The University of Southampton

COMP1205 Professional Development

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to help students develop an understanding of the fundamental professional, ethical, and legal issues and how they are being developed and applied.

The lectures and associated courseworks will involve an active approach to the module content which is designed to develop a sound and personally relevant understanding of these issues. A further aim is to provide the opportunity for students to experience a realistic approach to individual learning close to that adopted by researchers and professionals in the computing and IT domains.

Aims & Objectives


Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed the module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

A1.  The threshold concepts underpinning the range of key, ethical, managerial and legal issues typically encountered by an IT professional;

A2.  The deeper issues associate with one or more selected topics identified from within the identified themes;

A3.  The specific topic areas which are associated with the main legal issues typically encountered by an IT professional

Intellectual Skills

Having successfully completed the module, you will be able to:

B1.  Identify, access and critically review appropriate and relevant literature drawn from academic, technical, legal, professional business sources

B2.  Assess and respond to the needs of different audiences

B3.  Audit, evaluate and critically reflect upon strengths and weaknesses in knowledge, skills and abilities

B4.  Evaluate and critically reflect upon self-presentation, particularly those aspects that relate to career development

Employability/Transferable/Key Skills

Having successfully completed the module, you will be able to:

D1. Communicate ideas in written and oral forms in appropriate styles for different audiences

D2. In written communications, make appropriate and effective use of layout and referencing conventions

D3. Work with others

D4. Develop an understanding of individual approaches to independent learning, incorporating personal preferences, strengths and weaknesses.


Personal development

  • Independent learning
  • Time management
  • Digital literacy and information skills
  • Presentation skills, including CVs, public talks, online personal brands
  • Academic integrity
  • Writing technical reports
  • Groupwork
  • Diversity

Management issues in IT

  • Project management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Contractual restraints
  • Compromises in systems planning
  • Constraints of a legal nature

Professional issues in IT

  • Professional societies
  • Career structures
  • Ethics
  • Codes of conduct and practice
  • Licensing and open source

Legal issues in IT

  • Copyright and patent
  • Trade secrets and registered design
  • Computer generated evidence
  • Obscene publications

Learning & Teaching

Learning & teaching methods

The module consists of

  • lectures, including invited talks by senior ECS academics and relevant University services (e.g., Career Destinations, ECS Business Development);
  • written CV and technical report; 
  • group presentations accompanied by a slide deck and an abstract;
  • academic integrity test.

The module will be assessed via coursework as primary form of feedback. Coursework will be marked by the lecturers. Students will receive summative feedback, in writing (for two courseworks: CV and technical report) or orally (one coursework). A draft of the latter will also be assessed formatively. The marking schemes for the courseworks will be made public at the start of the semester.

LectureCore lecture, one to three a week Core material to teach the learning objectives and prepare students for the learning activities they will do in their own time.13
LectureGuest lectures Lecture about state of the art from an ECS professor.8
Demonstration or Examples SessionGroup presentation, tutorials and feedback lectures8


Assessment methods

MethodHoursPercentage contribution
Technical report-50%
Group presentation-35%

Referral Method: By set coursework assignment(s)

Referral will focus on technical reports. The student will receive a new topic and will be asked to submit a new technical report following the coursework specification.

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