BCS Foundation in Systems Development

3 Day Course
Official Curriculum

This course has been retired. Please view currently available BCS/ISEB Training Courses.


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Introduction to Systems Development (4 topics)

  • What is systems development
  • The scope of systems development
  • Systems development and other disciplines
  • Offshoring and outsourcing of systems development work

Lifecycle Types and Their Rationales (9 topics)

  • Systems development lifecycles in concept
  • Lifecycles - waterfall, 'V' model, incremental development model, evolutionary development model
  • The Unified Process
  • Systems development lifecycles compared
  • Adaptation and customisation of the lifecycles
  • Roles and responsibilities in systems development
  • Project lifecycles
  • The project manager in systems development
  • Terms of reference

Business Analysis (3 topics)

  • Business analysis defined
  • Business analysis in the systems development lifecycle
  • Outcomes from business analysis

Requirements Engineering (6 topics)

  • Introduction to requirements engineering and its key areas
  • Requirements elicitation techniques
  • Types of requirements
  • Prioritising requirements
  • Managing requirements
  • Analysing and validating requirements

Making a Business Case (6 topics)

  • Introduction - the role of 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 (2 topics)

  • 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 (7 topics)

  • Reasons for modelling; modelling from different perspectives
  • Modelling process and business rules
  • Modelling static data
  • Modelling dynamic behaviour
  • Modelling the user interface
  • Cross-referencing different modelling techniques
  • Documentation and specification

Systems Design (9 topics)

  • Systems design in context
  • Objectives and constraints of design
  • Input design
  • Input technology
  • Output technology
  • Process design
  • Data design
  • Code design
  • Security design

Systems Architecture (5 topics)

  • What is systems architecture? Types of architecture
  • Stakeholders and roles in architecture
  • Management of the architecture
  • The tiered approach to an IT systems development
  • Service-oriented architecture and service-oriented development applications

Implementation and Changeover (4 topics)

  • File and data creation
  • Supporting documentation
  • Training
  • System implementation

Systems Development and Delivery: Evaluation and Maintenance (4 topics)

  • Maintenance in the systems development lifecycle
  • Metrics for evaluating a software project
  • Post-project review
  • Testing in the maintenance stage

Software Support Tools (4 topics)

  • Configuration management tools
  • Computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools
  • Computer aided software testing (CAST) tools
  • Advantages and disadvantages of computerised support tools


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

If you are taking a BCS exam you must bring photographic identification (passport, driving license or student card) as it is a BCS requirement to produce it for the invigilator prior to the exam. Failure to produce a valid form of photographic identification will result in a candidate not being able to sit the exam. For any questions about what form of identification is acceptable please contact your Account Manager.

Relevant Certifications

  • The BCS Systems Development Diploma is awarded following the successful completion of 2 core modules, one knowledge-based specialist module, one practitioner based specialist-module and an Oral Exa...