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COMP101 Foundations of Information Systems

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Introduction to information systems for the management and exploitation of data and information, and to relational databases.

Information and communications technology (ICT) impacts almost every facet of our day-to-day lives. Virtually all aspects of business, health, entertainment and society rely upon some form of ICT to manage and coordinate vast resources of data and information. This paper provides an entry into the world of ICT and explores topics including: computability, data analysis, information storage and processing, and database management techniques (with emphasis on relational databases). No previous experience in ICT is required, and the skills developed in this paper are taught in a self-contained manner. Upon completion of this paper, students will have developed simple information systems to manage the information processing requirements of a small-business exemplar. These skills can be further developed through continued study of an ICT-related discipline (eg Information Science or Computer Science).

Students from all disciplines would benefit from this paper; even if you're not majoring in an ICT discipline, enrolling in this paper will give you the fundamental skills to help navigate our ICT-centric world.

Paper title Foundations of Information Systems
Paper code COMP101
Subject Computer and Information Science
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) Summer School (On campus)
Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,092.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,004.75

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BSNS 106
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Commerce, Science


Teaching staff

Co-ordinator (Summer School): Dr. Grant Dick
Co-ordinator (Semester One): Associate Professor Tony Savarimuthu
Chris Edwards, Gary Burrows, and Mark George.

Teaching Arrangements

First Semester:
Two 1-hour lectures per week
One 2-hour lab per week

Summer School:
Four 1-hour lectures per week
Two 2-hour labs per week

Textbooks are not required for this paper.
Course outline
View the most recent Course Outline
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Information literacy, scholarship, ethics, self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to:
  1. explain the distinctions between data, information and knowledge
  2. understand basic concepts of computational approaches to information processing (e.g. binary encodings, algorithms and complexity, tool chains to develop computer programs)
  3. perform elementary processes of data collection, and identify issues relating to data quality, including ethics, privacy and security
  4. understand basic concepts of modelling, implementing and using relational databases, and be able to read and write basic SQL statements to manipulate relational databases
  5. explain the basic components of information systems, and the role of information systems in supporting an organisation’s strategic and operational needs
  6. explain contemporary trends such as big data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and their implications for individuals and organisations

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Summer School

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 15:00-16:50 2-7
Thursday 15:00-16:50 2-7


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 14:00-14:50 2-5, 7
Tuesday 14:00-14:50 2-7
Wednesday 14:00-14:50 2-7
Thursday 14:00-14:50 2-7

Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Computer Lab

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 13:00-14:50 10-13, 15-22
A2 Wednesday 16:00-17:50 10-13, 15-22
A3 Thursday 12:00-13:50 10-13, 15-22
A4 Thursday 13:00-14:50 10-13, 15-22
A5 Thursday 15:00-16:50 10-13, 15-22
A6 Friday 09:00-10:50 10-12, 15-22
A7 Friday 11:00-12:50 10-12, 15-22
A8 Friday 13:00-14:50 10-12, 15-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 13:00-13:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
Wednesday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22