Module Identifier CS35210  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Mark Ratcliffe  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Mr David Price, Professor Michael Tedd, Professor Self Employed Tedd  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Lectures (about 5 will be held in smaller groups to facilitate discussion)  
Assessment Supplementary examination   Will take the same form, under the terms of the Department's policy.    
  Exam   2 Hours Paper issued in advance.   100%  
Further details  

General 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.

Learning outcomes

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

When implementing IS applications they will be able to take proper account of:


1. Context - 2 lectures.
What we mean by the developing information society. Its importance for the economy, education, democracy etc.

2. Technological Developments - 3 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 - 3 lectures
Applications in banking, shopping, and so on. Security challenges.

4. The Digital Divide - 3 lectures
Implications for social division, and how these are being tackled.

5. Other Applications - 2 lectures
Applications in education, public services, etc.

6. Legal and Practical Issues - 3 lectures
Including issues of intellectual property and its protection, defamation etc.

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

8. Current Technical Research - 2 lectures
A review of current work in the department and elsewhere, including the technology of remote presence applications.

Reading Lists

In this fast moving field, books become out of date in months. A range of sources, mostly freely available on the World Wide Web, will be pointed out as the course proceeds. Students will be expected to search for other material on the Web..