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Unit information: Information Technology Law in 2021/22

Unit name Information Technology Law
Unit code LAWDM0070
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Charlesworth
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will critically examine the legal and regulatory challenges raised by the Digital Age. It will start by analysing the main theoretical debates about cyberspace regulation. It will then move on to consider to what extent law has successfully responded to the challenges raised by innovative and emerging digital technologies by considering various topics. These include piracy and file-sharing, Big Data technologies and data privacy, digital disinformation, cyber-crime, State Surveillance and artificial intelligence. Given that IT Law is a fast-moving discipline, the exact areas covered in each academic year may vary depending on their relevance to current policy, legal and regulatory debates in the field.

This unit will engage with the laws of England & Wales. Given the global nature of the Internet, this unit will often engage with the laws of other jurisdictions including Europe and America. Consequently, students may often have to engage with legal and academic materials from jurisdictions other than England & Wales.

This unit does not require an in-depth understanding of contemporary information and communications technologies. It is primarily focused on the legal and regulatory implications of digital technologies and platforms as well as the intended and unintended consequences of regulating digital ecosystems.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, a successful student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a thorough and critical understanding of the fundamental concepts, theories and laws which apply to innovative and emerging digital technologies;
  • Apply the main theoretical ideas on cyber-regulation to explore digital regulation in practice; and
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness of law in in regulating innovative digital ecosystems.

Students should also be able to:

  • State the law accurately; and
  • Identify and discuss potential solutions to the legal and regulatory issues raised by the Digital Age including the usefulness or otherwise of law reform.

This unit is also intended to improve skills relating to research – in particular, the ability to research legal issues and areas of law.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Information

2 x summative assessments: 2x coursework with a specified word count (50% each)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LAWDM0070).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.