SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MMI223999
Module Leader Huaglory Tianfield
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Computing
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module seeks to develop understanding and practical skills in advanced project research methods which are in line with industry regulations, standards and practices and are applicable to complex IT projects. Study is undertaken in an integrated fashion to ensure that the professional framework within which such projects are developed, deployed and managed are fully understood.


IT Professional Issues: -360 - Ethical Considerations in research projects and activities: Research involving human subjects, using minors and vulnerable people in research activities; applicability of professional body codes of practice - Ethical frameworks for the computing professional: underlying ethical concepts and ethical theories; - Professionalism within computing; role of professional bodies; codes of ethics/conducts; responsibilities of a computing professional and ethical decision making. - Cyber crimes; privacy and data protection; IT legislation and regulations, industry standards and practices, e.g., PCI DSS, HIPAA, GLBA, SoX, etc. - IT governance, risk, auditing and compliance - Research methods - Critical analysis - Problem formulation - Research evaluation - Project definition - Critical thinking - Technical justification - Project management methodologies e.g. PRINCE2, RUP, PMI, Agile. - Quality management - Configuration management - Risk management Examples of tasks undertaken by students in practical sessions are: -360 - Presentation and demonstration of technical work. - Group discussion and argumentation for key subject topics. - Critical reviews of seminars.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:Critically evaluate the techniques of advanced research and project methods, applicable to complex IT projects.Critically evaluate major legal, social and professional issues applicable to the development and use of computer technologies and systems within society.Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the ethical responsibilities of an IT professional.Apply the key elements and techniques of an advanced research methodology appropriately in the development of a complex IT project.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The learning and teaching strategy for this module has been informed by the university's 'Strategy for Learning' design principles. The course material is introduced through lectures and laboratory sessions that draw upon and extend the lecture material to deepen students' knowledge. The laboratory sessions are designed as a set of formative exercises and a substantial summative exercise spanning several weeks. The formative exercises introduce a range of technologies that allow students to gain confidence and build knowledge of the range of solutions that can be applied to particular problems. Summative exercises provide experience in real-world problem-solving and challenges students to demonstrate analytical skills and capacity for divergent thinking. Tutorials will be used to help explain and elaborate on both the lecture material and the laboratory exercises; these will include a range of case studies that bring a global perspective to the subject matter. During all lab and tutorial sessions students receive formative feedback on their performance in undertaking the laboratory and tutorial exercises. Summative feedback and grades are also provided for the coursework assignments undertaken as part of the module, using GCULearn. GCU Learn is also used to provide the students with module specific Forums and Wikis to stimulate student and lecturer interaction outwith the normal lecture, laboratory and tutorial sessions. Flexible learning is encouraged and supported. All teaching materials and self-testing exercises are made available on GCULearn and links are provided to external materials such as podcasts, MOOCs, videos and relevant literature. All the computing resources used for laboratories are made available either by virtual machine images (supplied to students for use on their own computers) or online using industry standard cloud computing services provided by major global computing industry vendors. Due to the provision of all material and computing facilities online, the module is suitable for use where Flexible and Distributed Learning (FDL) is required.

Indicative Reading

- J Butterworth and G Thwaites, Thinking Skills - critical thinking and problem solving, 2nd ed., ISBN 978-1-107-60630-2 paperback, Cambridge University Press, 2013, 354 pages - G Bassham, W Irwin, H Nardone, J M Wallace, Critical Thinking A Student's Introduction, 4th ed., ISBN: 978-0-07-340743-2, McGraw-Hill, 2011, 547 pages - Mark C. Layton (2012), Agile Project Man agement For Dummies. Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition, ISBN-10: 1118026241, ISBN-13: 978-1118026243, 360 pages - Schwalbe, K., (2010), Managing Information Technology Projects, 6th Edition, Course Technology, CENGAGE learning, ISBN: 032478855 - Dawson C W (2009) Projects in Computing and Information System: A Student's Guide (2nd Ed), Addison Wesley, ISBN: 978-0273721314 - A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computers and the Internet (International Edition, 3rd Ed), Sarah Baase, Pearson, 2007, ISBN: 978-0135011379 - Cybersins and Digital Good Deeds: A Book About Technology and Ethics, Mary Bell , Bobby Ezell, James Van Roekel, CRC Press, 2008 ISBN: 978-0789029539 - Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Computing, Penny Duquenoy, Thomson Learning; 2007 ISBN: 978-1844807499 - Ethics in Information Technology (International Edition, 4th Ed), George Reynolds, South-Western College Publishing, 2011, ISBN: 978-1111534101 - Pandora's Box: Social and Professional Issues of the Information Age, Andrew Adams, Rachel McCrindle, John Wiley & Sons, 2007, ISBN: 978-0470065532

Transferrable Skills

D2 Critical thinking and problem solving D3 Critical analysis D4 Communication skills, written, oral and listening D6 Effective information retrieval and research skills D8 Self-confidence, self-discipline & self-reliance (independent working) D9 Awareness of strengths and weaknesses D10 Creativity, innovation & independent thinking D11 Knowledge of international affairs D12 Appreciating and desiring the need for continuing professional development D13 Reliability, integrity, honesty and ethical awareness D14 Ability to prioritise tasks and time management D15 Interpersonal skills, team working and leadership D16 Presentation skills D17 Commercial awareness

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 132.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 45% Contemporary IT professional issues evaluation report (1500 words approx.)
Coursework 2 n/a 70.00 45% Research report (4500 words)