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TCP2031 : Digital Civics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Alexander Wilson
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


Digital Civics aims to develop and bolster students’ understanding of—and critical engagement with—technologies in contemporary society, particularly its intersection with space, society, and democratic involvement. Through engaging with the role of a spectrum of technologies, the module will explore both their intended use and broader consequences of the use of digital technologies. The role of technology will be considered through the lens of citizens, governments and organisations. The aim is for students to develop an understanding of the potential challenges we’ll face in an increasingly digitalised world.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module is delivered through a series of weekly lectures and seminars. Each week, the lectures will explore a theme, with the seminars providing the opportunity for reflection and discussion.

The indicative outline of sessions per week:
1.       Introduction
2.       People, Technologies, and Places
3.       Digital Government
4.       Digital Local Democracy
5.       Ubiquitous Computing
6.       Algorithms, Automation and Autocracy?
7.       Social Media
8.       Designing Digital Services
9.       Designing Digital Services II
10.       Conclusion
11.       Assignment Drop-In

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Present in Person - Formal lectures
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1213:55167:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops112:0022:00Present in Person. Design workshops
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching approach invites critical engagement with the topics through lectures and seminars. Lectures will support students understanding of technologies, and their consequences, and the seminars will provide the space for these to be reflected, debated, and questioned.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj1M60Group Work. Creative project outlining digital intervention
Report1M40Group work. Reflective log documenting the teams' background research activities and context.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2MInterim group presentation and progress review
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment contains a group-based project fostering collaboration and team-work, widely expected in the ‘industry’ and thereby fosters students’ employability.

• For the creative output of the work, a portfolio assessment is used, facilitated by a final presentation of design proposals
• background report is used to assess theoretical understanding and problem-solving skills as relevant for design contexts.

Formative assessments including a mid-term presentation in week four enable students to present early ideas and receive feedback without penalty to their final mark.

A peer review is employed at the end to account for individual contributions to the final work.

The APL group work policy applies in this module, except for requirements to keep a log on e-portfolio as the module provides a dedicated Wordpress site.

Reading Lists