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CM50205: Theory of human computer interaction

[Page last updated: 23 October 2023]

Academic Year: 2023/24
Owning Department/School: Department of Computer Science
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: 1. To be able to critically evaluate methods used in state-of-the-art research in terms of underlying conceptualisations of user behaviour and/or experience.
2. To discuss how disciplinary perspectives guide decision-making in HCI research.
3. To critically evaluate claims about HCI research outcomes as they may progress the field.
4. To identify possibilities for progressing the field, consistent with one or more conceptualisations of HCI. 

Aims: To foster a contemporary understanding of theoretical and methodological research issues in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI); to demonstrate how conceptual approaches to HCI govern method selection, application and then further development of research; to illustrate and contrast HCI research outcomes in terms of conceptual grounding, interactive technologies and application domains.

Skills: Problem solving T/F, A
Working with others T/F, A
Can reason analytically and scientifically about taught material T/F, A
Can research, summarise and cogently debate state of the art literature T/F, A.

Content: Theories of human behaviour in Human-Computer Interaction research; frameworks for conceptualising Human-Computer Interaction; contextual analysis; domain- and technology-oriented research; exemplars of quantitative research; exemplars of qualitative research; exemplars of research through design.

Course availability:

CM50205 is Optional on the following courses:

Department of Computer Science
  • TSCM-AFM39 : MSc Computer Science
  • USCM-AFM01 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science (Year 4)
  • USCM-AAM02 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • USCM-AKM02 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • USCM-AFM27 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2023/24 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2024/25 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2023/24.
  • Courses and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
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