Digital Media & Information Studies MA

Records, Accountability, and Society INFOST4014

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is an introduction to the role that records play in a democratic society. It will look at the different ways organisations in a variety of sectors create records in the course of their activities, and then use these record in the future. The rights of the individual to their information, and over what happens to information about them will be examined, as will ways in which bodies and individuals are accountable for information capture and use.


1x1hr lecture and 1x1hr seminar per week as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the Honours Information Studies options and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available in MyCampus.

Excluded Courses

ARTMED4042 - Records, Accountability, and Society

INFOSTUD4015 - Records, Accountability, and Society 




Essay (3,000 words) - 60%

Article Review (2,000 words) - 40% 

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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 aims to:

■ explore the ways in which records are used to support organsiations and individuals within democratic society.

■ Examine the ways in which the records keeping is essential to the accountability of organisations within society.

■ explore the different societal contexts and sectors where information is used and processed, and the ways in which it can support and/or undermine different organisations.

■ develop skills in research, writing, analysis and interpretation, through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions.

■ examine relevant legislation which governs the ways in which information is created, used, and accessed.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Identify and explain the importance of records keeping in supporting accountability in organisations and the part records play in a democratic society.

■ Appreciate the importance of records for the individual, and how records are created and used by different sectors and organisataions. This will include an ability to analyse concerns of fair-use and privacy.

■ Display skills in critical reasoning and analysis

■ Locate and assess critically, relevant primary and secondary sources

■ Communicate complex information both in writing and in oral presentation

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.