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Department of Computer Science and Technology



Course pages 2020–21


Principal lecturer: Dr Alice Hutchings
Additional lecturers: Prof Ross Anderson, Dr Richard Clayton
Taken by: MPhil ACS, Part III
Code: R254
Hours: 16
Class limit: max. 14 students
Prerequisites: Undergraduate security courses


This course examines major topics relating to cybercrime from an interdisciplinary perspective. These include offence types and techniques, targets, victimisation, social and financial cost, criminal marketplaces, offenders, detection and prevention, and regulation and policing. The course outlines: key debates in cybercrime research; how crime is committed using computer systems; and provides an understanding of how cybercrime is regulated, policed, detected, and prevented.


The course will consist of eight two-hour sessions covering:

  • Tools and techniques of cybercrime
  • Cybercrime victimisation
  • Costs and harms of cybercrime
  • Criminal marketplaces
  • Cybercrime offenders and offender pathways
  • Cybercrime prevention (situational and social approaches)
  • Regulation and policy
  • Cybercrime and the criminal justice system


All participants are expected to attend and participate in every class, and to read the specified papers beforehand. The instructor must be notified of any absences in advance.


On completion of this module, students should:

  • Have a broad knowledge of the key themes, debates, theory, and research in relation to cybercrime;
  • Have developed further skills in critical analysis;
  • Have developed skills in presenting a case study, critically evaluating current issues, and writing about cybercrime;
  • Have a sound understanding of strategies to combat and prevent cybercrime;
  • Understand the ethical and practical challenges in conducting cybercrime research.

Recommended reading

Please see Course Materials for recommended reading for each session.



  • 4 Essays: 1 x 1,000 words; 3 x 1,500 words.
  • Presentations: each student will give one or more presentations


Essays: 80%; Presentation: 20%

Further Information

Due to COVID-19, the method of teaching for this module will be adjusted to cater for physical distancing and students who are working remotely. We will confirm precisely how the module will be taught closer to the start of term.

This course is borrowed from Part II of the Computer Science Tripos. As such, assessment will be adjusted to an appropriate level for those enrolled for Part III of the Tripos or the M.Phil in Advanced Computer Science. Further information about assessment and practicals will follow at the first lecture.