This course is compulsory for all students taking a single or combined Honours degree involving Computer Science or Software Engineering.
The Professional Issues course is an essential component of our BCS accreditation. This accreditation is recognised beyond the UK through various international accords.
Passing this course is a requirement for BCS acreditation of your degree. Relevant topics are defined by the BCS. Most of you will find this material dry in contrast with the engaging technical content of our other courses, but it is important that you understand the context – ethical, social, legal, financial and organisational – in which you will probably be working after you graduate.
The Seoul Accord recognises the substantial academic equivalence of accredited engineering education programmes. BCS was one of the founding signatories of the Accord. This means that programmes granted full CITP accreditation by BCS since 2008 will be recognised by other Accord signatories. This recognition is important for individuals entering the engineering profession in international territories covered by Seoul Accord signatories. It demonstrates an equivalence of their achievements and allows potential employers and professional institutions to benchmark standards.
Since the BCS is a Nominated Body with the Engineering Council, engineering-related programmes accredited by BCS are also recognised under the Washington and Sydney Accords. The Washington Accord is an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programs. It mutually recognises engineering education accreditation processes at Chartered Engineer level. The Sydney Accord provides a mechanism for recognising engineering education accreditation processes at Incorporated Engineer level.
For further information about academic accreditation, please visit the BCS website.
18:30—20:00 Tuesday 29
September, George Square Lecture Theatre
NOTE: non-standard day, place, and time!!
Sharing Autonomy (and responsibility): The robots are ready, are you?
You will have to register for this event.
Pitching, personality and (ethical) promotion,
Nicola will be looking at various aspects of promoting what you do - how you might promote yourself, your work, and what legal and ethical aspects to keep in mind whilst you do that whether you are using email lists, social media, or mainstream press.
16:10—18:00 Monday 26 October
16:10—18:00 Wednesday 4th November, 6:30pm. Refreshments and networking from 6:00 pm.
Room 4.31, University of Edinburgh Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB.
Jos Creese, BCS President.
Public Services in Scotland and the Role of Technology
With over 25 years IT leadership experience, Jos has held a number of CIO roles and a variety of non-executive director positions. He is a past president of the Society of IT Management and is the current president of the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. For 14 years Jos was CIO and latterly CDO and digital advisor for Hampshire County Council. Now operating as an independent consultant, he advises public and private sectors on digital and IT strategies. His experience includes major organisational mergers, national and international IT programmes, the sale of an IT company and the development of a range of ground-breaking shared services across the public sector. He has been named as the ‘most influential and innovative CIO’ in the UK in the ‘Silicon 50’ CIO survey and has been included in the ‘Top 100 CIO’ list since its inception.
For quite a long time we’ve seen IT change our organisations, and nowhere more than in government, where IT is shaping how modern public services should function in a digital world. More recently, with the immense pressure to cut costs, the opportunity of technology to transform the public sector is arguably the best chance we have to protect critical services such as Health, Social Care and Public Protection.
But the role of IT in the public sector is now arguably even wider than just supporting digital delivery and efficient operations. It is also fundamental to achieving greater social and economic value, and Scotland perhaps more than anywhere in the UK has the opportunity to outclass others, if it does the following things well:
BCS has a part to play in this. As president of BCS my role is to help the Executive Team to deliver our new strategy and to represent and champion members’ interests. But my role is also to use our combined influence to shape the future and ‘make IT good for society’. My talk will be a challenging review of the opportunities for technology in Scotland, challenging assumptions about the role of the State and promoting the role of IT professionals in this reform – in Scotland and beyond.
16:10—18:00 Monday 9th November
Raising money and keeping it legal – investment and IP from an engineer’s perspective.
As CTO, Alistair has overall responsibility for the technical
strategy of Skyscanner and ensuring it meets the business'
needs. This ranges from ensuring that systems scale to handle
continued exponential growth in search volume, to defining the
architecture of new products and incubating the new technologies
that will fuel future growth. He also evangelizes the
technical capabilities of Skyscanner to the outside world.
At home, when he isn’t playing around with tech, he learns history and languages, cooks and sails dinghies. Alistair never travels without “Some knowledge of the language, it can help to keep me out of trouble and the locals really appreciate it”!
In preparation for his lectures, Alistair asks that you, think about what security and IP challenges Skyscanner would have, and how that would compare to a five person start-up.
As part of your assessment, you must write a one-page written report summarising one of the guest lectures. Reports will be marked for both presentation and content.
You should write your report as though you were working for an IT company, and reporting on a topic of relevance to that company.
You should submit your reports, identified only by your student number, in class or to the ITO, by 16:10 on Thursday 26th November.
The course textbook is
Hard copies are available on reserve.
You may find the slides from Aberystwyth (home of Frank Bott, author of The Book) useful. Particularly the material on finince and accounting, which is not covered in detail in the book.
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.course textbook. Amazon offer a Kindle edition at £17 or so if you want an electronic copy.
You will require clickers for marking presentations (see below). Clickers are available from the library.
Coursework is worth 15% of marks for the course, and the final exam is worth 85%.
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). You will be expected to be familiar with the material covered in the course text and to have an appreciation of relevant current affairs such as may be obtained by regular reading of a serious newspaper (e.g. Common Space, The National, or The Guardian) or news magazine (e.g. The Economist), or keeping abreast of relevant organisations (e.g. Open Rights Group). Your answers should, where relevant, draw on the content of lectures given by visitors, and on your fellow-students' video presentations, as well as on course notes and texts.
Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 131 651 5661, Fax: +44 131 651 1426, E-mail: email@example.com
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