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Department of Computer Science and Technology



Course pages 2023–24




Essays and presentations are to be submitted via Moodle.

Essay 1: Presentation of the case study (750 words)

This first essay will require you to present a real-life case study. The case study can be a cybercrime event that has occurred in isolation, or a series of similar cybercrime events. There are no jurisdictional boundaries; it may have occurred in the UK (see for examples), internationally, or crossed borders. There should be sufficient objective information about the event or events you consider in your case study. It should have been covered in the media, and at least one individual should have been sentenced. For this essay, you must first introduce and describe the case study, and then relate it to the relevant academic literature about this particular type of crime more generally. This case study will be the focus of the subsequent three essays.

Due: 12:00 noon, Friday 2 February

Essay 2: Critical analysis of victimisation, costs and harms (1,000 words)

You must consider the reported and likely victims, and the costs and harms arising from the case study you presented in Essay 1. In particular, you should relate the costs and harms to the relevant academic literature, including the reading assignments.

Due: 12:00 noon, Friday 16 February

Essay 3: Offender pathways (1,000 words)

You must apply one theory covered in this course under ‘offender pathways’ (see Hutchings & Clayton (2016) for examples), and explain how it accounts, or fails to account, for the involvement of the offender/s presented in Essay 1. You will need to describe the key features of the selected theory, correctly defining and interpreting the theoretical concepts. You should relate it to relevant academic literature for the selected theory.

Due: 12:00 noon, Friday 1 March

Essay 4: Prevention and disruption (1,000 words)

You must outline ways in which the case study presented in Essay 1 may have been prevented or disrupted, using both situational and social crime prevention techniques. You should relate your essay to the relevant academic literature relating to crime prevention and cybercrime disruption.

Due: 12:00 noon, Friday 15 March


Each essay will compose 25% of the overall mark. The following marking criteria will be used:

Content (80%)

  • Written as a persuasive essay
  • Sets out a clear position from the start
  • Uses the whole essay to argue that position
  • Sticks to the point
  • Accurately defines key terms
  • Provides relevant information
  • Identifies key concepts, arguments and debates
  • Identifies and describes key empirical research findings
  • Researches widely (set readings and beyond), avoiding non-authoritative references (e.g. anonymous websites)
  • Avoids factual errors
  • Supports all claims made with appropriate references

Structure (10%)

  • Introduction summarises essay, outlines the key points, highlights the main arguments and conclusions and provides a well thought out essay plan
  • Discussion is well organised
  • Logically groups and orders ideas
  • Uses 'signposts' and transition sentences to provide explicit directions to the reader
  • Is written in paragraphs that have a topic sentence and develop a single idea
  • Effectively integrates information from different sources

Style and presentation (10%)

  • Expresses ideas clearly in student’s own words
  • Is grammatically sound
  • Avoids complicated sentences
  • Avoids overuse of quotes
  • Is well presented
  • Adheres to a standard referencing style
  • Is free of spelling and punctuation errors

Use essay style throughout (paragraphs, not bullet points). Do not include any tables, figures, or appendices. The word count excludes the title, headings, and bibliography. Essays must indicate the word count. Gratuitous word-count excess will be penalised.