Module details for Development Practice


The module provides varied content to allow students to contextualise software development within other subjects in computing, particularly computer security and software debugging and deployment. Within a wider context, it encourages students to consider and discuss social, ethical, professional and legal aspects.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with : An understanding of the context of software development (a) in terms of ethical, legal, social and professional issues related to the computing industry and the internet society, and (b) its links with application debugging and deployment and requirements for computer security.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Discuss the professional, ethical, social & legal contexts within which software development takes place, identifying relevant areas of application & applying exemplars of good development practice

2.  Describe security issues relevant to software and its use, identifying and exemplifying how development practices can alleviate some of these issues

3.  Describe the fundamentals of the software debugging techniques, understand application deployment process including packaging, installation and un-installation.

Indicative Content

1 Introduction

the pace of change; impact of modern technology on society and individuals; ethical guidelines for computer professionals - codes of conduct.

2 Computer Crime

Definition; examples including malware, hacking, identity theft, social engineering, phishing etc.

3 Computer Security

Threats and Vulnerabilities; the current state of computer security; securing networks, accounts and devices. Human aspects of cybersecurity.

4 Design Components

Colour, Perception

5 Privacy in the Information Society

Privacy principles, policies and risks; authentication and privacy; privacy on the web; email security; privacy impacts of emerging technologies (e.g. cloud, VoIP, RFC); the privacy/accountability dilemma.

6 Legal Issues

Data Protection Act, Computer Misuse Act, Copyright and Intellectual Property, GDPR

7 Access, Accessibility and Usability

The digital divide; Enabling and Disabling through technology; accessibility standards; usability fundamentals. Usability vs Security.

8 Introduction to debugging

Print statements with console/dmesg/file, Logging with files, Assertions to halts program with an error, and introduction to Debugger and debug symbols.

9 Introduction to Application installer and uninstaller

Application deployment with various aspect of the installation, which files are to be installed and where, what shortcuts are to be created, what names shortcuts and file will have, and application icon and help files.


Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 13
Tutorial/Seminar 6
Practical Activity 26
Assessment 60
Independent 95
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.