Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Global Trends in Computer Science
Code CSCK501
Coordinator Dr S Thomason
Computer Science
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2020-21 Level 7 FHEQ Whole Session 15


• To familiarise students with the online classroom environment and allow them to explore current practice in computer science and information technology by sharing their global perspectives and experiences in discussion forums.
• To provide a comprehensive and holistic introduction to current trends in computer science, such as enterprise systems management, data protection and big data analytics, cyber security, pervasive computing, sustainable technology and risk management.
• To highlight the global, integrative and collaborative nature of the information technology industry, whilst allowing students to explore the relevance and impact of their unique regional contexts through critical discussion and group work.
• To allow students to explore and critically debate the use of information technology in an enterprise setting, the best way to make decisions regarding technology, and the management and administration needs of an organisation.

Learning Outcomes

(M1) Contribute to an academic community via the use of an online classroom and discussion forum, whilst demonstrating a commitment to lifelong learning, academic integrity and an understanding of the academic writing style.

(M2) Produce an artefact that involves searching for, assimilating and analysing relevant scholarly resources, reflecting a range of viewpoints with original thought and commentary, and demonstrating digital fluency with search tools and presentation software.

(M3) Demonstrate a critical understanding of current trends in computer science, and an appreciation of how information technology can be used to support business processes and add value to global enterprises.

(M4) Articulate the legal, social, ethical and professional issues related to developing and using information systems and modern technology solutions, demonstrate professionalism, and follow relevant professional codes of practice.

(S1) Ability to organise self and workloads.

(S2) Ability to communicate with others in an online environment.

(S3) Ability to use information technology (digital fluency).

(S4) Ability to use online library resources and conduct relevant searches for literature.

(S5) Ability to learn effectively in an online classroom (lifelong learning).



Week 1: Trends in Computer Science
High-level overview of emerging trends such as blockchains, pervasive computing and artificial intelligence, and their importance in a global context. Ethical, privacy and legal considerations around these topics. Opportunities offered by innovation.

Week 2: Information Technology
Managing information technology. Budgeting and technology portfolio management. Outsourcing. Vendor and contact management. Strategic management of technology, roadmaps and tactical planning to meet business goals when developing systems.

Week 3: Risk Management
Using information technology for risk management and decision making. Appreciating and working with diverse viewpoints. Privacy, compliance and regulation in the global technology enterprise.

Week 4: Cyber security
Designing and managing enterprise systems with security in mind. Penetration testing. Ethical hacking tools and techniques. Password security and encryption. Social eng ineering.

Week 5: Green computing.
Production of more efficient software and hardware, and the impact of a growing cloud-based infrastructure on power consumption. The sustainable development of data centres in a globally connected world.

Week 6: Internet of things and smart cities.
Connected embedded devices, sensors and the data they produce. Opportunities for driving societal change via data analysis from pervasive sensor technology. Security and privacy implications of such systems.

Week 7: Big data analytics.
Tools and techniques for extracting, processing, analysing and visualising data from a variety of sources. Data warehousing and data management within a global context, including data privacy and data protection regulations.

Week 8: Real-time, high integrity and embedded systems
Standards and principles for the development and management of real-time, high integrity and embedded systems. Related safety, security, trust and privacy iss ues. High performance computing and distributed supercomputer architectures.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The mode of delivery is by online learning, facilitated by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This mode of study enables students to pursue modules via home study while continuing in employment. Module delivery involves the establishment of a virtual classroom in which a relatively small group of students (usually 10-25) work under the direction of a faculty member. Module delivery proceeds via a series of eight-week online sessions, each of which comprises an online lecture, supported by other eLearning activities, posted electronically to a public folder in the virtual classroom. The eLearning activities will include lecture casts, live seminar sessions, self-assessment activities, reading materials and other multimedia resources. Communication within the virtual classroom is asynchronous, preserving the requirement that students are able to pursue the course in their own time, within the weekly time-frame of each seminar. An important element of the module provision is active learning through collaborative, cohort-based, learning using discussion fora where the students engage in assessed discussions facilitated by the faculty member responsible for the module. This in turn encourages both confidence and global citizenship (given the international nature of the online student body).

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours           50


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 70


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Group Poster: Group work resulting in a poster that reviews one of the topics from the module and demonstrates digital fluency.  1000-1500 words    30       
Essay: An individual essay directed at one of the trending topics in computer science covered within the module.  2000-2500 words    30       
Discussion Question 2: Participate actively in an online discussion concerning one of the topics covered within the module, demonstrating an understanding of the key issues and showing original though  1000-1500 words    20       
Discussion Question 1: Participate actively in an online discussion concerning one of the topics covered within the module, demonstrating an understanding of the key issues and showing original though  1000-1500 words    20       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.