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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 (1,000 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 (1,500 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 (1,500 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 (1,500 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


Students (and most visitors) will give one or more presentations each term. The presentations will be based on the reading assignments, and papers will be allocated in the first week. As swapping presentations is allowed, you may find that you wish to talk to exchange with another student to give a presentation on a topic you find of particular interest. Be sure to confirm presentation swaps with us as early as possible, to avoid the potential for misunderstandings.

All presenters are expected to use slides, which must be submitted in PDF form prior to class. You may wish to borrow illustrations or tables from the original paper.

The paper should be given in a teaching or research style, and critically highlight the features of the set paper, as well as conveying the key ideas and contributions. The presentation should be 18-20-minutes in length, followed by a 10-minute discussion facilitated by the student. You will need to prepare for the discussion by formulating relevant questions.

Practical work



20%: Presentation

If more than one presentation is allocated, the marks will be aggregated. Criteria include: effective teaching of the key ideas; a critical evaluation of the work; tracing related research; considering current implications vs historical context of the work; and successful answering of Q&A as well as triggering a useful and interesting class discussion.

80%: Aggregate mark of four essays. 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.