Module code: SOC3075

Module Overview

The study of cybercrime and cybersecurity not only represents one of the key emerging areas of research within contemporary criminology but is also a crucial problem of national policy and crime control. Recent (2016) data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales suggest that cybercrime may now be the most prevalent form of criminality in the UK and repeated breaches to key infrastructures across most jurisdictions have emphasized why it is has also become one of the main threats to international peace and security. 

This module will introduce students to the key themes within the study of cybercrime and cybersecurity – including, offence types and their prevalence; typical victims and perpetrators; policing and control measures; varieties of cybersecurity responses and the ‘human’ problem in making these resilient.

Module provider


Module Leader

MCGUIRE Michael (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes: 



Cyber dependent Crime (I) - Malware & Ransomware 

Cyberdependent Crime (II) - Bots 

Cyberenabled Crime-  Fraud 

Sexual Offending and Indecent Imagery 

Hate Speech & Trolling 

Stealing Ideas in the digital domain 

State and Corporate Sponsored Cybercrimes 

Cybersecurity – themes and methods 

Humans and other problems with Cybersecurity 

Cybercrime 4.0?

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Coursework 1 60
Coursework Coursework 2 40

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

Learning Outcome

Assessed by


  • 2 x 2,000 word coursework


  • Formative essay plans and proposals


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • Coursework 1 (2,000 words) - feedback will be provided to students both via written and verbal comments

  • Coursework 2 (2,000 words) - feedback will be provided to students both via written and verbal comments


Formative assessment and feedback

  • In class quizzes, role play and tests with direct feedback and discussion

  • Proposals and plans for the summative assessments. Verbal and written feedback will be provided to students.

Module aims

  • Define the key threats to digital networks posed by cybercriminals
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of cybersecurity response to such threats
  • Consider the key policing strategies for managing cybercrime
  • Identify how appropriate existing legal frameworks might be for prosecuting and punishing cybercriminals
  • Critically analyse the explanatory power of available theoretical frameworks within criminology when applied to cybercrime

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Acquire a systematic understanding of the ways in which different theories have sought to understand various types of cybercrimes KC
002 Develop an advanced ability to make connections and distinctions between these different theories and to apply them to real world cases of cybercriminality and the cybersecurity response KC
003 Show critical understanding of the ways issues and theories of cybercrime and cybersecurity intersect with policy and the operations of the criminal justice system KCP
004 Understand the options for digital security and the successes and failures of current approaches KCPT
005 Be able to evaluate research in the field of cybercrime, using materials from a range of disciplines such as criminology, law and cybersecurity KCPT

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:

Foster an advanced ability to make connections and distinctions between theories evidence which apply to real world contexts of cybersecurity and cybercrime. 

Knowledge and understanding of this and the ways cyber-criminality and cybersecurity intersect with public policy and the operations of the criminal justice system  is fostered through lectures and seminars that guide students through relevant material and develop their capacity for critical thought. Students are encouraged to pursue deeper study independently through extensive reading and to apply learning to their own specialist substantive areas or interests. Teaching and learning consists of a mixture of lectures, seminars and applied case study exercises, Guest speakers with expertise in cybercrime theory and the implementation of cybersecurity measures will provide engagement with innovative and leading edge developments in cybercrime theory and the practical responses to preventing cybercrime

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOC3075

Other information

The Department of Sociology is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in all these areas, as highlighted throughout this module descriptor. A summary of how this is achieve for each of the five key pillars is provided below:


  • Gaining practical experience for work in information and cybersecurity 

Global and Cultural Capabilities 

  • Developing understanding of global responses to network security 
  • Enhancing understanding of cultural factors in cyber offending 

Digital Capabilities 

  • Understanding how digital networks function 
  • Appreciating how to make digital security more effective 


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Criminology with Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Criminology BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

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 2025/6 academic year.