|Module Title||PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN SOFTWARE ENGINEERING|
|Co-ordinator||Dr Mark Ratcliffe|
|Semester||Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)|
|Mutually Exclusive||Only available to students registered for degrees in the Department|
|Course delivery||Lecture||22 lectures|
|Seminars / Tutorials||(Up to) 4 workshop sessions|
|Assessment||Course work||Two pieces||100%|
|Supplementary examination||Will take the same form, under the terms of the Department's policy|
This module covers a range of non-technical issues - legal, financial, managerial and organisational - with which a professional software engineer should be familiar. Although the topics are applicable more widely than simply to software engineering, they are taught in that context. The module is not therefore suitable for students from other disciplines. The module is an obligatory part of the BEng and MEng degree schemes in Software Engineering and of the BSc schemes in Computer Science and Computer Science with a European Language.
The aims of this module are to familiarise students with relevant non-technical aspects of the environment in which they are likely to be working after they graduate. In particular, it aims to give them an appreciation of relevant topics in:
On successful completion of this module, students should understand:
1. Organisations and their Structures - 4 Lectures
Limited companies, private and public; partnerships; sole traders. Special features of limited companies; responsibilities of directors. Functional organisation and product line organisation. Centralised and decentralised organisations.
2. Company Finance - 5 Lectures
The need for capital; investment and working capital; sources of funds; equity capital and loan capital. Cash flow and its importance. Costing: fixed costs and variable costs; overheads; opportunity costs; depreciation. Problems of cost allocation. Budgeting. Financial accounts: balance sheets, profit and loss accounts, sources and application of funds. Assessment of capital investment. Discounted cash flow analysis.
3. Intellectual Property Rights - 4 Lectures
Use of patents, copyright and confidential information by software engineers in employment and across companies.
4. Health and Safety Requirements - 5 Lectures
5. The Engineering Profession - 2 Lectures
The structure of the engineering profession, both in the UK and abroad. Professional codes of conduct and codes of practice.
6. Ethics - 2 Lectures
The different approaches to ethics, e.g. absolute v. consequential. Professional codes of conduct in the light of these.
** Recommended Text
M.F. Bott, J.A. Coleman, J. Eaton, and D. Rowland. (1995) Professional Issues in Software Engineering. 2nd. Pitman