Computing Law and Professional Responsibility - CO643

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) MR G Tripp


There are no specific pre-requisites but students are expected to have completed Stage 1 of a relevant programme.





The scope of the module is outlined below. Note that topics will not necessarily be delivered in this order:
Professional issues and professional organisations.
Data privacy legislation, and other UK laws relating to the professional use of computer systems.
Criminal law relating to networked computer use, including new Anti-Terrorism legislation; and their application
Intellectual Property Rights, including Copyright, Patent and Contract Law.
Health & Safety issues.
Computer-based Projects, including the vendor-client relationship and professional responsibilities.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours (lectures and seminars): 30 hours
Private study hours: 120 hours
Total study hours: 150 hours

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
A1 - Seminar performance and Portfolio (30%)
A2 - Group Case Study (20%)
Two hour Examination (50%)

Indicative reading

Ayres R. (1999). The Essence of Professional Issues in Computing. Prentice Hall Europe.
Bynum, TW and Rogerson, S. (2006). Computer Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Blackwell Publishing.
Dejoie, R et al. (1991). Ethical Issues in Information Systems. Boyd & Fraser.
Bott F et al. (2001). Professional Issues in Software Engineering, 3rd Edition (ISBN 0748409513). Taylor & Francis.
Langford, D. (2000). Internet Ethics. Pearson/MacMillan.
Spinello, Richard A. (2003) Case studies in information technology ethics and policy, 2nd Edition, Prentice Hall.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

Possess an ability to appropriately understand and adopt techniques based on professional codes of practice and codes of practice of accrediting institutions.
Develop informed judgments about when specific actions are ethical and when legal.
Have a systematic understanding of basic legal processes.
Assess the impact of data privacy legislation on institutional activities, as well as being able to explain the basic aspects of computer law as it currently applies to IT in the UK.
Critically evaluate IT related health and safety issues.
Possess critical awareness of some of the potential legal and ethical problems of large IT projects.

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