CS978 – Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues for the Information Society

Credits 10
Level 5
Semester 1
Prerequisites N/A
Availability Possible elective
Contact Lectures: 10 | Tutorials: 10 |
Assignments: 30 | Homework / Private Study: 50
Assessment Attendance (contributions to discussions) 25%, an individual assignment (50%) and a group assignment (25%).
Resit The resit for the class will take the form of an individual extended essay.
Lecturer David McMenemy

General Aims

This class aims to ensure that the student is aware of the legal, social, ethical and professional issues commensurate with the practice of Information Systems Engineering.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the class students will be able to:

  • appreciate the characteristics of professionalism as it relates to modern data management;
  • recognise and appreciate the professional aspects of other engineering and related classes in their curriculum, and how those aspects influence practice;
  • form a sound basis on which they will subsequently be able to practise Information Systems Engineering with a due regard for legal, ethical and social issues.


  • Professional Competence: codes of practice and competence; the role of the professional body; ethical practice; appreciation of business practices and change management; duties to client, employer and public; professional responsibilities; involvement in continuing education and professional development
  • ICTs and society: the information society; impact of ICTs on society; cybercrime; digital evidence
  • General and Specific Statute Law: including reference to, but not limited to, intellectual property law, Freedom of Information, Data Protection Act, Computer Misuse Act, health and safety legislation, industrial relations legislation, public liability, employer liability

Recommended Text/Reading*

* This list is indicative only – the class lecturer may recommend alternative reading material. Please do not purchase any of the reading material listed below until you have confirmed with the class lecturer that it will be used for this class.

Pandora’s Box: social and professional issues of the information age. Adams, Andrew A. and McCrindle, Rachel J. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons. 2008 | Stocked at Amazon (Other retailers are available)

Professional Issues in Information Technology. Bott, F. 2nd ed. British Computer Society. 2014. ISBN-13 978-1780171807 | Stocked at Amazon (Other retailers are available)