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.

Human Computer Interaction (M) COMPSCI5111

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Computing Science
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The aim of this course is to introduce students to advanced topics in Human-Computer Interaction. In technical terms, it focuses on system design issues related to larger numbers of people and of data, including data visualisation, collaborative systems, and tracking and modelling populations. It also introduces other novel forms in interaction and evaluation, and legal and ethical issues around interactive and data-centred systems.


3 hours per week

Requirements of Entry

Interactive Systems H (or equivalent) -- mandatory

Excluded Courses

Human Computer Interaction (H)




Exam 70%, Coursework 30%.

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. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will 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. 

Course Aims

This course will bring depth and breadth to the material covered in Interactive Systems H. Human-Computer Interaction has moved away from a narrow focus on textual windows on a desktop, operated by one person using a keyboard and mouse. In terms of devices, phones and other mobile systems lead to ubiquitous use and also ubiquitous sharing of data about us. Such systems are often used to manipulate and explore complex data, including individual and social data. They are used at a scale that pervades and changes our society, and legal and ethical issues (e.g. GDPR) are influencing what and how we design. The aim of Human-Computer Interaction H will be to equip our students with skills to design for this broad use of technology. It will also to feed into Mobile Human-Computer Interaction H, which concentrates on mobile systems.


The aim of this course is to give the students an overview of advanced topics in Human-Computer Interaction, covering the key areas of interaction with complex, personal and social data, via data analytics (in particular, visual analytics), and collaborative systems. It will address the ways that we design and evaluate such systems. There will also be a significant piece of coursework where the students will have to design, implement and evaluate an interactive application. This will give them valuable experience in development and justification of such systems.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Identify the key exemplars in the design of novel visualisation systems, collaborative systems, and large-scale user modelling, and in ethical system design;

2. Explain the theoretical concepts behind such system design approaches.

3. Identify the main issues and key concepts in evaluating such systems, in terms of immediate functionality and utility as well as in terms of wider social, legal and ethical criteria;

4. Have experience designing such systems, by designing, developing and evaluating a significant piece of interactive software embodying key aspects of the course.

5. Discuss leading-edge developments of HCI through a critical analysis of a recently published HCI paper.

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.