module specification

CS5071 - Professional and Ethical Issues (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Professional and Ethical Issues
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
36 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
78 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Written Report (2000 - 2500 words or equivalent)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module focuses on professional, social, ethical issues within the context of social responsibility and covers relevant computer laws (LSEPI) underpinning the Computing discipline.  The focus of the module is empowering student to take their place in society as socially responsible professionals and allowing the exploration of self-awareness, empathy, self-efficacy and engagement in students

Assessment: Coursework (100%)

The aims of this module are to:
• Expose students to a range of professional and ethical issues to prepare them to develop their own response to working with a professional outlook.
• Prepare students for the world of work and equip them with the knowledge and appreciation of professional bodies, code of conducts and professional certifications.
• Provide students with knowledge and understanding of the regulations governing the digital environment (e.g. Internet) and social, ethical and professional issues (LSEPI) underpinning the Computing discipline.
Introduce students to academic research and research ethics, and to academic writing.

Prior learning requirements

Students must have studied on one of the core Computing modules described in 1d.


• Professional Issues (LO1,LO2)
• Regulating the digital environment
• Professional bodies’ Codes of Conduct
• Electronic Information, risks, misuse and criminal activity
• Social & Ethical issues (LO1)
• Current issues, AI, Big Data, Cyber Security etc
• Professional ethics and responsibilities
• Social and Environmental concerns
• Legal Issues (LO3,LO4)
• An understanding of current laws regulating computing (e.g. Computer Misuse act and others)
• Digital content and intellectual property rights
• Introduction to research (LO5)
• Research ethics and the University code of conduct
• Literature search and review, academic writing, referencing and avoiding plagiarism

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Topics will be introduced through the medium of formal lectures, supported by tutorials and workshops sessions, and blended learning as follows:
Lecture (1 hour / week):
Introduction of the major topics (LSEPI) identified in the syllabus, plus suggestions for practical exercises, directed reading and other further study
Tutorial/ Workshop (2 hour / week):
Consolidating the understanding of topics introduced through: weekly assignments and use of case studies, small group discussions and other activities in the tutorial sessions. Tutorials will be student centred using carefully graduated exercises to build up student's confidence and self-esteem and will also provide the opportunity for students to reinforce learning and demonstrate their skills and receive individual advice from their tutor.
Blended learning:
Using the University’s VLE and online tools to provide deliver content, assessment and feedback, to encourage active learning, and to enhance student engagement and learning experience.
Reflective learning/complete PDP:
Students will be given an opportunity to evaluate the development of their academic, professional and technical skills and their relationship to employability as part of the module coursework. They will plan for improvement and future direction.

Learning outcomes

LO1 Demonstrate an awareness of the importance of Legal, social, ethical and
professional issues (LSEPI) underpinning the computing discipline, and present a piece of
critical analysis of their relevance to a topic of current importance.
LO2 Appreciate and explain current regulations, and professional body guidelines (such
as BCS Code of Conduct) governing the computing discipline.
LO3 Provide evidence of personal reflection and evaluation on the importance of
academic, professional and technical skills, their relationship to employability and the
need to plan for improvement and continuing professional development.
LO4 Demonstrate an awareness of the importance of ethical issues underpinning
academic research and professional accountability.
LO5 Effectively research, plan, structure and deliver an academic report.