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Professional Issues in Computing


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 6
  • Module convenor and tutor: Brian Gannon
  • Assessment: an examination (90%) and essay (10%)

Module description

This module aims to raise awareness of social legal, ethical and economic implications of computing in modern society. It highlights the responsibilities and issues facing IT professionals and computer scientists in industry. The module has a practical focus, grounded in real life examples/case studies.

Indicative module content

  • Computer technology in context of technology revolutions
  • Brief history of information systems in society and industry
  • IS in everyday life and why information systems fail
  • Freedom of information
  • Data protection
  • Intellectual property
  • Computer misuse
  • Commercial issues in computing including contracts and liability
  • Information surveillance
  • IS careers

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will have knowledge of:

  • the role of the IS professional in society and industry
  • the origins of the profession, and the developments that have led to IS in the modern world
  • the practical challenges faced in developing IS, and causes that lead to IS failure
  • legal issues associated with the IS profession, including those associated with intellectual property, freedom of information and data protection
  • issues relating to cybercrime and computer misuse
  • commercial issues in IS, including contracts and liability
  • ethical issues in IS, such as those associated with information surveillance
  • roles and career paths for IS professionals.