Module Identifier CS35210  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Mark B Ratcliffe  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Mr David E Price, Professor Michael D Tedd  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Lectures (about 5 will be held in smaller groups to facilitate discussion)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours Paper issued in advance.  100%
Supplementary Exam Will take the same form, under the terms of the Department's policy.   
Further details  

Learning outcomes

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

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.

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.


This module is at CQFW Level 6