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Study information

Data Protection and Privacy

Module titleData Protection and Privacy
Module codeLAWM169
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Matthew Channon (Convenor)

Dr Robin Pierce (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The role of data in all sectors has increased substantially in recent years. This has placed data protection and privacy among the core competencies of many fields of study. How we understand privacy and how personal data can be effectively protected in an increasingly data-driven society is rapidly changing. This module will examine the legal instruments of data protection and privacy, giving considerable attention to the highly influential EU GDPR. The module provides a solid foundation in the underlying principles, terminology, complementary legislation, comparative approaches, regulatory challenges, and key debates in an increasingly digitized world.

This module is compulsory for students with no prior legal background enrolled on the LLM Law and Business.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The primary aim of the module is to facilitate a solid understanding of legal policies on privacy and data protection, with a firm grounding in the EU GDPR and familiarity with other legal approaches, including the UK, US, and other selected countries. The course also aims to situate data protection and privacy in real world contexts, thus examining challenges in the context of various types of commercial activity.  Privacy and data protection law can be reasonably expected to change as technology evolves. Thus, this course aims to provide you with the foundation in the underlying principles, reasoning, regulatory premises that allow you to analyse changes and challenges as they arise.

This module is an excellent foundation for those considering employment in the field of data protection or those wanting to understand and manage the key role that data protection law plays in virtually every sector. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and a thorough understanding of the main areas of data protection law, and the GDPR specifically;
  • 2. identify, explain and critically evaluate the main legal instruments of data protection and privacy;
  • 3. demonstrate critical awareness of a wide range of social, moral, pragmatic and economic implications of regulating to protect privacy;
  • 4. compare, analyse and synthesise the principal rules and theories relating to privacy and data protection.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understanding of a range of legal concepts, values, principles, institutions and procedures, and explain interrelationships and limits;
  • 6. demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of legal concepts and their contextual, social and commercial implications;
  • 7. apply legal knowledge to a problem/ case study and to suggest a conclusion supported by relevant arguments;

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. manage relevant learning resources/ information;
  • 9. independently develop arguments and opinions with minimum guidance;
  • 10. communicate and engage in debate effectively and accurately, orally and in writing, in a manner appropriate to the discipline.

Syllabus plan

The exact subjects in this module may change, but an indicative set of topics are:
•   History of privacy and data protection
•   Theoretical basis of privacy and data protection
•   Data and information rights; the GDPR
•   Data protection in online settings; online tracking; data-driven technologies

•   Law and policy regarding algorithmic systems and artificial intelligence
•   International data flows; Comparative approaches to data protection
•   Data protection in the workplace: employee surveillance, automatic hiring 

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities1510 weekly 1.5 hour seminar: each topic will be introduced by a lecture. Students are expected to prepare to discuss assigned questions and engage in general discussion.
Guided Independent Study60Assigned seminar readings
Guided Independent Study10Preparation of one debate
Guided Independent Study20Formative assessment preparation
Guided Independent Study45Summative assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1,000 words1-10Written and oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1002,000 words1-10Written and oral

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay – 2,000 words1-10August/September re-assessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Hoofnagle, C.J., van der Sloot, B. & Zuiderveen Borgesius; F. ‘The European Union general data protection regulation: what it is and what it means’, (2019) 28:1 Information & Communications Technology Law 65-98.
  • Van Der Sype, Y. S., Roex, R., Gryffroy, P. & Dumortier, J. European Privacy and Data Protection Law. Wolters Kluwer, 2022.


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web-based and electronic resources:


ELE – Case law of the European Court of Justice available at:

Indicative learning resources – Online databases: Westlaw, Lexis, Eurlex, HeinOnline.

  • Additional items will be added to ELE on a weekly basis.
  • Selected articles
  • Newly published articles

Key words search

Data Protection, Privacy, GDPR, Data governance

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date