Master Vorlesung/Seminar Information, Technology and Society

Note: The first meeting will take place on Tuesday 22th October 2019, 10:15-11:45. Room A120.

You will not be able to join the group if you miss the Week 1 class.

The lecture and seminar course must be taken together in the same semester to complete the course module (6ECTS).

Master Lecture Course: Information, Technology and Society



Course Coordinators

Please contact Mr. Patrick Nitschke regarding questions.

Prof. Dr. Susan Williams

Mr. Patrick Nitschke

Credit points: Lecture/seminar course (Vorlesung) (4 SWS): 6 Credit Points

Course Structure

Lectures/Workshops: The module is delivered in weekly sessions. Each session comprises a mix of lectures/seminars, tutorial and practical activities and group discussion activities. You are required to attend these sessions; failure to do so will seriously impair your capacity to complete the assessment items to a satisfactory standard. 
You will also be required to spend additional time each week reading the required course readings.

Seminar work: The seminar work is a group assignment that will be worked on in class and extended and finalised in your own time. There is a compulsory checkpoint meeting that all group members must attend. For both your individual and group work you are encouraged to arrange individual meetings with the course coordinator as required.

Course materials. All course materials will be placed in the course UniConnect Community. Information about access and registration will be provided in Week 1. Further instructions are available on the UCT website.

Assessment Information

The module has two major examination assignments, 1) an individual report and 2) a group assignment where you will conduct a technology foresight assessment and prepare a report and poster.

Individual research essay

20.12.2019 17:00


INDIVIDUAL 30% Individual research report 27.01.2020 07:00
Technology foresight assessment

27.01.2020 07:00 (submission)

28.01.2020 08:00 (presentation)

Students must pass both parts to complete the module.

Lecture Course Description

The Information, Technology and Society course focuses on understanding how information and technologies are impacting and shaping contemporary and future societies. The overall aim of the course is to introduce students to theories of information society and to examining the ethical issues surrounding the design and use of new technologies. We place specific emphasis on the ways that digital work and workplaces are being transformed by new technologies.

Students will develop skills and capabilities to apply appropriate methods for assessing and analysing the role, impact and ethical issues of information, technology and society and critically reflect on their role as future information and technology specialists.

Upon completion of the 6 ECTS module, students should be able to:

  • systematically and critically discuss, evaluate, and reflect on the key issues, debates, principles, concepts, and theories of the information society
  • apply appropriate methods for technology foresight and provide evidence based arguments to support their findings
  • plan, manage and write independent reflective research papers
  • analyse and reflect on complex material in individual and group work
  • prepare narrative visualisations and/or infographics to display complex ideas is a clear and accurate manner

    Topics covered in the course include:

    • Theories of the information society
    • Science and technology studies and sociotechnical change
    • Technology foresight and constructive technology assessment
    • Anticipatory governance and the social amplification of risk
    • Designing sustainable digital futures with the Internet of Things
    • Finding and using evidence to mount a critical argument
    • Creation of narratives to visualise digital futures

    The lecture/seminar course is closely integrated  and students are required to complete the full module in WS2019-20.