Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Mobile Human-Computer Interaction (M) COMPSCI5015

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Computing Science
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

Mobile Human-Computer Interaction (M) gives students an overview of the fields of mobile HCI and ubiquitous computing, and an understanding of the practical challenges associated with embedded software development for mobile interactive systems, and associated services.


3 hours per week.

Requirements of Entry

Interactive Systems (H) (or equivalent)

Excluded Courses

Mobile Human Computer Interaction (H)




Examination 80%, coursework 20%.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 





The coursework cannot be redone because the nature of the coursework is such that it takes a significant number of days to produce it and this effort is infeasible for supporting the re-doing of such coursework over the summer.

Course Aims

Students need to understand what is different about interaction in a mobile or ubiquitous computing context, and understand the practical challenges associated with embedded software development. This course will provide an overview of the fields of mobile HCI and ubiquitous computing. It is not intended as an intensive mobile interaction programming course, but rather to give a broad overview of the area, with some experience of the development environments.

This course aims to:

■ give students an overview of the fields of mobile HCI and ubiquitous computing, and an understanding of the practical challenges associated with embedded software development;

■ give students experience with a development environment for mobile/embedded software development (e.g. one of iPhone, Android, Phonegap, Windows Mobile);

■ give students ability to develop and deploy, evaluate and debug simple software on mobile devices;

■ give students an overview of mobile service design, including privacy issues as well as access.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students will be able to:

1. Explain the problems associated with development in embedded, ubiquitous computing and mobile systems and services. These relate to the challenges of the software development environment, power and processing constraints and the difficulties of outdoors use, and the small screen and keyboard;

2. Describe the range of contexts-of-use of mobile systems development, and associated safety and privacy issues;

3. Analyse proposed engineering solutions, and comment on their suitability for use with mobile systems, taking into account the difficulties of the usage environments, and the hardware limitations of the devices;

4. Run basic mobile system evaluations;

5. Use a software development environment for a mobile device such as the iPhone or Android platforms, and be able to develop, deploy and test simple embedded software on mobile devices;

6. Discuss leading edge developments such as context-aware systems, sensor-based interaction, location-based interaction, mobile Augmented Reality.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.