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 LAW516
Coordinator Dr M Shillito
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ First Semester 20


This module aims to give students a comprehensive overview of the challenges the law and its various actors face in attempting to curb crime on the Dark Web. It will encourage students to think critically about these challenges, and stimulate academic interest in a challenging, exciting and emerging area of the law. Students will develop the ability to engage in current academic debates surrounding the laws intervention in tech enabled crime, specifically Dark Web crime.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the basic functioning of the Dark Web and the challenges the technology presents.

(LO2) Students will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of the effectiveness of the international legal response to Dark Web crime.

(LO3) Students will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of the challenges that law enforcement face in seeking to enforce the law in this area.

(LO4) Students will be able to undertake effective research in the field of Dark Web crime.

(LO5) Students will be able to apply legal knowledge to practical situations and draw reasoned conclusions supported by legal authority

(S1) Communication (oral and written) skills – oral skills will be developed in class seminars, whilst written skills will be advanced in the final written assessment.

(S2) Time and project management - Personal organisation. The module will have clearly set deadlines and tasks.

(S3) Academic writing (including referencing) skills – students will develop this specific communication skill through writing the coursework.

(S4) Research skills – students will be asked to do independent research to engage with literature and other resources.

(S5) Improving own learning and performance. The major part of the module will rely on self-learning. The handbook will provide directions for self-learning and required and additional literature for each topic.

(S6) Develop skills in reading, analysing and synthesising different viewpoints and presenting findings/conclusions in clear, comprehensible, structured format, with detailed argumentation where appropriate

(S7) Engagement with a wider audience – students will develop this communication skill through writing their blog post.



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

• Introduction to the Dark Web and its technologies.
• Dark Web marketplaces.
• Drugs and the Dark Web.
• Pornography, illicit images, and the Dark Web.
• Illicit trade in firearms, explosives and ammunition.
• Dark Web fraud.
• Aims of regulation and enforcement action.
• Limits of investigation: jurisdictional barriers and human rights law.
• Ethical challenges to digital policing.
• Legitimacy and limits of undercover policing.
• Privacy as a barrier to Investigation.
• Targeting the proceeds of Dark Web crime.
• Deterrence / enforcement.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1: Seminars

Scheduled Directed Student Hours: 11 x 2 Hours (22 hours)

Unscheduled Directed Student Hours: 178.

Description: Interactive seminars focussing on the key issues raised by the module.

Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Schedule

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

Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 178


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 2 Assessment Title: Final assessment Assessment Type: Coursework Duration / Size: 3000 words Weighting: 80 % Reassessment Opportunity: Yes Penalty for Late Submis    80       
Assessment 1 Assessment Title: Assessment Type: Blog post Duration / Size: 1000 words Weighting: 20 % Reassessment Opportunity: Yes Penalty for Late Submission: Standard UoL pe    20       

Recommended Texts

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

Other Staff Teaching on this Module


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