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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Information: Control and Power (LAWS11246)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will investigate, through a range of legal disciplines and perspectives, the growing focus placed on, and value attached to, information by society, governments, businesses and individuals; concerns as to its control and misuse; and the impact of this on all stakeholder, particularly in the light of the opportunities and challenges of evolving and converging - technologies.
Course description The course will consider legal regimes relating to:

1. privacy, freedom of information and data protection;
2. the extent to which present regulatory, co-regulatory and self-regulatory systems conform to expectations in respect of information privacy and access to information;
3. 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;
4. human rights law and policy, with particular reference to (online) privacy;
5. electronic surveillance and access to information by law enforcement agencies;
6. 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.

The aims of this course are to:

1. explore the extent to which access to and use of information and data is controlled;
2. consider the implications of this for privacy, commercial and international development, freedom of expression and other societal values; and
3. assess whether academic and policy debate in this area is progressing in a sufficiently holistically manner, and whether there are opportunities for further interaction of disciplines.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) 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) This course will be assessed by the following component(s):

An essay of no more than 5,000 words worth 100% of the total mark.
Feedback Each course will provide the opportunity for at least one piece of formative assessment with associated feedback. This will be provided within an appropriate timescale to enable students to learn from this prior to the summative assessment.

Students are required to actively participate within the class. Participation may take the form of oral or written contributions as well as taking part in-class quizzes and tasks via student response systems such as Top Hat.

In addition, students will be divided into small groups and asked to prepare a short presentation on one of the topics that will be considered in the course.

Feedback will comprise comments on the substantive question as well as the general approach to learning.

Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.

Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.

Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

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, competition, world trade law and 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
There is no core textbook.

A detailed list of key resources will be available at the start of the course.
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 oral and written form;
4. Personal effectiveness, e.g. working constructively as a member of a team in group activities;
5. Students will also develop their technical/practical skills, throughout the course, e.g. in articulating, evidencing and sustaining a line of argument, and engaging in a convincing critique of another's arguments.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Judith Rauhofer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2008
Course secretaryMiss Bethan Walters
Tel: (0131 6)50 2386
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