University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Surveillance and Security (LAWS11231)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to the study of surveillance and security. The courses draws from the fields of surveillance studies, security studies, and situational crime prevention, and examines topics such as CCTV and Internet surveillance, airport security, counter-terrorism, and privacy. The course explores how surveillance and security can and should be implemented and regulated.

This course is primarily criminological, sociological and social scientific in approach.

This course is particularly suitable for students who are interested in topics such as mass surveillance, surveillance cameras, situational crime prevention, designing out crime, border security, counter-terrorism, Internet surveillance and privacy.

Students from this course go on to careers in law enforcement, government, private security, PhD research, academia, public sector and the service sector.
Course description This topical and stimulating course will introduce you to the study of surveillance and security. The course - which is primarily criminological and social scientific in approach - explores research drawn from the fields of surveillance studies, security studies, and situational crime prevention, and examines topics such as CCTV and Internet surveillance, checkpoint security, and counter-terrorism. On this course you will also consider how surveillance and security can and should be implemented and regulated. There are no prerequisites for this course and no prior study of criminology is required. The course will appeal to students from a range of postgraduate programmes across the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, including (but not limited to) criminology, global crime, law, sociology, politics, international relations, and design.

Indicative seminar topics include: surveillance theories, situational crime prevention, electronic surveillance technologies, security theories, practical and applied security, national security and counter-terrorism, border control, privacy and the regulation of surveillance, and life in 'the surveillance society'.

The course is taught by means of 10 weekly seminars, each lasting for 2 hours. A detailed reading list is issued at the start of the semester, along with an online reading resource list. You will read and study the key materials for each seminar and come prepared to take part in active discussion. The course is assessed by means of two written assessments, each 2,500 words maximum length. The first is an essay on a question chosen from a list of possible questions, and the second is a 'case study' examining a surveillance or security topic chosen by you and approved by the Course Organiser. These two assessments are designed to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes, and the case study enables you to develop your research skills in identifying a suitable topic for study and for your independent research of the topic, as well as further developing your writing skills.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay and one case study, both worth 50%
Feedback There will be an opportunity to obtain feedback via a formative assessment ahead of the summative assessments for this course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Knowledge and understanding of key theories and models relating to surveillance, security and crime prevention
  2. Ability to analyse, critique or develop existing theories, models approaches or research findings in relevant areas
  3. Identify areas of topical social, political or policy interest or concern and demonstrate an ability, in at least one area, to relate academic material to a given area and to develop this into an original argument and analysis.
Reading List
Readings will be provided in advance of each seminar.

In terms of preparatory reading, there is no one single book that covers the whole course, but Surveillance Studies by DAvid Lyon offers an introduction to that topic. There are some good online readings on crime prevention and security at the POP Centre:
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Communication and writing skills
- General cognitive skills, including evaluation and critical analysis
- Identification of own study topic and ability to work autonomously in researching and writing in this topic
- Working in small groups with others to develop solutions to problems.
Course organiserDr Richard Jones
Tel: (0131 6)50 2032
Course secretaryMs Olivia Hayes
Tel: (0131 6)50 9588
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information