IS41020 Information Ethics

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module explores ethical issues in the design and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). It examines ethical theories and practices from historical, interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives relating to current and emerging ICTs.

We study the major ethical frameworks such as consequentialism, deontology, virtue ethics etc. We look at how they might be applied to issues around privacy, security, social media interactions, access, health, game design and so on. But we also discuss the challenges of new technologies and processes of development where such traditional frameworks may no longer be appropriate. And we also explore how the design of technological systems and structures can support ethical principles and social justice.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the course students will be able to demonstrate:
1. Knowledge of a range of theories, models and concepts in information ethics and their relevance to research and practice
2. Familiarity with the history of the development of information ethics
3. Ability to recognise and articulate ethical issues arising in ICT design and use
4. Recognition of the impact of values and cultural context on ethical design
5. Critical reflection on real-world ethical dilemmas and frameworks to guide ethical decision making

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module involves lecture, seminars and some tutorials. Class discussion and debate is a core aspect of the experience and students will work both on independent and group projects. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Essay - case study to display understanding of how to identify and critically analyse information ethics issues in practice Week 7 n/a Graded No


Group Project: Critical assessment and proposal on ethical design/governance for specific applications Week 12 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Paul O'Neill Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Daniel Snow Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 31, 32, 33 Mon 15:00 - 16:50