Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Law

The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
11 April 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

Are you a Facebook-fan? Or simply a routine user of e-mails? Have you ever wondered what would happen if your personal data was stolen? Not only your friends’ contacts, but also your bank account details? Can we steal data?

This module focuses on the challenges that the use of computer technology and the Internet create for the substantive law of crime. Presented, where relevant, in light of the evolution that criminal law underwent over the last three centuries, those issues are also looked at from a prospective angle in order to reflect on the possible responses to cybercrime in the future. Particular emphasis will be on offences and the principles of liability in English law. Where relevant the regulatory framework will also be looked at.

As cybercrime does not stop at borders, many of the themes are analysed in light of the international frameworks that regulate cybercrime and its ecosystem. Among those international instruments, are the Convention on Cybercrime, the draft UN Cybercrime Convention, and the EU Network Information Systems 2 Directive.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To introduce students to the main features of cybercrime and cybersecurity issues.

  • To enable students to develop an understanding of the impact on, and challenges for, the criminal law of the use of computer technology and the Internet.

  • To equip students with the analytical tools for analysing cybercrime issues and applying the relevant law to scenarios drawn from real-life situations.

  • To foster an understanding of the social and policy issues, including in international systems, that underpin the law.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Recognise the key elements of the relevant legal framework (national and international) in the area and understand their contribution to the subject.

  2. Understand the physical infrastructure of the technologies and how cybersecurity and, where relevant, how various regulatory framework(s), intersect with the fight against cybercrime.

  3. Understand the historical assumptions governing the structure of criminal offences.

  4. Analyse whether further changes are needed to the criminal law; and if so, how.

  5. Critically assess and evaluate the multiple discourses affecting the regulation of cybercrime and more generally cybersecurity and the internet.

  6. Recognise and evaluate the different values and fundamental rights at stake in order to achieve justice and fairness.

Module information


  • Introduction to cybercrime: new technologies, uses and misuses, cybercrime statistics, classifications.

  • Offences against property (theft-criminal damage): the difficult transition to the 20th/21st centuries.

  • The Computer Misuse Act 1990: a turning point (sections 1 and 2).

  • The Computer Misuse Act 1990: moving forward (sections 3 and 3A).

  • Offences against property: the Fraud Act 2006, a critical response.

  • Offences against the person. The power of words and images.

  • Regulating cybercrime: general appraisal and beyond.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week
  • Four 2-hour tutorials

So that each session can outline the challenges, the existing law and the proposals to improve or create new means of dealing with cybercrime.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Audrey Guinchard, email: abguin@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Audrey Guinchard
Law General Office, 01206 872529, lawugadmin@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 28 hours, 12 (42.9%) hours available to students:
16 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Law School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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