
Research & Thesis
The thesis is a scholarly project that provides students the opportunity to create new knowledge, solve problems in business, health care, government, society and education by harnessing the knowledge acquired in the courses taken. We encourage students to select research themes which address the challenges of developing economies.
Students are expected to complete a thesis of not less than 60 pages or more than 20,000 words.
Potential Thesis Themes
The thesis themes for MPhil in ICT covers 10 principal areas:
- ICT, Poverty Reduction and Development (ICT4D)
- ICT for Business
- ICT for Education and Journalism
- ICT and Healthcare
- Internet and Society
- ICT and Agriculture
- Open-source Technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa
- ICT in Government and Conflict Resolution
- ICT and Gender Development
- ICT Project Management and Sustainability
The M.Phil. in ICT degree will correspond to eight courses of equal weight, and a thesis weighted at the equivalence of eight courses. In order to obtain the degree you'll need to satisfy the following:
- Obtain at least a Grade of 'Pass' on the thesis as determined by the thesis committee and an external examiner. There are four grading scales for the thesis: Distinction, Merit, Pass and Fail.
- Obtain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 out of 4.0 in all coursework.
A wide range of assessment strategies are used, including coursework (individual or group), class participation, examination, presentations (individual or group), research publications, and the thesis. Your coursework and thesis must satisfy a plagiarism evaluation.
The M.Phil. candidate will be supervised by a three-member committee with a designated chair. These committee members are chosen from our internationally recognized ICT professors. This committee will monitor the student’s coursework as well as supervise the student through the thesis process. Members of the committee also bear primary responsibility for advising and assisting the student in making the transition to professional life and seeking employment.
M.Phil. Thesis Proposal
The proposal is an introduction and a summary of the student's research goals and proposed methods of investigation. The purpose of the proposal is to 1) agree on the thesis topic and expected deliverables, 2) assess the thesis project quality and relevance, and 3) establish a timeline for the remaining work. The student is required to give an oral presentation of the proposal, which must be approved by the committee members before the student can proceed with their research.
M.Phil. Thesis Defense
The student and committee members will agree on a date for the final oral defense. A copy of the thesis must be sent to each committee member three weeks before the final defense date. The committee members give their comments and preliminary approval of the thesis, thus clearing it for the defense. The M.Phil. candidate must defend the thesis at a seminar made of thesis committee members, an external examiner and interested participants.
Mid-Year Review of M.Phil. Candidate Progress
The committee will review the student's progress mid-point into the program. Prior to this review, the M.Phil. candidate and the advisor will meet to prepare an executive summary assessing the candidate's progress. The summary will include:
- Statement of student's progress (courses completed)
- Project abstract (if participating in a research project)
- Thesis title and a summary of the thesis work
- List of publications
- Plan of activities to completion of program.
The distinctive characteristic of ICT-U is that it goes beyond conventional modes of graduate education to provide a creative and challenging educational platform on which graduate scholars can develop their potential. Scholars are required to conduct research, publish and present their research in academic and practitioner conferences and seminars. It is without a doubt that these requirements are not typical of many Masters' programs; hence, selection to the program is very competitive and applicants are encouraged to provide sufficient documentation which reflects their ability to undertake this research program.
The M.Phil. program is designed to encompass an 18 month period of full-time study. The program consists of a training component of at least 24 credits (12 credits a semester), research component of 12 credits, and the master’s thesis of at least 12 credits, which amounts to 48 credits. The thesis is prepared under the supervision of a three-person committee. The courses will be taught in English, therefore, the courses require a good command of English and basic computer experience. The requirements for completion of the M.Phil. ICT program are:
- Completion of Coursework
- Submission/Publication of one peer reviewed journal and one conference article (facilitated through mentoring by ICT-U faculty members)
- Scientific (theory-driven) thesis
- Defense of thesis