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SX1509: THE DIGITAL SOCIETY (2016-2017)

Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

This course provides you with a multi-disciplinary understanding of (1) The impact of the digital society on individuals, organisations and society as a whole; and (2) The main issues and challenges of the digital society. This course uses a problem-based learning approach. Each of the four main topics is introduced by a lecture, followed by tutorials in which you work on a specific problem in a group. For example,  you will investigate the Digital Divide in a particular country and produce a poster with your findings.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Joey Lam

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • SX1009 The Digital Society (First Half-Session) - Sixth Century Course (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Examples of topics to be covered include: Digital Divide
  • The growing digital divide, including the rural-urban divide, the age divide, accessibility risks for people with disabilities, problems for developing countries.
Interpersonal Relations in the Digital Society
  • The changing nature of interpersonal relationships in light of social networking sites (Facebook, Flickr, MySpace) and new communication means (text messaging, online-messaging).
  • The culture and consequences of having a second life.
  • Identity and impression management.
Rights in the Digital Society
  • Freedom of expression and privacy: civil rights in a digital society
  • Ownership in a digital world (eg. rights to music, Flickr photos, YouTube videos)
  • Cyber-crime, cyber-terrorism and cyber-bullying
  • Security for the digital society.
  • Information credibility and authority in a Web2.0 world (eg. Wikipedia).
Impact of the Digital Society
  • How digital technology has changed the way we do business (eg. Amazon, e-Bay, I-Tunes) and the way the markets work.
  • The potential of and issues in using digital technology for Health, Education, Entertainment, Transport, Science and Governance.
  • Digital behaviour intervention: how technology may encourage people to live more healthily and sustainably.
  • The environmental impacts of a digital society.
The course will have an international dimension, as most topics (including digital divide, relationship, civil rights issues) will be discussed in an international context.

Further Information & Notes

(i) Assistive technologies may be required for any student who is unable to use a standard keyboard/mouse/computer monitor. Any students wishing to discuss this further should contact the School Disability Co-ordinator. This course is only available to students registered in Programme Years 1 and 2. Attendance at sixth century courses is compulsory. Students who do not attend all classes (including lectures) for a sixth century course, without exceptional cause, will not pass the engagement component of the course and will therefore fail the course.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Continuous assessment (100%): participation in small group sessions (20%), poster, news article or online artifact showing insights gained in case studies (80%, 20% per case study). Resit: Continuous assessment (80%). Participation mark carried forward (20%). Students resubmit coursework for those elements they failed, passing marks carried forward.  

Formative Assessment

During lectures, the Personal Response System and/or other ways of student interaction will be used for formative assessment. Additionally, practical sessions will provide students with practice opportunies and formative assessment.


Formative feedback for in-course assessments will be provided in written form. Additionally, formative feedback on performance will be provided informally during practical sessions.

Course Learning Outcomes


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