Each new intake sees about 100 students gathering at the University of Hong Kong's (HKU) Faculty of Engineering to fine-tune their skills in e-commerce and I-computing. Their occupations are wide and varied, and they include financial hotshots, marketing vice-presidents from the hospitality sector, academic teaching staff, civil servants and medical administrators. Most are there because of an overwhelming and urgent need to understand technology, especially where it is going and what impact it will have on their organisations. The programme of choice for these young executives is a Master of Science in electronic commerce and internet computing (MSc ECom-ICom), administered through the department of computer science and information systems. Programme manager Angela Castro says the programme's integrated interdisciplinary curriculum suits many students well. One graduate, who chairs the board of directors of the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation, credits it for giving him an in-depth understanding about online marketing and global networking regulations. The programme has two streams, IComp and ECom. Students accepted into one can cross over to the other to take modules. 'Choosing modules from both streams allows them to become ambidextrous, capable of handling both business and technology on their graduation,' Mrs Castro says. Students can also apply to enrol in two modules from other master programmes at HKU not restricted to engineering or technology to strengthen a specialisation. 'As far as we know, no other programmes in Hong Kong or China allow students such diversity and flexibility,' Mrs Castro says. To graduate, students must choose 12 modules or eight plus a project. Four modules must be from their stream and three or four may be taken from a second. Each year, 23 modules plus two project modules are offered. E-payment systems (an elective) continuously tops the favoured list of students, with e-marketing and e-crimes following. Popular core subjects include the legal aspects of information technology and e-commerce and internet infrastructure technologies. The part-time programme runs over two years, although a full-time, one-year option is available. Fees are $129,600 and include tuition, textbooks and the full use of library and computer facilities.