DSM8520 Compliance Law and Ethics

Increasingly, the legal and regulatory regimes governing the creation, maintenance and access to records are affected by international developments and trends as the marketplace becomes seamlessly global. Even organisations limiting their activities to the UK are feeling the effects of wider legal requirements. The information professional should be able to facilitate compliance, transparency and accountability of the organisation in terms of the information they create, manage, and destroy. This course examines the impact of legal, regulatory and audit frameworks (e.g. GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation, and Freedom of information) on recordkeeping practices, the mechanisms open to organisations to ensure they comply with the relevant frameworks, and the ethical code within which information professionals should operate.

The course covers the following areas of expertise:

  • Tends and context in information management and records governance
  • Compliance: sector perspectives
  • Law: international and UK perspectives
  • Law: Freedom of Information and Data Protection
  • Business ethics: issues for information professionals
  • Challenges in information compliance law and ethics


Hugh Preston BA (Hons), DipLib., DMS, FHEA, UkAISM — Senior Lecturer in Information Studies.

Hugh’s information service experience began in a scientific research institute, later with the Consumers’ Association and then an educational research agency in London for three years and and its successor organisation in York. A keen interest in information management and systems provided a background to the post in Aberystwyth University, along with experience in specialist services. Broad research interests are based on information modelling and system evaluation. His publications include:

  • O'Dell, F., Preston, H.J. 2013. Exploring factors in non-use of hospital library resources by healthcare personnel. Library Management 34 (1/2) pp. 105-127. 10.1108/01435121311298315
  • Rogers, R., Preston, H.J. 2009. Usability analysis for redesign of a Caribbean academic library web site: a case study. OCLC Systems and Services 25 (3) pp. 200-211. 10.1108/10650750910982584
  • Broady-Preston, J., Preston, H.J. 2007. Blurring the boundaries? Information studies education and professional development in England and Wales. Globalization, Digitization, Access and Preservation of Cultural Heritage. 6th International Conference, Sofia, Bulgaria, 08/11/2006 - 10/11/2006., University of Sofia Press pp. 289-300.
  • Preston, H. 2005. Information management and technology strategy in healthcare: the story so far. E. Maceviciütè, T. Wilson (Eds.) Introducing Information Management: An Information Research Reader., Facet Publishing pp. 178-191. Cadair


Students need to be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the recordkeeping requirements in laws and statutes and communicate their implications with legal, risk and IT colleagues. 

Learning Outcomes

After completing this short course you should be able to:

  • critically examine the legal, regulatory and audit trends and context in which information governance and assurance currently operates
  • identify and describe the range of laws, regulation and audit requirements currently affecting business information in the UK, European and international environment
  • evaluate the impact of specific legislation such as freedom of information, data protection, and copyright, on professional practice
  • distinguish the sector specific drivers and formulate methodologies for using the drivers to effect change within an organisation
  • assess the potential difficulties faced by those responsible for information compliance, transparency and accountability


To apply please complete the Short Course Application Form. Return it - with your reference - to Aberystwyth Postgraduate Admissions Office on pg-admissions@aber.ac.uk, before the application deadline date.

For further information, please contact the please contact Information Studies tel: (+/0)1970 622188; e-mail: dis-dept@aber.ac.uk