Mobile and Social Application Programming

The details
Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (School of)
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
24 July 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

A huge industry has grown up in the last few years delivering a wide range of apps for mobile devices, including application areas such as games, social networking, information, and productivity. The purpose of this module is to teach the main aspects of programming applications for such devices.

Given the power of modern mobile devices coupled with their range of inputs (audio, camera, GPS, motion sensor, touchscreen) this creates an exceptionally interesting platform to develop applications for.

Furthermore, these platforms come complete with their own marketplaces meaning that successful applications can achieve a large market share based largely on their merit.

Such a course could be taught at an abstract level, independent of the particular type of device in question, but the approach taken on this module is to explore one particular platform (Android), in a hands-on and in-depth manner.

This is a popular platform with a range of excellent devices (including low cost ones) from a variety of manufacturers. The platform is well designed and well documented, and has the significant advantage of being Java based, meaning that students can get up to speed relatively quickly and concentrate on the interesting issues involved in developing a high quality app without having to learn a new language at the same time.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to teach the main aspects of programming applications for mobile devices.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the business models behind mobile and social applications and the issues involved in publishing an app for a mobile platform

2. Demonstrate an ability to use the main elements of the Android API

3. Implement mobile applications that connect with social networking sites

4. Utilise appropriate date persistence mechanisms

5. Design and implement a non-trivial Android app

Module information

Outline Syllabus

HelloAndroid: Android SDK, using an IDE, Application Structure, XML descriptors, Intents, Activities, Fragments, Tasks. Resources and context, components and lifecycles, packaging an Android app, porting apps to Android.

GUI Building: main elements of Android GUIs and interactions between the GUI and the application.

Graphics: writing interactive graphics applications with fast and smooth animation for applications such as games.

Handling and persisting data: SQLite, JSON, binary serialization, XML serialization.

Developing and exploring content providers: defining a public content provider API, implementing a content provider, content observation, declaring a content provider. Using and exploring an existing content provider. Integrating with social networking sites.

Rich applications: multimedia, handling audio and video. Location-based applications, GPS, integration with mapping services such as Google maps. Utilising sensor inputs: audio, camera, gesture, motion (tilt, accelerometer).

Google Play Store: deploying an app to the market, maintaining and updating an app, utilising feedback from users. Charging for apps. Using advertisement APIs. Internationalisation.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures & laboratories


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non - essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
CSEE School Office, email: csee-schooloffice (non-Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create full e-mail address), Telephone 01206 872770



External examiner

Sheffield Hallam University
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 534 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
534 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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