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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics

Undergraduate Course: Professional Issues (Level 10) (INFR10022)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe aim of the course is to highlight and allow students to develop key aspects of professional practice. This includes the development of individual capabilities that complement the technical capacities developed elsewhere in Informatics programmes. These include work practice, communication, reflection, and analysis skills that take into account the dynamics of teams, the structure and operation of organisations and the broader social and legal contexts within which Informatics professionals work.
Course description The course will be structured around "professional practice". Beginning with the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Practice and the BCS Code of Conduct, the course will consider the context ICT professionals operate within and how the context shapes professional decision taking: This includes:

Individual development, study skills, the development of reflective capacity and the capacity to empathise with others situation, graduate attributes.

Contributing to projects, the structure of teams, design, product development, deployment, understanding markets, planning, project management, and team working.

Public and private sector organisations, organisational structure, finance, audit, resourcing, corporate social responsibility.

Legal and regulatory frameworks, contracts and liability, intellectual property, copyright, patents, licensing and protection, standardisation, computer misuse, data protection, health and safety, equality, discrimination, democracy.

Social and Ethical issues, privacy, human rights, surveillance, digitalisation of economies and societies.

The course will use short case studies drawn from contemporary situations that illustrate how knowledge of the decision-making context influences professional conduct and decision taking. Students will develop analytical skills to identify the critical influences on professionals in a range of real-world situations.

The course will be driven by consideration of case studies and will have a range of invited expert speakers to provide in-depth insight into the issues covered in the course. The contributions by invited speakers are fully integrated into the course and their contributions will play an important role in assessed work.

Students will work in groups on coursework where they will consider a contemporary issue in ICT professional conduct and provide an analysis of the influences on that conduct. This will provide experience of working in a group and developing a product that presents the conclusions drawn by the group. The assessment of the coursework will be predominantly based on individual work with a small component of work assessed as a group.

Relevant QAA Computing Curriculum Sections: Professionalism .
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Informatics Project Proposal (INFR11147) AND Informatics Research Proposal (INFR11071)
Other requirements This course is open to all undergraduate Informatics students including those on joint degrees. For external students where this course is not listed in your DPT, please seek special permission from the course organiser (lecturer).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students are required to have comparable background to that assumed by the course prerequisites listed in the Degree Regulations & Programmes of Study.
If in doubt, consult the course organiser (lecturer).
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 58 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: 100%

The summative coursework assessment will comprise the following:

* MCQ quizzes aimed at ensuring requisite knowledge that underpins the learning outcomes. (20% - approx. 4 hours, underpins all LOs)
* MCQ quizzes on a range of scenarios. Answers will require short justifications approx. 6 hours, tests LO 1 and some aspects of 3-5))
* Exploration of a chosen issue in a group to develop an analysis of the issue and recommendations for its resolution (50% - 40% allocated individually, 10% for group work, tests LO 2 and broader aspects of LOs 3-5).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify a range professional and unprofessional behaviour in a range of ICT-related contexts and identify remedial action in the case of unprofessional behaviour
  2. Work effectively in a ICT-related team being able to play a number of different roles and effectively communicate inside and outside the team.
  3. Correctly identify issues arising from the organization and management of public and private enterprises and how these influence the design, construction, deployment and operation of ICT systems and how such issues might be resolved.
  4. Correctly identify how legal systems influence the constitution of ICT-related organisations and how legislation regulates those organisations operations and interactions with other entities and how such issues might be resolved.
  5. Correctly identify how broader social and ethical considerations influence the work of ICT professionals and how such issues might be resolved.
Reading List
Professional Issues in Information Technology, 2nd Edition, Frank Bott, BCS Learning & Development Limited, 2014.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Stuart Anderson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5191
Course secretaryMrs Michelle Bain
Tel: (0131 6)51 7607
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