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BCS Foundation in Systems Development

The BCS Foundation Certificate in Systems Development course is aimed at anyone involved (directly or indirectly) in systems development. It provides an understanding of a broad range of systems development approaches and the tools and techniques used in the development of software solutions.

The one hour exam is taken on the final afternoon.

The certificate is a Knowledge Based Specialism contributing towards the BCS Diploma in Solution Development.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the scope of systems development work and its relationship to other associated disciplines
  • Understand the range of systems development lifecycles
  • Understand the objectives, activities and deliverables of business analysis work
  • Understand the core activities of the requirements engineering approach
  • Understand the purpose of producing a Business Case
  • Appreciate the different programming and development approaches
  • Understand the importance of systems modelling and specification techniques
  • Recognise the fundamental objectives and principles of good systems design
  • Recognise the importance of a well developed system architecture
  • Recognise the role of quality and testing throughout the lifecycle
  • Recognise the importance of careful implementation and changeover
  • Recognise the need for evaluation and maintenance of systems
  • Appreciate the wide range of software support tools


There are no formal requirements for entry to the course but it is targeted at those involved in or affected by the development of IS / IT systems

Course Content

Day One:

  • Introduction to Systems Development
  • Lifecycle types and their rationales
  • Business Analysis
  • Requirements Engineering
  • Making a Business Case

Day Two:

  • Programming and Development Approaches
  • Systems Modelling and Specification Techniques
  • Systems Design

Day Three:

  • System Architecture
  • Quality and Testing
  • Implementation and changeover
  • Evaluation and maintenance
  • Software Support Tool
  • Culminating in:BCS Systems Development Foundation Exam.

Introduction to systems development

• The scope of systems development

• Systems development and other disciplines

• Offshoring and outsourcing of systems development work


Lifecycle types and their rationales

• Lifecycles – waterfall, ‘V’ model, incremental, evolutionary

• The Unified Process

• Adaptation and customisation of the lifecycles

• Roles and responsibilities in systems development

• Project lifecycles


Business analysis

• Definition of business analysis

• Business analysis in the systems development lifecycle

• Outcomes from business analysis


Requirements engineering

• Introduction to requirements engineering

• Requirements elicitation techniques

• Types of requirements

• Documenting requirements

• Prioritising requirements

• Managing requirements

• Analysing and validating requirements


Making a business case

• Assessing feasibility

• Elements of a business case

• Identifying, evaluating and selecting options

• Cost/benefit analysis

• Impact and risk analysis


Programming and development approaches

• Drivers affecting the choice of approach

• Approaches described: agile software development; object-oriented development; service-oriented development; open source development; Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) solutions


Systems modelling and specification techniques

• Reasons for modelling

• Modelling from different perspectives – process, data and business rules

• Modelling dynamic behaviour

• Modelling the user interface

• Cross-referencing different modelling techniques

• Documentation and specification


Systems design

• Systems design in context

• Objectives and constraints of design

• Input design, data verification and data validation

• Input and output technologies

• Process and data design

• Code and security design


Systems architecture

• Types of architecture

• Stakeholders and roles in architecture

• Management of the architecture

• The tiered approach to IT systems development

• Service-oriented architecture and service-oriented development applications


Quality and Testing

• The definition of software quality

• Objectives, limitations and principles of testing

• Static and dynamic testing

• Confirmation and regression testing


Implementation and changeover

• File and data creation

• Data mapping and conversion

• Supporting documentation

• Training

• System implementation


Evaluation and maintenance

• Maintenance in the systems development lifecycle

• Metrics for evaluating a software project

• Post-implementation and post-project reviews

• Testing in the maintenance stage


Software support tools

• Configuration management tools

• Computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools

• Computer aided software testing (CAST) tools

Exams & Certification

BCS Systems Development Foundation Exam

One hour

Closed book

Multiple choice - 40 questions

Pass mark - 65%

If you are taking a BCS exam you must bring photographic identification

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