Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Social Informatics and Digital Ethics
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  (3000 words)  75%
Semester Assessment Group presentation and summary  (2000 words equivalent)  25%
Supplementary Assessment Essay Resubmission  (3000 words)  75%
Supplementary Assessment Report  (2000 words, no presentation)  25%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Identify and critically analyse the principal social, ethical and cultural issues relating to ICT in society.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the different debates around ethics and cyber ethics.

3. Discuss and critically analyse the different debates around key contemporary social informatics. Issues including but not limited to the identification of cases of fake news, the parameters of free speech and digital access versus protection; and the “right to be forgotten”.

4. Show confidence in handling different disciplinary perspectives on social informatics and digital ethics.

5. Demonstrate awareness of current areas of research in social informatics.

6. Describe and illustrate how current issues are relevant to organisations who publish and who control social informatics.

7. Demonstrate the ability to engage in groupwork and to explain complex social informatic and ethical issues through the medium of oral presentation.

Brief description

This module seeks to understand the ways in which people and ICTs interact in society and the implications of these interactions in relation to social, ethical and organizational issues and debates. Topics covered in this module deal with the social, cultural, philosophical, ethical, and legal issues relating to information technologies; the interaction of technological developments with social and organisational issues and the implications of ICTs in society including social control and privacy.


This module aims to develop students’ understanding of the social and ethical aspects of ICT and to foster critical and creative approaches to thinking about future developments. It covers topics such as ICT, society and security; ubiquitous computing and the internet of things; creativity, ethics and AI; social media and fake news; ethical debates surrounding digital media and its use, including, social justice, intellectual property, and privacy; electronic communication issues such as free speech and issues relating to digital access versus protection. To provide a critical and analytical framework through which to consider these and related issues, the module will also examine what we mean by ethics, and more specifically, what we mean by cyber ethics. The module will be delivered through a series of presentations and practical workshops which will include group activities.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Essay writing skills are developed and assessed through the assignment. The group assignment will help develop oral presentation skills and skills in summarization.
Improving own Learning and Performance Reflect on the preparation work done for seminars; reflect on feedback from assignments following completion.
Information Technology ICTs and their implications for society is core to the module. In addition, the module requires application of IT skills in communication and presentation.
Personal Development and Career planning Skills and knowledge developed in and through this module will contribute to professional employability. The topics covered in this module are core to the disciplines of information studies, computer science and indeed social sciences more generally.
Problem solving Through critical interpretation of essay questions and seminars exercises and through the group assignment.
Research skills Research skills assessed through the assignments. In addition, students will undertake research as follow up to workshop sessions.
Subject Specific Skills The module introduces the core concepts, theories and models of social informatics and digital ethics.
Team work Through workshop activities and through the group presentation assignment.


This module is at CQFW Level 5