KV5047 - Human-Computer Interaction

What will I learn on this module?

This module will introduce you to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), a field of study focusing on the interaction between humans (the users) and computers. It brings together multiple disciplines, such as computer science, the social sciences, design and human-factors engineering.

In this module you will specifically explore how to design, develop and evaluate ethically aligned interactive technologies from a human-centred perspective that embed all stakeholders in the process and accounts for a sustainable development of technology. You will also engage with underlying principles and theories from contemporary HCI research.

Indicative topics that we will cover include (but are not limited to):

• User-centred design (UCD) lifecycle
• Understanding users, context, and social interactions: Requirements capture methods, Accessibility and Inclusion,
• Understanding design: Usability heuristics and evaluation; User interface standards
• Prototyping techniques for interface design: low and high fidelity
• Evaluation methods: expert appraisal and user-led

Research-rich learning is heavily embedded in this module, by engaging with the latest HCI research and carrying out your own UCD research. You will be taught by academics who have published extensively in the field of HCI.

How will I learn on this module?

Students will learn through lectures, workshops, and independent learning. Lectures will cover key principles, theories and topics in HCI, and in practical classes (workshops) students will practice hands-on skills for user requirements elicitation, user-centred design, prototyping and evaluation. The module will be assessed in two ways through which students will gain both a critical understanding of the topic while developing demonstrable practical skills by submitting: (i) a reflective report on a contemporary HCI topic, using desk-based research including literature reviews; (ii) User-centred Design (UCD) Practical Work, including design artefacts, demonstrating a range of user-centred design skills.

In order to develop your capacity and confidence as an effective learner, students will be encouraged to develop independent learning skills. This will be supported by tutor-guided activities, including prompted reading, activities to undertake and questions to address. Independent study requirements also entail reading beyond the learning materials/reading list provided, reflecting on its potential relevance for students’ own development.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by lecturers during the timetabled sessions when you will receive feedback on your work. You will also be able to communicate with the teaching team via email. The University’s eLearning Portal offers remote access to all lecture and seminar materials to reinforce your learning. In addition, the University Library offers support for all students through the provision of digital reading lists.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
ML01 – Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of user needs, capacities and limitations in multiple contexts of technology use and across technology platforms.
ML02 – Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of human-centred design principles, approaches, theories, and techniques and technologies.
ML03 – Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of ethical, inclusive and responsible technology design.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
ML04 - Design, develop and evaluate ethical, inclusive and responsible interactive technologies

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
ML05 – Demonstrate critical engagement with contemporary HCI research (e.g. recent research papers)

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment for the course will comprise:

Coursework I (30%)
• UCD Practical Work comprised of a collection of five design artefacts that respond to a technology design brief. Students will be assessed based on the summative response they make to a series of UCD tasks. This summative assessment will be a single submission of all the UCD practical work carried out. [MLO1, 2, 4]

Coursework II (70%)
• Reflective Report (2000 words) in which students perform desk research on a contemporary HCI topic [MLO2, 3, 5]

Formal written feedback on both summative assessments will be provided for the coursework.





Module abstract

Interactive technologies are all around us. We engage with them every day, including the computers we use for work and play, the mobile devices we use to communicate with one another, the wearables we attach to track and monitor our activities and the appliances we use to make our lives easier at home. To design these interactive products well, we need to study Human-Computer Interaction, learning how to make technologies easier and more enjoyable for all people to use. The skills you will learn on this course will support you in designing, prototyping and evaluating technologies from a human-centred perspective. Through the course you will be exposed to world-leading research, conducted by Northumbria University academics, which will deepen your understanding of the ethical, inclusive and responsible design of interactive technologies. Knowledge and skills developed in this module are vital for careers in User Experience (UX) design, development and consultancy.

Course info

UCAS Code G411

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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