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The University of Southampton

COMP3202 Knowledge, Information & Society

Module Overview

This module aim to critically explore the relationship between information technology and society and to prepare you to participate actively in ethical vocationally-related deployment of information technologies

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Describe the relationship between information technology and society
  • Debate critically a variety of viewpoints surrounding technology and society
  • Demonstrate familiarity with key international issues such as privacy and information rights
  • Identify the key ethical and legal issues in Information Technology for Society
  • Justify, and use a cohesive code of Professional Practice pertaining to information systems
  • Describe legal concerns relevant to an IT Manager


Management Issues in IT: - Contractual restraints - Compromises in systems planning - Constraints of a legal nature - Professional Issues in IT Professional societies: - Career structures - Ethics - Codes of conduct and practice - Liability - Contractual obligations in software Legal Issues in IT: - Copyright and patent - Trade secrets and registered design - Computer generated evidence - Obscene publications The module will analyse technology dependency in social, organisational and global contexts through time. You will explore the relationship between information technology and technologies in general. You will also explore the uniqueness of information technology. Case studies in key areas of current interest will be presented covering the broad themes of: - Knowledge: technology's effect on the storage, transmission, recording and dissemination/communication of knowledge, digital news-media, distance learning and education, the knowledge economy - Information: definitions of information and data, relationships to people, data capture, storage and retrieval, biometrics and individual identity - Society: global societal issues such as privacy rights, internet-related legislation, public and private knowledge and information, electronic/on-line voting and civil liberty. The above examples are included for illustrative purposes and will vary from year to year. The unit will extrapolate the trends studied and speculate on the future of technology in everyday life and work.

Learning and Teaching

Preparation for scheduled sessions18
Follow-up work18
Completion of assessment task56
Wider reading or practice22
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Gollman, D. (2011). Computer Security. 

Herman T Tevani (2004). Ethics and Technology. 

Ben Shneiderman (2003). Leonardo's Laptop. 

Schneier, B. (2004). Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World. 

Bott, F. (2005). Professional Issues in Information Technology. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 15%
Coursework assignment(s)  ( words) 20%
Coursework assignment(s) 5%
Coursework assignment(s) 10%
Coursework assignment(s)  ( words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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