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Study Information Science at Otago

We live in an increasingly complex world with vast amounts of information created every day.

Information scientists are vital to the capture, processing and communication of this information to help people and organisations operate effectively.

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Why study Information Science?

Information Science sits at the intersection of technology, people and organisations. It is a broad discipline that combines solid technical foundations with an understanding of the ways in which organisations use information.

Information scientists analyse, develop, integrate, test and evaluate information systems. They also gather, prepare, model and interpret data to support informed decision- making in organisations. Information systems are omnipresent – every organisation depends on usable and reliable information systems.

Information Science is an exciting and rapidly changing discipline – it requires strong foundations and a life-long approach to learning.

What subjects go well with Information Science?

The concepts taught in Information Science are an excellent complement to other subjects, preparing you for the modern work done in these disciplines. Examples of well- suited subjects include: Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Management, Law, Psychology, Mathematics and any of the natural or applied sciences.

Career opportunities

People with Information Science skills are in high demand because of the vital role that information and information systems play in modern organisations. There are many and varied career opportunities in fields such as business management and analytics, science and data science, education, research, finance, health, manufacturing and automation, media production and user experience technology, music and entertainment, and engineering.

Information Science at Otago

The first year

The Information Science programme is available in the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) degrees.
During the first year of your Information Science degree you will study COMP 101 and one of COMP 161 or 162:

COMP 101 Foundations of Information Systems

In this course, you will learn about the fundamentals of our information and computer science disciplines, which include topics like computability, data analysis, information storage and processing, and database management techniques. There are no prerequisites for this course, but a basic mathematical understanding will be needed – you might want to consider MATH 151 before or alongside COMP 101.

COMP 161 Computer Programming

An introduction to computer programming suitable for beginners with little or no prior experience. Introduces the Java programming language, basic object oriented concepts and simple graphical applications.

COMP 162 Foundations of Computer Science

An introduction to computer programming suitable for beginners with some prior experience. Builds on and extends basic Java and object oriented programming. Introduces broader programming concepts and other languages.

(Students are exempt from COMP 161 if they have gained entry to COMP 162 by passing COMP 151 with a grade of at least B or via an Advanced Placement Test.)

Teaching style

Your classes will consist of lectures, tutorials and practical laboratories. In the third year you will work on a team project with an industry partner. We have award-winning teaching staff who are recognised experts in their fields and who are considering technological, ethical, professional, societal and behavioural factors of our discipline.

Information systems are complex in terms of scale and changing dynamics, so our teaching focuses on practical skills and complex problem solving usually found in real-world tasks. Through practical lab work, our teaching will prepare you for the ever-changing world of Information and Communication Technology.

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Background required

There are no formal prerequisites for studying Information Science. You do not need to have studied digital technologies at school. However, it is advantageous if you are interested in and have taken background subjects in Digital Technology, Science, Mathematics, Accounting or English.


Information Science as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BCom, BEntr, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree

Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (BEntr), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree


COMP 101 Foundations of Information Systems

One further 100-level COMP paper



200-levelAny two 200-level papers from INFO or COMP36

Any 300-level INFO paper or SENG 301 Software Project Management

From 2018 the 300-level requirements will be: Any 300-level INFO paper

Total 90

INFO papers

More information

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School of Computing


Studying at Otago

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Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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