CS211 – Professional Issues in Computing

Credits 10
Level 2
Prerequisites None
Availability Possible elective
Contact Lectures (online): 10 | Tutorials (online): 10
Assignments: 30 | Self study: 50
Assessment The class will be assessed by one individual assignment (50% of the marks) which will consist of a portfolio of contributions to the weekly online forum discussions, and one group assignment (50% of the marks).
Resit The resit for the class will take the form of an extended individual essay.
Lecturer David McMenemy


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, a student should be able:

  • To appreciate the characteristics of professionalism;
  • To recognise and appreciate the professional aspects of other engineering and related classes in their curriculum, and how those aspects influence technical practice;
  • To 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.

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.

Professional Issues in Information Technology, F Bott, British Computer Society (2005), ISBN 978-1-902505-65-7

Pandora’s Box: social and professional issues of the information age, Andrew Adams and Rachel J. McCrindle,  2008, ISBN 978-0-470-06553-2

The BCS Code of Conduct