CYBERCRIME - 2022/3

Module code: LAW3139

Module Overview

Digital technology influences every aspect of daily life, shaping the way that individuals live, work and socialise but it has a less positive aspect as it has also transformed criminal behaviour. This module considers the dark side of technology and, in doing so, it draws on areas of study familiar to the students (criminal law, public law, criminal justice) whilst introducing a new focus of study. It encourages critical engagement with the way in which the law operates in an effort to combat cybercrime and brings together theoretical ideas about the function of law with the practical considerations of the impact of criminal behaviour on society. It also engages with the challenges of preventing online crime and policing the internet. This is set in the context of the domestic, European and international law framework whilst also considering non-legal approaches to regulation.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

FINCH Emily (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code:

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 12

Independent Learning Hours: 77

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 22

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

The module will cover a range of contemporary issues related to cybercrime such as:


  • The theoretical foundation of cybercrime.

  • The evolution of cybercrime and the regulation of cyberspace.

  • The computer as the target of crime: computer misuse, denial of service.

  • Computer misuse: spam, phishing, hacking and viruses.

  • Control of information: data protection, privacy and freedom of expression.

  • Romance fraud, financial scams and identity theft.

  • Music, file sharing and copyright infringement.

  • Pornography and grooming.

  • Cyberbullying and cyberstalking.

  • Regulation, jurisdiction and policing the internet.


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2000 WORD ESSAY 50
Oral exam or presentation GROUP PRESENTATION 50

Alternative Assessment

The alternative assessment for the group presentation is a one-hour unseen examination.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have understood the way in which cybercrime operates in society and the challenges that it presents to the law in terms of detection, investigation and prosecution as well as encouraging a creative and critically-evaluative approach to the communication this understanding.

Accordingly, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • 20-minute recorded group presentation on an area of cybercrime (all learning outcomes)

  • A 1500-word piece evaluation either of the impact of particular cybercrime on society or the challenges in policing a particular cybercrime (all learning outcomes)



The formative assessment for the module consists of verbal feedback on the presentations made in the workshop sessions which provide the basis for the group presentation aspect of the summative assessment and verbal feedback on a piece of evaluative written work.

All feedback provided in the module will be verbal as part of an individual feedback meeting to discuss the student's formative work. This promotes a two-way dialogue and encourages greater engagement with the formative assessment process. Students will be encouraged to ask questions and make their own notes during this meeting but additional written feedback can be provided to students upon request.

Module aims

  • To provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding of the complexities associated with the regulation of cyberspace and the challenges that cybercrime presents to the criminal justice system.
  • To outline the theoretical basis for understanding cybercrime and online criminality and to question the effectiveness of the law as a mechanism for regulating online behaviour.
  • To explore the criminogenic potential of the online environment and to consider a range of offences committed using computers, the relationship between cybercrime and social harm and the prevalence and impact of a range of different cybercrimes.
  • To equip students with the knowledge and skills to engage in critical evaluation of the current approach to the regulation of cyberspace, taking into account private and public approaches to enforcement and the jurisdictional challenges inherent in this area of law.
  • To address the balance needed between freedom and regulation in the context of issues such as harassment and defamation.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify, explain and apply the legislative provisions that regulate the offences covered in the module. KCPT
002 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the issues associated with the regulation of cyberspace including the jurisdictional issues. KCP
003 Show an awareness of the development of technology and the relationship with trends in cybercrime. KP
004 Engage in critical assessment of the national and international policies and initiatives aimed at controlling KC
005 Evidence an awareness of the social context within which cybercrime takes place. K
006 Development of creativity thinking, communication skills, independent research skills and collaborative working practices. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to support students in the acquisition of a core body of knowledge of the emergence of cybercrimes and the associated problems with policing and regulation. It aims to facilitate active engagement with the subject matter and, more broadly, an appreciation of the operation of law in society. It places an appropriate level of emphasis on independent learning and encourages students to take a creative approach to communicating their understanding of the law as it relates to cybercrime.

The learning and teaching methods will include:


  • two-hour interactive lectures in which core information and ideas will be disseminated.

  • one-hour tutorials in which facilitate the exploration of ideas and concepts in greater depth.

  • two-hour student-led workshops in which research about core topics within cybercrime are presented and discussed.


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW3139

Other information

None

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.