CS104 – Information & Information Systems

Credits 20
Level SHE Level 1
Prerequisites None
Availability Semesters 1 and 2
Elective Yes
Contact 44 lectures and 20 two-hour practicals over two semesters
Assessment 30% classwork, 70% written exam, with possibility of exam exemption
Lecturer Dr David Bevan | Dr Dmitri Roussinov

Aims and Objectives

To help students understand a broad knowledge of information systems and how information is created, used and disseminated within an information society.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this class, a student should be able:

  1. To understand what is meant by an information system.
  2. To demonstrate a broad understanding of the technology underlying information systems, and in particular those information systems which have a deep impact on society.
  3. To understand techniques for information and knowledge representation.
  4. To understand key issues in information creation, sharing and dissemination.
  5. To understand methods of information security and protection.
  6. To evaluate the success of an information system with respect to determined criteria for success.
  7. To understand the design principles behind successful information systems such as Google or Amazon.
  8. To understand how social models of interaction and information use are employed in state-of-the-art information system.
  9. To appreciate the activities for the organization and processing of information that take place behind the scene to make digital information accessible to the users.
  10. To understand how information can be protected through password control and encryption.
  11. To understand how novel information security techniques such as facial recognition and biometric control operate.


The class will take a “how it works” approach, including a significant amount of hands-on practical experience, on the theory and practice underlying the storage, presentation and access of information in the context of the World-Wide Web and large-scale information systems.

  1. Introduction to information systems: an introduction to the concepts behind different classes of information systems; introductions to large scale information processing, social information systems, and information organisation; an introduction to how information systems can be evaluated with respect to end-user tasks.
  2. Information representation and use: an introduction to information theory and a first look at the variety of ways in which we can represent information and knowledge for information systems; introduction to different techniques for manipulating electronic information for information tasks including data mining, decision making, communication.
  3. Information creation: an introduction to information creation; Wikipedia and other open source information systems; information regulation; social networks; file sharing and information dissemination; search engines.
  4. Information security: an introduction to information security, particularly for interactive information systems; password creation and control; biometric information security

Assessment and Exemption

The class will consist of four modules, each of which will have an associated class test. The class test for each module will contribute 25% of the coursework mark. Students who achieve a pass more (i.e. more than 40%) in all four of the module assignments and an average of 60% or over will be exempted from the degree examination. The mark returned for a student who is exempt will be the average mark gained on the four modules.


The resit for the class will take the form of a 2 hour examination. The resit examination will be designed to test all aspects of the course including practical elements. The mark returned for the resit attempt will be based on the resit examination alone.

Indicative 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.

Alexander Nakhimovsky and Tom Myers. Google, Amazon, and beyond: creating and consuming web services. Apress. 2004.

Andrew Lih. The Wikipedia revolution: how a bunch of nobodies created the world’s greatest encyclopedia. Aurum. 2009.

Robert Spector. Amazon.com: get big fast; inside the revolutionary business model that changed the world. Random House Business. 2000.

Sergio Verdú, and Steven W. McLaughlin (eds.). Information theory: 50 years of discovery. IEEE Press. 2000.