Review of the UTS Bachelor of Science in IT Degree

• Misc   • Review

Today I graduate from UTS with my Bachelor of Science in IT degree.

Year 1 Semester 1

31266 Introduction to Information Systems

Enrolled during: Autumn 2012

Lecturer quality: 2/10

Tutor quality: 5/10

Mark: Credit

Thoughts: A very basic subject for almost all computer science degrees. Not techy at all and focuses on how we use computers to turn data into information through processes and tools. The lecturer did not speak English well and was very hard to understand. One classic lecture almost everyone remembers was the word ‘beach’ being repeatedly said and being interpreted as something else…The tutor almost always left the classroom for 30 mins at a time one of his 7 coffees. Knows everybody so always stops for a chat doing so. Knowledgeable but not a great teacher.

48023 Programming Fundamentals

Enrolled during: Autumn 2012

Lecturer quality: 8/10

Tutor quality: 9/10

Mark: High Distinction

Thoughts: Lecturer and tutor were very good and took time to explain Java concepts to the students. Many ran into problems when things do not work but the course eased concepts in through tiny tasks that iterated over the previous one.

31268 Web Systems

Enrolled during: Autumn 2012

Lecturer quality: 9.5/10

Tutor quality: 8/10

Mark: Distinction

Thoughts: A make a website + learn Linux + how a computer works. Surprising I did not do better in this :P. You learn everything from the 0s and 1s in the CPU, hardware, kernel, applications and ports they use. A big focus on the tutorials are to train your Linux skills through vim, scripting, piping and so on. Highly recommended.

31265 Communication for IT Professionals

Enrolled during: Autumn 2012

Lecturer quality: N/A

Tutor quality: 7.5/10

Mark: Credit

Thoughts: A really awful subject where you have to write essays and read papers on technology. Taught by Journalism tutors in a 3 hour workshop who are very subjective to how you write (and how they mark).

Year 1 Semester 2

After one semester, you have to pick a major without any idea of what you like…

48024 Applications Programming

Enrolled during: Spring 2012

Lecturer quality: 2/10

Tutor quality: 6/10

Mark: Distinction

Thoughts: This subject carries on from what was learnt in Programming Fundamentals but conflicts with it heavily (one liner methods, weird getters and setters etc.). The lecturer only wants you to do things his way and tutors are afraid of standing up to him. 70% of people scored under 50% on the first assignment.

31269 Business Requirements Modelling

Enrolled during: Spring 2012

Lecturer quality: 3/10

Tutor quality: 4/10

Mark: Distinction

Thoughts: Halfway through the course, the subject coordinator and lecturer decided to retire. The subject is all about drawing diagrams in Visio representing processes and the flow of information. A very excruciating subject with similar tutors from Introduction to Information Systems that leave for half the tutorial to god knows where.

31247 Collaborative Business Processes

Enrolled during: Spring 2012

Lecturer quality: 8/10

Tutor quality: 7.5/10

Mark: Credit

Thoughts: A strange little subject where you have to be innovative and come up with ideas to adapt to different societies and cultures. There’s little more than that. Come up with an idea and present it the best way possible through a SWAT analysis. Why is this even in IT?

31270 Networking Essentials

Enrolled during: Spring 2012

Lecturer quality: N/A

Tutor quality: 4/10

Mark: Credit

Thoughts: This subject is just the Cisco CCENT certification training and exam in one. I heard many failed due to poor tutors during their practical exams (the switch configurations had to be reset prior to the practical exam but were not and the time it took to restart them was not taken into consideration) and appeals to the subject coordinator were unheard of. My own tutor told me false information and when I did this in the practical exam he penalised me and changed his mind (using a crossover cable when instead it should have been a straight-through). Good luck if you take this subject.

Year 2 Semester 1

31271 Database Fundamentals

Enrolled during: Autumn 2013

Lecturer quality: 5/10

Tutor quality: 2/10

Mark: Credit

Thoughts: Everything to do with databases, SQL, Design, keys, integrity etc. The final exam is almost entirely different to everything you learn with numerous unheard jargons. Tutorials have you writing out SQL codes on butcher paper which are probably trashed at the end of each lesson. Tutor appeared to have no knowledge of databases whatsoever and could not speak English well. Horribly subject.

31257 Information System Development Methodologies

Enrolled during: Autumn 2013

Lecturer quality: 6/10

Tutor quality: 5/10

Mark: Credit

Thoughts: Learn about different development methodologies (SDLC) such as waterfall, agile and PRINCE2. Interesting but very in-depth to the point where you learn about service management frameworks. Tutor was very subjective on how essays were written (how paragraphs were formed and stuff) when they should be focussing on content in such as subject.

31260 Interface Design

Enrolled during: Autumn 2013

Lecturer quality: 6/10

Tutor quality: 5/10

Mark: Credit

Thoughts: Learn about UI design and how to create prototypes from requirements on mobile and web interfaces. Final assignment requires programming know-how to create a fully functional website. Not a bad subject but could be delivered better. There’s not a lot of UI standards you can teach over 14 weeks.

Year 2 Semester 2

31245 Business Process and IT Strategy

Enrolled during: Spring 2013

Lecturer quality: 2/10

Tutor quality: 6/10

Mark: Credit

Thoughts: One of the worse subjects I ever had the opportunity of attending. Every two weeks read a 20 page article then discuss in class. Every other week, show how the concepts of the article apply to your assigned business (e.g. Yahoo, Blockbuster, Nike). Problem is, the concepts are vague, the lecturer is the hardest person to work with and everything is just confusing. Near the end of the subject, my tutor asked for everyone to stand up if they did not understand the subject. Needless to say, all but one person stood up. During the final exam, the lecturer comes in and tells everyone to fill in a survey about the subject during our exam time. Seriously.

31080 Digital Multimedia

Enrolled during: Spring 2013

Lecturer quality: 6/10

Tutor quality: 2/10

Mark: High Distinction

Thoughts: Everyone knows this subject is an easy one to get through. The lectures are about the change from in multimedia from newspapers to computers. The tutorials are about how to use a program known as Processing (open source programming language) to manipulate images and trigger events. The lectures were short and interesting. The tutorials were just reading a manual and playing with Processing. My tutor was just someone they plucked off the street with no IT background (I think she was an English scholar) who just gave us a tick if we arrived and marked our assignments based on how much interaction there was…

31258 Innovations for Global Relationship Management

Enrolled during: Spring 2013

Lecturer quality: 4/10

Tutor quality: 3/10

Mark: Pass

Thoughts: The first subject I ever got a pass for. This subject was a big, BIG waste of time. The first tutorial was about how the Wii was innovative. This was okay. The following tutorials were really simple things like why privacy is a concern and what outsourcing is. The assignments were my downfall with my tutor giving it a bad mark based on my writing style and sentence structure. He also played favourites in tutorials which was a concern when it came to participation and attendance marks.

48440 Software Engineering Practice

Enrolled during: Spring 2013

Lecturer quality: 7/10

Tutor quality: 4/10

Mark: High Distinction

Thoughts: Tied highest mark I ever received and for a programming subject (you can’t mark me on sentence structures and writing styles now!). The subject was well lectured by a professional but my tutor was not that great. Most of our tutorials were around planning the group-based assignments (3 in total). The subject goes through the three phases of developing a program, gathering requirements, designing the architecture and then development & testing.

Year 3 Semester 1

Internship

  • 31136 Preparation for and Review of IT Experience
  • 31137 IT Experience 1
  • 31138 Review of IT Experience
  • 31139 IT Experience 2

Enrolled during: Autumn & Spring 2014

Lecturer quality: 1/10

Tutor quality: 1/10

Mark: Not Graded

Thoughts: A Diploma is sandwiched in between Year 3 and 4 as part of the degree which requires taking on four subjects to complete. Do not do the Diploma unless you have to (i.e. the internship requires it). The Diploma is this in a nutshell:

  • Find your own job
  • Write a diary of everything you do everyday
  • Write a 5000 page report each semester
  • Make a SWAT analysis of yourself
  • Pay the course fee of $1000
  • In return you will get: nothing.

I remember taking on this degree specifically for this 1 year worth of industry experience. What a great trick UTS plays to lure you in. The people in charge at UTS that run this program are horrible to work with. They play favourites when it comes to job applications that have to go through them if an employer wishes to reach out. I attended an afternoon tea with MLC once and most of the teams there were interested in me and thought I would fit in well. Who gets hired? Others with lower GPAs and less English proficiency than me.

Fine, I’ll get my own job. But no, if you get your own job you have get it approved through a system that does not even work. Calling up the owner of the system and asking him to help you out will get you no where as well. Eventually you stop caring about the system and so do they thankfully.

The year goes by and you have send in your diary and 5000 word report to whoever’s in charge of these subjects. The end of year results are released and they aren’t marked yet. If subject is pending on your student record your GPA sits at zero (0.00). This isn’t good when you’re now in your 4th and final year and have to start applying for Graduate roles soon. Where is he? Oh he’s overseas. When he gets back you email him and he says he never got it, even though you sent it a month before his leave asking for a receipt.

I was tricked.

31285 Mobile Applications Development

Enrolled during: Autumn 2014

Lecturer quality: 10/10

Tutor quality: 8/10

Mark: High Distinction

Thoughts: A wonderful mark (89) is what a great lecturer and tutor gives you. Know your Java well and you shouldn’t have any problems in this subject. The only issue with the tutor/lecturer (usually same person in a 3 hour period) is that they will prioritise those that need the most as they work around the room.

31255 Finance and IT

Enrolled during: Autumn 2014

Lecturer quality: 2/10

Tutor quality: 2/10

Mark: Credit

Thoughts: Finance and IT. It should just be called ‘Accounting 101’. The subject teaches nothing about Finance or how it relates to IT. It is an easy subject I will give it that. Your job is to simply trade with our groups within the tutorial classes that are ‘running’ a business. The problem with this is that no one wants to trade or cannot be bothered to trade. The best part of it all was the subject coordinator saying time and time again: ‘You don’t need a calculator for the exam, everyone that has done this subject that brought one has told me you don’t need one at all’. Enter the exam question 30: ‘Calculate the percentages for the following items’ and you realise the items are all in decimals.

Year 3 Semester 2

48433 Software Architecture

Enrolled during: Spring 2014

Lecturer quality: 2/10

Tutor quality: 2/10

Mark: Pass

Thoughts: In Software Architecture you learn how to draw architectural diagrams for software. The tutor/lecturer will draw the diagram in class for you to look at then you’re expected to draw your own for homework. Once submitted, you’re assigned someone else’s diagram to mark. That mark is then your mark. It is as stupid as it sounds. There’s not feedback given from anybody besides the person that marked you. Most of the time they don’t take it seriously and just give you full marks and no feedback. That makes you think your diagrams are okay, that there’s nothing wrong with them. When it comes to the exam and assignment, you see why I got a pass. Oh, the entire class marks your assignment I might add. Lazy or something I’m not seeing?

31284 Web Services Development

Enrolled during: Spring 2014

Lecturer quality: 8/10

Tutor quality: 7/10

Mark: High Distinction

Thoughts: A continuation of Java programming which teaches how to run Java in the web browser using JSP. A very good subject for programmers in my opinion as it touches on many web concepts such as SOAP, REST, XML and how to use regular expression. The tutors for the subject are helpful but do favour to stick around those that are having more trouble than others.

Year 4 Semester 1

31254 e-Commerce

Enrolled during: Autumn 2015

Lecturer quality: 8/10

Tutor quality: 4/10

Mark: High Distinction

Thoughts: A unique course where I only had to come in 3 times (for 6 hours however). The lectures are posted online each week to follow along to. The subject is less about e-Commerce and more about innovative and design thinking. The assignments revolve around you coming up with your own innovative idea to a pre-existing concept such as home appliances or coffee/tea. The tutorials are fun activities. The assignments can be very harshly marked however with very strong criticism of small things.

31272 Project Management and the Professional

Enrolled during: Autumn 2015

Lecturer quality: 8/10

Tutor quality: 8/10

Mark: Distinction

Thoughts: The Project Management course offered at UTS, which should be similar to any other University. The subject is taught by past Project and even Program Managers so they know what’s going on. Very insightful lectures and slightly uneasy tutorials that mimic a Project Lifecycle.

Year 4 Semester 2

31276 Networked Enterprise Architecture

Enrolled during: Spring 2015

Lecturer quality: 7/10

Tutor quality: 7/10

Mark: Distinction

Thoughts: This subject should be called ‘Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems’. This is pretty much all the subject talks about. One the subject coordinator knows what’s going on. Every other tutor has absolutely no clue about anything. This makes it especially interesting when it comes to the final assignment which is a question and answer session. Nonetheless, a good subject to learn to understand how big corporations work.

31282 Systems Testing and Quality Management

Enrolled during: Spring 2015

Lecturer quality: 6/10

Tutor quality: 1/10

Mark: Credit

Thoughts: The subject’s name encapsulates what it is entirely. You assume the role of a tester and run simple tests on a website provided to you. The lectures are quite long and do go off track quite a bit. My tutor was the worst I had ever had in my entire time at UTS. She knew nothing about the subject, had no background in it and did absolutely nothing during our tutorials. When it came to marking our first assignment, she gave quite random marks with zero feedback at all. After complaining, the second assignment was marked by the subject coordinator who similarly gave low marks with once again zero feedback.

31280 Strategic IT Project

Enrolled during: Spring 2015

Lecturer quality: 3/10

Tutor quality: 8/10

Mark: Distinction

Thoughts: The capstone subject to cap off the degree. Not as hard as I imagined, just get your work done each week and you should be fine. Everyone teaching the subject is just on automatic as it’s more or less the same thing each year: Deliver a proposal on a made-up scenario. Emails and important documents required for your assignments are riddled with spelling mistakes (what is spellcheck even?). Feels like subject coordinator is just too laid back to care.

Final Thoughts

I chose to do the Business Information Systems major at UTS and ultimately these subjects were the ones that I ended up being screwed over or not liking at all. I chose this major instead of the others because I felt I already knew a lot about the technical side of IT and wanted to learn about the non-technical side and grow my business acumen. What a bad idea that was.

My other major was Enterprise Systems Development, which is more or less programming. These subjects were all taught very well and my marks and how I rated the lecturer/tutor on average show this.

With a better understanding of IT than I had 4-5 years ago I would have definitely opted to go to another University such as UNSW who are pioneering a lot of world-first projects across the world (cyber-security and quantum computing off the top of my head).

If you must do this degree for whatever reason, I just have two tips: don’t do the diploma and don’t do the Business Information Systems major.