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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 21/07/2022 15:56:33

Title of Module: Professional Computing Practice

Code: COMP09093 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 10 ECTS: 5
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Tony  Gurney

Summary of Module

This module is concerned with studying the concept and attributes of professionalism in the computing industry and the legal, social and ethical issues involved for practitioners.

Students will be expected to review, record and reflect on the issues relating to those issues and their consequences for the practicing professional.

There will be a strong emphasis on enabling and supporting students to define and co-ordinate their own learning in preparation for independent professional practice.

The teaching and assessment contained in this module are specifically designed to encourage independent, critical thinking. In addition students are encouraged to work through problems indpendently. Tutorials are expressly structured to encourage the creation and dispersal of solutions using a critical approach to problem solving whilst bearing in mind best industry practice both legally and ethically.

  • Introduce and reinforce essential non-technical aspects of working in the computing profession.

  • Explore and understand multi-discipline and multi-national codes of professional practice.

  • Explore and understand multi-discipline and multi-national statutes and their practical application.

  • Explore and understand other multi-discipline and multi-national professional principles and their use in industry.

  • Achieve an understanding of issues regarding professional practice and explore possible approaches to different situations taking into account professional and ethical standards.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate knowledge of professional and ethical issues in computing.

L2. Research, analyse and evaluate professional and ethical issues in computing.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Understand the concepts and practice of professionalism.
Understand ethical and social consequences of professional practice.
Gain knowledge of business operations and their implementation.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Identify, examine, reflect upon and propose solutions to legal, social and ethical issues.
Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in planning and executing individual approaches to problems.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Research, analyse and evaluate issues on relevant topics.
Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of ideas, concepts and information.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Formulate and articulate ideas on topics related to the students' discipline.
Use a range of research skills to gather knowledge and present solutions.
Use a range of ICT applications and devices to support and enhance work.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Develop skills in independent study, independent research, effective time management and workload management.
Exercise autonomy and initiative in defining, executing and presenting solutions to professional problems.
Deal with legal, professional and ethical issues in accordance with current codes of practice.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:While this module builds on previous professional modules that would be helpful as preparation, it has no pre-requisites.
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module will be delivered via a series of lectures, tutorials and practical discussion sessions where the module concepts can be outlined and explored. It is expected that students will also have access to the necessary ICT facilities to continue their research to consolidate their knowledge on the topics covered and work on assignments outside of contact hours.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery10
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity10
Asynchronous Class Activity10
Independent Study70
100 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Access to library resources such as books, e-books and on-line academic resources.

ICT provision available for internet-based research.

BCS Code of Practice

IEEE Code of Ethics

ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

Duquenoy, Penny; Jones, Simon; Blundell, Barry G. (2008) Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Computing. London: Thomson Learning

Harkins, Malcolm (2013) Managing Risk and Information Security : Protect to Enable. New York : Apres

Brinkman, Bo (2013) Ethics in a computing culture. Boston, Mass.: Cengage Learning

Tavani, Herman T. (2011) Ethics and Technology : Controversies, Questions, and Strategies for Ethical Computing. Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardComputing
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelBusiness & Applied Computing
ModeratorMalcolm Bronte-Stewart
External ExaminerR Khusainov
Accreditation DetailsThis module is accredited by BCS as part of a number of specified programmes.
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Knowledge based online assessments worth 70% of the overall mark.
Research, analysis and evaluation based online assessments worth 30% of the overall mark.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check markcheck mark600

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Case study check mark400
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.