Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 Lectures (about 5 will be held in smaller groups to facilitate discussion)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Paper issued in advance.  100%
Supplementary Exam Will take the same form, under the terms of the Department's policy. 

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module, the students will have developed a critical appreciation of:

  • the developments which are leading to the arrival of the Information Society;
  • the changes that are expected to occur in education, commerce, working practices and general society;
  • the legal implications of an information society;
  • the objectives and mechanisms of regulation.

Brief description

Recent advances in Computing and Telecommunications technologies are leading to dramatic changes in society and at home. There is general consensus about an information revolution and the arrival of an Information Society. This module will study issues related to this new information society. The module may prove of interest to students outside the Computer Science department. This module should not be confused with IL31310 (Information and Society) which is primarily aimed at professional Information Scientists.


The module aims to introduce students to a wide range of issues related to the coming of an information society. The module will study the history of developments that pave the way for the information society, the changes which are starting to occur in society, the economy and the home and the issues which need to be addressed in the future.


1. Context - 4 lectures.
What we mean by the developing information society. Its importance for the economy, education, democracy etc. Implications for social division, and how these are being tackled. The TMT stock market bubble and its implications.

2. Technological Developments - 4 lectures
A not-very-technical look at the technological developments which have laid the basis for the Information Society. Digital broadcasting, convergence with telecommunications and its implications. The radio spectrum, its properties and potential uses.

3. Electronic Commerce - 4 lectures
Applications in banking, shopping, and so on. Security challenges.

4. Other Applications - 3 lectures
Applications in health services. Video-conferencing technology and its implications.

5. Legal and Practical Issues - 3 lectures
Intellectual property and its protection. Legal issues such as defamation, copyright, data protection, obscenity and computer misuse, and how these impinge on the Information Society.

6 Telecommunications Regulation - 2 lectures
Telecommunications regulation in the UK and Europe. Current issues, including universal service.


This module is at CQFW Level 6