The Professional Issues module provides a brief introduction to these issues. It is spread across all three terms.
At the start of term 1, a single introductory lecture is given, covering the nature of degree programmes (self-directed learning, employers' views and requirements of graduates), the computing profession (the British Computer Society, Codes of Conduct and Practice), and the engineer in society (technology in society, industry and commerce, communication skills).
In term 2, lectures from visiting speakers provide an introduction to some of the non-technical issues of importance to someone working in the fields of software or hardware development and engineering. Parts of the module should provide insights in preparing for the CS3 System Design Project, which takes place in term 3.
The theme for this year is that of the I.T. entrepreneur, covering the importance of high-tech startups to Scotland and the problems (and benefits) faced by an entrepreneur in getting a high technology company up and running.
The topics covered should form a good introduction to anyone who has wondered if they should have a go at starting their own company, and there are opportunities in the course to meet people who have specific relevant expertise and access to resources. The module covers much of relevance to business generally and is useful material for discussing with potential employers. During the course students will be asked to submit an essay developing a business idea using material from the course. Essays may also be submitted for the Lehman prize (which last year was a Palm Pilot). Lectures take place weekly during term 2.
In term 3, the Professional Issues module continues with eight lectures on legal issues, given by staff from the Law Faculty. These are given over the first five weeks of term. There will be a 1 hour class examination on this material during week five of term 3.
The syllabus for the term 3 part of the Professional Issues module covers the following:
The final mark given for Professional Issues is the mark for the class exam on legal issues in term 3. However, to pass this module, it is also necessary to submit a satisfactory term 2 essay. In calculating the total mark for CS3, the mark for Professional Issues is given half the weighting that is given to each of the examinations for the technical modules.