Human Computer Interaction

Russell Beale

Peter Lonsdale

There are now specific topics for each blog group to post about - see what your topic is here

Teaching approach

This course is not a standard lecture module, in that the materials presented in lectures are designed to outline the field, make you aware of some issues you may have not thought about before, and spark your interest and direct your work. They are not supposed to give you all the information you need.

You need to do the actual work, on your own or in groups. Each week you should work through the reading and the resources detailed on the resources page. Some of that is compulsory, and you can expect to be examined on the materials in the Essential part. The other section expands and builds upon that basic knowledge, giving you a broader perspective. These resources are not the only ones you can use: there are a number of relevant books and readings in the school and main library as well as a host of online sites that offer interesting and relevant information.

The Monday lecture is compulsory.

The Thursday session is not (usually) a lecture session but a discussion one, in which we can work through whatever issues you want to talk about. Some weeks the Thursday session will not run at all, and you can use that slot to do some of your reading and research - check this page and your email to see. By default, come along if you've issues you want to discuss, otherwise do the readings and exercises.


Formally: Assessment is 80% exam, 20% continuous assessment.


Continuous assessment

The continuous assessment for the course is in the form of blogs that you maintain as part of a group. You will be required to blog intelligently on various issues relating to HCI as the course progresses. You will also be given specific topics to blog about nearer the end of the course. These blogs will be read and assessed, so it is essential that you make sure you are in a blogging group and that you actively take part in posting to your blog.

You will be expected to draw on the materials in the group blogs in your exam answers, so as well as posting to your own blog make sure you read and comment on other people's blogs as well.

The topics for blogging are available here.


The material that you will be tested on is covered in the recommended book and detailed on the resources page. HCI is a broad area which requires some expertise in a range of disciplines: computer science, psychology, design, ergonomics, sociology, anthropology, statistics, mathematics and so on. The assessement aims to test your breadth of knowledge of the main areas, going into depth in some areas. You therefore need to understand the main principles and techniques, knowing when and why to apply them.



Example exam questions

Example Q's with answers

Course summary


Bulletin board

Official Syllabus page

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