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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: COM2016 Module Title: PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
Module Provider: Computing Short Name: COM2016
Level: HE2 Module Co-ordinator: PEEL RM Dr (Computing)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
Autumn Semester
Assessment Pattern




Assessment Pattern




Unit(s) of Assessment




Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)


Group Coursework








CV (individual)




Assessment of CV prior to its use for Professional Training












2 hours








Qualifying Condition(s) 




A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module.













Module Overview
The impact of technology in the world cannot be ignored.  It is important that computing practitioners have a background knowledge of social, legal technological issues so that they can carry out their jobs in a professional manner. It is also important that we develop a general understanding of the issues raised by technology in all aspects of our lives.
Module Aims
This module will provide a good grounding in ethical, social, legal and organisational issues in technology related disciplines. It will provide a background to develop professional skills in the workplace and an understanding of a business environment.
Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:


·         Demonstrate an understanding of the professional responsibilities in the workplace and the role of professional codes of conduct

 ·         Demonstrate an understanding of the legal standing of an organisation

 ·         Understand software contracts and recognise the different types of liability for defective software.

 ·         Be familiar with the issues related to intellectual property and how these can be used to protect software and the reasons for such protection.

 ·         Be familiar with the data protection principles


·         Formulate arguments about the impact of new technological developments on society.

 The outcomes are broadly similar to those covered in the core module, Professional Issues in Information Systems Practice, which is part of the BCS Diploma in IT

Module Content

Module Content  

The module is divided into the following areas:  

  1. Skills and competencies required to secure a placement
  2.  Codes of Conduct  

  1. Professional Bodies


  2. Personal Responsibility


3. Intellectual Property Rights and Software Contracts


  1. Legislation


  2. Free software and open source code


  3. Extent and nature of software piracy


  4. Software contracts - fixed price, outsourcing, licence agreements


4.Information Security


  1. Privacy and freedom of information


  2. Data Protection Act


  3. The need for encryption technologies and content protection


5.Computer Networks and Telecommunication Security


  1. Internet Technologies and privacy


  2. Ethical Issues


6. Aspects of Computer Crime


  1. Computer Misuse Act


  2. Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act


7.Towards the future: some ethical and social questions


  1. Medical technologies


  2. Entertainment


  3. The Digital Lifestyle


  4. Education and online learning


Methods of Teaching/Learning

There will be a two hour contact slot each week, split into lectures and large-group discussions, in weeks 1-11.




Students will be expected to have completed the weekly directed reading before coming to each lecture.




A revision session will be given after the vacation.




Selected Texts/Journals

Compulsory Reading :

 Each week there will be directed reading from a variety of sources.

 Recommended Reading :

 Pandora’s Box: Social and Professional Issues of the Information Age: Andrew A. Adams and Rachel J. McCrindle, Wiley (2008)


Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Computing: Penny Duquenoy, Simon Jones and Barry G Blundell, Thomson (2008)


Professional Issues in Information Technology: Frank Bott, BCS (2005).


Other Resources:


A Manager’s Guide to IT Law, Editors Jeremy Holt and Jeremy Newton, BCS (2004)


Last Updated

25-009-09jg 8/12 updated