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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LAW3173 Technology, Crime and Justice

20 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Dr David Churchill

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the role of technology in crime, policing, security, surveillance, criminal law and criminal justice. In an age of computer hacking, mass surveillance, airport security and social media, this module deals with some of the most pressing social concerns of our time. Drawing on a range of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives – from sociology, criminology, history, and science and technology studies – this interdisciplinary module will enable you to research subjects at the cutting edge of contemporary technological development, and to reflect on the social, political and ethical questions they raise. Hence, if you are interested in the impact of technology in today's society, and how it is reconfiguring the world of crime and control, then this module is for you. It is hoped that by the end of the module you will have a much broader and more critical understanding of this area, as well as the confidence to articulate your own view on what form public responses to these challenges should take.


The objectives of this module are:
- to analyse the impact of technology on crime and criminal justice;
- to reflect critically on the social, political and ethical issues raised at the intersection of technology, crime and justice;
- to plan, produce and present a piece of research into a particular area of technology, crime and justice.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module, students will be able to:
- understand the challenges posed today by interconnections between technology, crime and justice;
- develop an informed and assured position on public responses to these challenges;
- plan, produce and present a piece of work on a particular technology and its connections with crime and justice;
- use internet sources effectively and appropriately to pursue work on a particular technology and its connections with crime and justice;
- use online learning resources to aid independent study.


Thinking about technology – technology, opportunity and the evolution of crime – high-tech criminals, popular culture and criminological thought
Techno-police and technologies in policing – security technologies and crime prevention – technologies of surveillance, tracking and monitoring – regulating technological threats

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours27.00
Private study hours149.50
Total Contact hours23.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Independent study on this module is partly directed, via online learning. This will be delivered via seven online learning packages, released gradually over the duration of the module. These packages provide you with foundational content (on which lectures and seminars will build), while allowing you to select the particular topics/perspectives in the subject area which you wish to explore. The online learning packages include recorded presentations, written course materials, multimedia resources, discussion forums and unassessed multiple-choice quizzes (to check understanding). You will be expected to complete each online learning package (approximately 3.5 hours) in advance of lectures and seminars in that subject area.

The remainder of independent study is entirely self-directed. You will be expected to pursue your own readings following on from online learning packages, lectures and seminars, to obtain a broad understanding of technology, crime and justice. However, you will also work self-directed on an independent research project to complete the various project assessment tasks (proposal; report; presentation) due over the course of the module. Group sessions in seminars will support work on your individual project over the course of the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,500-word essay50.00
Presentation15 minute recorded presentation (project findings)35.00
Project750-word project proposal15.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 07/05/2019


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