Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Development Frameworks and Methods

Course summary

Course code: COMP1648
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Architecture, Computing and Hums
Department: Computing and Information Sys.
Course Coordinator(s): Christine Du Toit


Pre and co requisites

Students would be expected to have an understanding of information systems developments tools and techniques, an understanding of the systems life cycle and an appreciation of the role of the IT professional.


Quality Information systems are critical to the success of many organisations. Underpinning the development of such quality systems is the application of pertinent development methodologies. An understanding of how Information systems methodologies can support the development of quality applications is an important skill required by any IS professional.

The main aims of this course are to:
Consider the underlying components of a generic development methodology and its place in the modern environment.
Consider the significance of Rapid Applications Development (RAD) techniques within a modern development environment.
Explore the future direction of development methods in industry.
Consider the professional and ethical issues relating to information systems development.

Learning outcomes

On completing this course successfully you will be able to:

A. Critically evaluate the significance of a methodology/framework within an IS development environment.
B. Apply the principles, concepts and techniques of a RAD methodology to a given development environment.
C. Appreciate the issues impacting upon the future development and use of methods in industry.
D. Discuss professional and ethical issues relating to information systems development.

Indicative content

1. Systems development methodologies
The concept of a methodology, method development, problems with methods. The human dimension, organisational aspects, the need for a methodology, requirements of an Information systems methodology, criteria for selection of a methodology.
2. Rapid Applications Development/Agile techniques
General RAD concepts - prototyping, time boxing DSDM method: background to the method, framework of the method, DSDM principles, time versus functionality, when to use the method, technology support. The agile approach, relationship to RAD, managing an agile approach.
3. The future of methods
The problem with methods. Issues impacting upon use of methods in industry.
4. Professional and ethical issues
The role of the professional in IS development, understanding different ethical approaches, the need for codes of ethics/codes of conduct.

Teaching and learning activity

Concepts will be introduced in lecture and practical exercises and problem solving will be done through tutorials.
Student time will be: Lecture 2/3, Tutorial 1/3.

Learning Time (1 credit = 10 hours)

Scheduled contact hours:

Note: include in scheduled time: project supervision, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, supervised time in studio or workshop, scheduled lab work , fieldwork, external visits, work-based learning where integrated into a structured academic programme:
lectures 26
supervised practical sessions
tutorials 13
formative assessment
other scheduled time
Guided independent study

Note: include in guided independent study preparation for scheduled sessions, follow up work, wider reading or practice, revision:
Independent coursework 50
Independent laboratory work
other non-scheduled time 61
Placements (including work placement and year abroad)
Total hours ('Should be equal to credit x 10') 150


Coursework - 100%
3000 words.
The application of RAD techniques to an IS development environment and a critical evaluation of the professional, ethical and practical issues relating to this problem situation.
Learning outcomes: A,B,C,D

Pass mark - 40%