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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Information: Control and Power (LAWS11180)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis module will investigate, through a range of legal disciplines and perspectives, the growing focus placed on, and value attached to, information by society and individuals; concerns as to its control and misuse; and the impact of this on business and government, particularly in the light of the opportunities and challenges of evolving - and converging - technologies.

The module will consider legal regimes relating to:

- privacy, freedom of information and data protection;
- the extent to which present regulatory, co-regulatory and self-regulatory systems conform to expectations in respect of information privacy and access;
- the extent to which basic data, information and content is or should be protected by intellectual property or other information rights, particularly in the light of new means of creating, obtaining, recording, sharing and exploiting that information;
- human rights law and policy, with particular reference to (online) privacy;
- electronic surveillance, access to information and the conflict between freedom of expression and reputation and image rights.

A wide-ranging international approach will be adopted, with contributions sought from students in respect of their own jurisdictions.
Course description Session 1: Introduction to Information Law
Session 2: Information privacy
Session 3: Reputation and reputation management
Session 4: Data protection
Session 5: Freedom of information
Session 6: Online content: access and control 1 (Harmful online content and harmful online behaviours)
Session 7: Online content: access and control 2 (Filtering and blocking)
Session 8: Electronic surveillance 1 - Interception and encryption
Session 9: Electronic surveillance 2 - Communications data
Session 10: Current issues arising in the context of information, control and power
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please contact the distance learning team at
Additional Costs Students should have regular and reliable access to the Internet.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of up to 4,000 words (60%); one written assignment (worth 20%); participation portfolio of contribution to weekly online discussions throughout the semester (20%).

Requirements for all module assessments will be outlined to students within the individual modules at the start of each semester.
Feedback Students can expect to receive timely feedback on their assessments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. assess when rights or obligations arise under data protection and freedom of information legislation;
  2. evaluate when information should and should not be recorded, retained, re-used or shared;
  3. analyse the extent to which developments in information and privacy can impact upon individuals and business, and the appropriate balance between these interests;
  4. form a view on the roles of IP, regulation, human rights and ethics in the field of information control, and the implications for private, public and corporate interests wherever situated;
  5. assess when, if ever, and to what extent control of information should be possible and identify situations where rights to create, share and access information may conflict with rights to privacy and personal autonomy.
Reading List
A list of key module readings will be available in advance of the module. Detailed reading lists are then available each week.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop their skills and abilities in:

1. Research and enquiry, through e.g. selecting and deploying appropriate research techniques;
2. Personal and intellectual autonomy, e.g. developing the ability to independently assess the relevance and importance of primary and secondary sources;
3. Communication, e.g. skills in summarising and communicating information and ideas effectively in written form;
4. Personal effectiveness, e.g. working constructively as a member of an online community;
5. Students will also develop their technical/practical skills, throughout the module, e.g. in articulating, evidencing and sustaining a line of argument, and engaging in a convincing critique of anothers arguments.
Special Arrangements This course is taught by distance learning.
Additional Class Delivery Information This course is taught by distance learning.
KeywordsInformation. Reputation management. Privacy. Data Protection. Copyright. Surveillance.
Course organiserMs Judith Rauhofer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2008
Course secretaryMs Clare Polson
Tel: (0131 6)51 9704
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