Computer Science (3 Years) [BSc]

Digital Society

Unit code: UCIL25002
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 2
Teaching period(s): Semester 2
Offered by The University of Manchester Library
Available as a free choice unit?: Y




  • This unit explores the relationship between digital technology, society, and you - from the connectedness of our lives, the machines around us and how we communicate with each other.


  • Through a mix of online learning and workshops, you will explore your place in the digital world; the connectedness of digital life, the relationship between the individual and the state, the smart cities of the future (and now), ethics of the online world and the impact of digital and mobile technology on business and marketing.
  • Using digital media to share your findings, you will take a critical look at your own digital identity to influence how the world perceives you online. You will develop skills and understanding of social media and other platforms, giving you influence and insight in your personal, academic and professional life. Acquiring the expertise to communicate in this digital society will be invaluable in your future employment.
  • Assessment and coursework will focus on your exploration and understanding of the theory behind the changing landscape of the online and digital world and on a practical application of the same to real-world examples.
  • For Digital Society, we use Medium a public writing/blogging platform for learning content and discussions. All the information and support is held in Medium and you will contribute to the development of the unit materials with your comments, thoughts and assessed coursework. You will be a writer for an online publication on 'Digital Society' with over 100 stories.

Teaching and learning methods

  •         12 x 2 hour lectures

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the key concepts of a 'digital society', the ethics of online information use and the skills needed to be effective and successful digital scholars and citizens
  • Think critically about information, practice self-reflection and collaborate across disciplines
  • Make use of your existing knowledge and that of peers to solve and confront new challenges
  • Find, evaluate and share information online, understand issues of intellectual property and apply learning to other aspects of academic, personal and professional life
  • Use the internet and social media to develop your communication skills, share information and develop your online profile

Knowledge and understanding

The unit has a strong employability focus. Through assessed and non-assessed activities, students develop transferable skills relevant to life beyond their studies, including real experience of blogging, critical thinking and reflection, peer learning, researching and curating content, maintaining an online profile and presentation skills.

Employability skills

  • Analytical skillsEssay and group work require research and analysis of information.
  • Group/team workingGroup work element in assessment.

Assessment methods

  • Other - 10%
  • Written assignment (inc essay) - 60%
  • Set exercise - 30%

Assessment Further Information

  • Identify an individual or organisation with a public online presence and critically analyse their communications through one or more platforms e.g. website, twitter feed (10%)
  • Using the Pecha Kucha format address the opportunities and challenges facing an organisation or sector using digital media and technology (30%)
  • Using one or more themes explored in the course unit as a guide, write a post of 1500 words in     which you critically examine the implications of living in a digital world, including (around 500       words) a reflection on how you have developed through exploring these themes (60%)


Digital Society Topic pages show the most recent year’s topics - these may change slightly, but not significantly:

The Internet - How have key developments in the history of the internet made us more connected to information, and each other?

Engagement - Marketing, social networks and consumer behaviour

Experience new technology - Play with technology at DigiLab. Consider its role in society.

The Individual - As individuals, how are we governed in a digital society? Implications of ethics, regulation and law.

The Internet of Things - What is it and what does it mean for you?

Smart Cities - The impact of technology on where we live, work and play

Critical Analysis in the digital world

Reflecting on the Digital Society and skills for your future  

Feedback methods

Feedback is provided on assessed coursework and through classroom facilitator/peer based activities.

Study hours

  • Lectures - 24 hours
  • Independent study hours - 76 hours

Teaching staff

David Hirst - Unit coordinator

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