Professional Issues 2012/13

Most courses you undertake in the School of Informatics have predominantly scientific or technical content and you spend most of your time developing technical knowledge and skills. This is not the case in the Professional Issues Course. After graduation many of you will work as computing professionals in an engineering or commercial role or as a research scientist. In such settings your professional work is regulated by the organisational setting and more widely by the legal, social, cultural and ethical context you are working in. The Professional Issues course explores the constraints and obligations you will work under, the dilemmas that arise as part of professional work and professional approaches to the resolution of the competing demands placed on a computing professional.

The Professional Issues course aims to provide a general awareness of these issues and to cover some of them in depth. The course will involve directed reading, case studies and discussion.


This course is compulsory for all students taking a single or combined Honours degree involving Computer Science or Software Engineering.


Please see the standard Course Descriptor of PI. This provides a detailed description of the content of the course. A detailed plan for the semester will be available shortly.


Timetable for 2012/13. All meetings take place in Faculty Room North in David Hume Tower. Meetings will take place on Mondays and Thursdays 16:10-1800. The first meeting is scheduled for Thurs 20th September at 16:10.

Course Material

Copies of material used in class will be available in PDF format on the course webpage. The website also contains a list of other relevant documents.

Please buy (and read!!) the first book on the book list.


Exam Papers

The examination (that contributes 85% of the asssessment of the course) will involve a compulsory multi-part short-answer question (Q1) and an essay-style question (choose one from two Q2/Q3). Examination questions may be based on the content of lectures given by visitors as well as on course notes and texts.


  1. The first PI lecture is on Thursday 20th September 2012. Please check the Informatics Course Timetable for 2012/13.
  2. Communications will be emailed to the PI mailing list.
  3. The Professional Issues wiki PI wiki is a means to support your course Activities

This page is maintained by Stuart Anderson (

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