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Syllabus for

Academic year
DAT315 - The computer scientist in society
Datavetaren i samhället
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-26 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPALG
7,5 Credits
Grading: UG - Pass, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Computer Science and Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 02115
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: A+
Only students with the course round in the programme plan
Status, available places (updated regularly): Yes

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0115 Written and oral assignments 7,5c Grading: UG   7,5c    

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John Hughes

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Knowledge equivalent to at least two years of studies in computer science. The course is only open to students admitted to MPALG.


Complete the computer science curriculum with knowledge and generic skills relevant in the student's future professional roles. Students will
  • develop their scientific writing skills by studying, critically analyzing, and summarizing selected well-written scientific articles,
  • train technical communication for different audiences,
  • discus ethical aspects  of subjects in computer science,
  •  learn about ethical principles of research and publishing.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

* extract and summarize the current knowledge about a specific topic in computer science from original articles, clearly describe the scientific or technical problems treated within a specific topic in computer science, identify the essential points of an article,
* write well organized and well formulated text with proper scientific argumentation,
* explain and communicate a topic to readers that are not necessarily experts in the domain,
* plan a research project (master's thesis), based on problem analysis and with a clearly shaped goal, and predict its feasibility,
* review scientific sources critically,
* analyze and evaluate the reasons for the choice of a solution method,
* identify possible ethical and societal consequences of a method, design or system, evaluate possible decisions, based on general ethical values,
* apply ethical principles in scientific writing, including proper citation and use of statistical statements.


* technical writing in computer science, being practiced on a topic of free choice and on a research proposal,
* structuring a scientific text,
* communicating a topic to different audiences,
* theories on ethics, with examples from computer science,
*identification and analysis of ethical and societal issues,
* ethics and good practice in research and publishing


Introductory lectures on scientific writing and ethics, several writing exercises and supervision.


See separate literature list.

Examination including compulsory elements

The course is examined by a written proposal, carried out normally in pairs, and individual written assignments. The grading scale comprises: Pass (G) and Fail (U). In order to get the grade Pass, the student needs to pass both the proposal and the individual written assignments.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.