Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment One essay of 5,000 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Recognise and evaluate the key theoretical frameworks involved in civil liberties and government control.

Identify and critically evaluate the key legislation which facilitates increased social control.

Demonstrate an appreciation of the concerns society has in accepting increased intervention into individuals' personal lives.

Evaluate the need for surveillance and monitoring in the control of crime, terrorism and other threats to national security.

Identify and critically evaluate the key methods used in monitoring and recording personal information.

Demonstrate an understanding of the balance between civil liberties and government intrusion.


1. An analysis of policy and the accompanying legislation which gives increased powers to the government and related agencies to monitor individuals and collect and analyse information, including the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act in the UK and similar developments overseas, such as the 'PATRIOT' Act in the US and the Anti-Terrorism Act in Australia

2. Introduction to the key theoretical ideas surrounding government control, in particular, those from radical and realist criminological perspectives.

3. Detailing of those various methods used to gather information, focusing on CCT, DNA databases, electronic 'tagging' and the interception of communications (incl. e-mail and telephone).

4. A review of intelligence-led policing and surveillance procedures, and the inter-agency distribution of information and potential for abuse.

5. Current and future developments, for example, the notion of 'defensible spaces' (environments designed or adapted to control criminal activity), ID cards and the question of proving 'identity', and technological developments such as live-scan and mobile DNA testing.

Brief description

The module will outline the primary areas that have seen major development with regards to surveillance and the recording of information. In particular, the module will focus on issues such as CCT, communication interception, and forensic datatbases. From a more theoretical perspective, it will also address the need for protection and the debate that sees increasing powers being given to government and criminal justice agencies from both a national and international perspective. Students will be introducted to the key elements of legislation and the major theoretical foundations concerning such developments, from both legal and criminological literature.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will critically analyse research findings and gain an appreciation of the role statistics play in assessing policy change.
Communication Written communication is developed by the presentation of information and argument in written answers and in a more informal way by the use of Blackboard to encourage communication among students and between students and staff. Oral communication skills are developed at the residential study schools.
Improving own Learning and Performance Distance learning, by its very nature, requires strong individual learning and performance structures and htis module further developes key skills in this area.
Information Technology The module is delivered almost entirely by distance learning which relies heavily on the use of electronic information resources and on-line learning and teaching.
Personal Development and Career planning Independent learning enhances time management skills. Studying the module will also develop an enhanced capacity for critical thought and the ability to work independently.
Problem solving The subject area requires an understanding of a wide range of issues, and students will develop critical problem solving skills in order to fully appreciate the complexities of the field
Research skills Students will be required to read and study beyond the set module texts and to locate further materials and research findings on the subject.
Subject Specific Skills None.
Team work Team working skills will be developed in group activities and discussions at the residential study schools.


This module is at CQFW Level 7