Law School Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code LAW517
Coordinator Dr F Cengiz
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ Second Semester 20


This module aims to give students a comprehensive overview of the challenging relationship between blockchain/cryptocurrencies and the law. As a result of engagement with this module, students are expected to develop critical thinking skills about the relationship between law and technological constructs that are abstract, fluid and difficult to regulate. As part of this module, students will also develop an understanding of essential law and economics concepts such as the operation of monetary policies and money as a network economy. This interdisciplinary approach will enable them to confidently engage with complex problems at the intersection of law, economics and technology.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to understand and discuss the basic dynamics of the operation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies

(LO2) Students will develop a critical understanding of the key advantages blockchain & cryptocurrencies offer and the risks they pose to society

(LO3) Students will develop a critical understanding of the legal complexities caused by smart contracts and decentralised autonomous organisations

(LO4) Students will develop a basic understanding of the fundamental characteristics of the emerging international cryptocurrency regulations

(LO5) Students will develop a critical understanding of the fundamental differences between how blockchain is governed and how states plan to use blockchain to regulate behaviours of citizens

(LO6) Students will develop a critical understanding of the relationship between blockchain and democracy

(LO7) Students will develop a critical understanding of the underlying economic principles of money as a network economy

(S1) Communication (oral and written) skills – students will be actively encouraged to actively participate in the group discussion in the seminar. This will help them develop oral communication skills. In the final assessment, students will be asked to write a critical essay on a challenging question. This will help students develop written communication skills.

(S2) Academic writing (including referencing) skills – students will develop this specific communication skill through writing the coursework.

(S3) Research skills – students will be asked to do independent research to engage with literature and other resources not directly recommended in the reading lists to prepare for the seminars and to write the coursework. This will help them develop independent research skills.

(S4) Improving own learning, performance and reflective practice – for each seminar students will be provided with a set of questions which they will prepare answers for before the seminar. In the seminar, through group discussion, they will find out whether their answer was correct. This will help them develop skills to reflect on their understanding of how the law in question applies to specific problems.



Module content may change slightly year-to-year. Indicatively, topics include:

-Introduction to the fundamentals of blockchain and cryptocurrencies
-Societal risks and advantages of blockchain and cryptocurrencies
-Smart contracts and decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs)
-Forthcoming regulations of cryptocurrencies in the US, EU and the UK,
-Blockchain governance and governance via blockchain
-Blockchain and democracy
-CeFi regulation and financial security
-Regulation of DeFi
-Central bank digital currencies: challenges and opportunities
-Crypto laundering and exit scams
-Counter-terrorist financing and cryptocurrencies
-Regulating crypto ‘pump & dumps’
-Cryptocurrencies enabled ransomware
-Challenges to utilising public-private partnerships to fight cryptocrime
-Enforcement challenges in tackling cryptocrime

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1: Seminar

Scheduled Directed Student Hours: 10 x 2 Hours (20 hours)

Unscheduled Directed Student Hours: None.

Description: Interactive seminars based on a reading and question list communicated to students before the seminar in light of the module syllabus

Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 2:

Scheduled Directed Student Hours:

Unscheduled Directed Student Hours:


Attendance Recorded: Yes / No

Self-Directed Learning Hours: 180 hours

Description: This includes self-study for the seminars as well as independent research for and writing of the final assessment.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   24

Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 180


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 1 Assessment Title: Final assessment Assessment Type: Coursework Duration / Size: 4000 words Weighting: % 100 Reassessment Opportunity: Yes Penalty for Late Submis    100       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Other Staff Teaching on this Module

Dr M Shillito Law

Modules for which this module is a pre-requisite:


Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Co-requisite modules:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on a required basis:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on an optional basis:


Additional Programme Information