Technological Foundations (DIG503)

Understanding the technological frameworks of digital transformations is key to working in the digital society. As digital technologies become more and more embedded in social, political, cultural, and economic relations, a firm understanding of how the ontologies of data, algorithms, platforms, networks, and information systems shape the distribution of power in society is necessary to ensure citizen rights in the digital society. This course introduces students to key technological and conceptual vocabulary of digital communication networks and digitalisation, including protocols, algorithms, data typologies, and metrics. It also relates the ethical issues and the underlying technical infrastructure necessary to understand how digitalisation works, and the vocabulary needed to communicate with data engineers.

Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.


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The course gives students a firm grasp of digital technologies and how they work. Key concepts include computer and information systems; AI and machine learning; programming and coding; algorithms, platforms, and networks; robotics and automation; open source, hacking and GDPR; big data and blockchain; and data management and manipulation. The course also introduces students to the history and development of the internet and the world wide web, outlines how smart cities and smart societies work, and discusses foundational issues in data ethics. Students will also learn about digital data sources and how to use them.

Learning outcome

It is expected that the students after completing the course will have the following knowledge, skills, and general competencies.


On completion of this course, the student has:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of how digital technologies work.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the internet, world wide web and social networking.


On completion of this course, the student can:

  • Describe how digital technology and computer systems work.
  • Apply technical vocabulary and concepts and relate them to ethics of technological issues.

General competencies

On completion of this course, the student has:

  • Thorough understanding of digital technologies and their underlying technical infrastructure.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of data ontologies and the ethics related to data, computers and AI technology.

Required prerequisite knowledge



Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Home exam 1/1 6 Hours Letter grades All

Coursework requirements

Compulsory assignments
Student presentations, group work.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Raul Ferrer Conill

Study Adviser:

Magda Hognestad

Method of work

Lectures, case- and problem-based seminars, group work.

Open for

Digital Society and Societal Transformations - Master's Degree Programme

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


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