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CS5055   Data Ethics and Privacy

Academic year(s): 2019-2020

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 15

ECTS credits : 7

Level : SCQF Level 11

Semester: Both

Availability restrictions: 40 places in each semester allocated by ballot. During 2019/20, places will be allocated to other students by ballot after all Data-Intensive Analysis MSc students funded by the Data Lab have been assigned places.

Planned timetable: To be arranged

There is much interest in both academic research and the mass media about the potential effects of algorithmic decision-making and bias, with stories about manipulation of news feeds affecting elections, discriminatory adverts or search engine results, companies using big data to subvert regulators, and so forth. The aims of this module are to introduce students to the various ethical dilemmas that are arising in our "data-driven society", with an emphasis on the ethics of using data science, data protection and privacy, and algorithmic governance.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: Weekly seminars (x 11 weeks), practical classes (x 2 weeks)

Scheduled learning hours: 32

Guided independent study hours: 120

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 0%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 100%

Re-assessment: Oral Examination = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr J D Thomson
Module teaching staff: TBC Module coordinator(s): Director of Postgraduate Teaching - Computer Science (

Additional information from school

This module runs in both semesters with a cap with effect from 2019/20.There is reassessment in the form of an oral examination.