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 web development. 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 web development 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 operation of the internet and web standards and develop related web artefacts.

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 Internet Fundamentals and Web Standards

HTTP and related protocols; benefits of web standards; W3C, Accessibility; regulating internet content; whose laws rule the web?

9 Web Development Fundamentals

Fundamentals of Mark up; structural elements; HTML5 and CSS; navigation; organising information; working with data stores.

10 Design for the future

Responsive web design

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

For session 2020/21 the expectation is that the teaching and learning hours stated in this descriptor will form a mix of synchronous and asynchronous student/staff activity, with the majority of this being online. The exact pattern of this activity is likely to vary from the standard face-to-face hours listed below but the overall student effort remains the same. Up-to-date information on the delivery of the module can be found on the relevant module MLS site and on your student timetable.

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 2020/21 , and may be subject to change for future years.