Module Identifier CSM1810  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Mr Christopher Loftus  
Semester Available all semesters  
Pre-Requisite CSM1710  
Course delivery Contact Hours   34 Hours plus around 45 hours of self study and practical work  
Assessment Course work   A single piece of course workbased on the student's own research   100%  
Further details  

General description

To contribute to the IT policy of an organisation or to participate in the management of an IT supplier, the computer professional must understand how the software industry works - the role of the different types of company, procurement practices, contractual practice, handling of intellectual property rights, and so on. These are the ideas presented in this module.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should:


Structure of the Software Industry   
Software suppliers, software developers, systems houses and user organisations. Typical organisational and financial structures. Evaluating the soundness of a potential supplier; key parameters. Typical weaknesses.

Acquisition Procedures
Building a tender list. Selecting a short list. Choosing the winner. Public procurement and the legislative framework. Standard acquisition procedures. Bespoke procurement v. package procurement.

Different types of contract: fixed price, time and materials, consultancy. Limits on freedom of contract: liability, unfair terms.

Intellectual Property Rights
Different types of intellectual property. Protection of IPRs in software and in material distributed over the Internet. European and US practice.

Regulatory Requirements
General statutes and regulations relating to liability for defective software. The regulatory regimes governing software in specific industries. The pharmaceutical industry as a case study.

Professionalism and Ethics   
What is a profession? The structure of professions. Professional codes of conduct and codes of practice. Ethics in general and different approaches. Professional codes of conduct in the light of these.


The aim of this module is to give students an understanding of how the software industry works.

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
M F Bott, J A Coleman, J Eaton and D Rowland. (2001) Professional Issues in Software Engineering. 3rd. Pitman 0748409513