LW7016 - Foundations of information Rights

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will develop a critical understanding of the laws relating to information rights in the UK and Europe. You will examine the development of information rights law in England and how the different regimes interact with each other. The module will take a critical look at the legal framework that governs information rights, the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection REgulation, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 SI 2004/3391 and their diverse backgrounds.

This module covers the following topics:

1. The history and development of information rights in England
2. Who is subject to the regimes
3. What information is covered by the regimes
4. What rights and obligations are created by the regimes
5. What exemptions or exceptions apply, how they operate and how the regimes interact with one another
6. How the law treats incapable adults and children in this area
8. How the regimes are enforced

How will I learn on this module?

You will be supported by a teaching and learning plan (TLP) which outlines the activities (independent study/reading, self evaluative tasks, informal practice assessments) throughout the module.

Directed learning will centre on detailed learning materials which will be made available via the module dedicated e-Learning (elp) site and will include guided reading using electronic reading lists, self-evaluative tasks as well as opportunities to engage with your tutor and fellow students. Knowledge will be consolidated through a range of learning activities that will include extended reading, research and reflection. You will have an optional Study Day at the University, which will focus on the foundations of each of the major regimes and may include interactive workshop-based activities and lectures from tutors and the opportunity for guest practitioner expert input which will enhance academic content and delivery. Study Day content will also be made available on the eLP.

Independent learning will centre on you identifying further reading and research to provide deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of information rights law.

You will be provided with detailed feedback on your formative and summative assignment for this module and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme. You are therefore able to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective practice within the module and on the programme as a whole, with feedback of appropriate quality and the positive application of formative feedback on learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University is well-placed to support you in learning and research with an excellent library and teaching facilities, access to on-line legal databases and resources and appropriate software.

This module is designed and will be managed by your designated Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. All relevant materials and instructions will be accessible on-line through the module elp site, maintained by your Module Tutor, who will also provide updates on issues of current legal significance. Extensive use is therefore made of the elp at module level to facilitate discussions between you and your Module Tutor, to provide materials, make announcements and to highlight recent developments in the law. You may communicate with your Module Tutor by e-mail or telephone and are encouraged to make contact if you encounter any difficulties relating to any aspect of the module. During the module, several “surgery” sessions, via distance means such as Blackboard collaborate, give the Module Tutor and students the opportunity to discuss content and expectations around learning and assessment.

Academic support is also available through summative and formative feedback on assignments and a module teaching and learning plan (TLP) detailing delivery structure and any University requirements. At programme level you will be supported by the Programme Leader who will provide pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole.

The Programme Administration and Student Liaison teams are responsible for the non-academic administration of the module, such as receiving your completed assignment, returning your marked assignment and recording your marks. They will contact you throughout the duration of your module with details about the study day, assignment hand-in dates and other issues.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
At the end of the module you will have:

• Develop an understanding of data protection, freedom of information and the environmental information regulations, how the regimes work, the rights and responsibilities they create, how they interact and are enforced

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Developed an ability to conduct rigorous and independent legal research in the area of information rights law, selecting, using and applying the relevant material to identify issues, construct rational arguments and present accurate legal information clearly, coherently and substantiated by authority.

• Developed an ability to reflect on and critically evaluate the operation of the key legal regimes in the wider information rights context and identify solutions to a range of legal and practical problems associated with the collection, use and access to information.

Personal Values and Attributes

Develop the ability to work in a self-managed way, to set goals and timescales for your own work, to meet deadlines, reflect on your progress and take on board feedback to improve your performance.

Develop an understanding of the role which information rights plays in ensuring accountability, transparency and openness in decision making by public and private organisations.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be achieved by self-test questions in module materials, group discussion, informal peer assessment and assessed and non-assessed exercises. Answers to self-test questions will be provided on the module elp and your tutor will give oral and written feedback to you as required.

Summative Assessment will be undertaken on an individual basis by way of assignment which constitutes 100% of the marks for this module. This assignment aims to encourage a deep and critical approach to learning, developing an ability to think widely about the issues presented within the module and to explore these in-line with directed and independent learning.

The module is assessed by coursework with a maximum word limit of 3,000 words. The assessment will take the form of a problem-based scenario which will be designed to facilitate examination of specific aspects of relevant law and related legal research and may include discussion of recent developments, where appropriate. Assessment criteria will be provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance.

You will be provided with appropriate written or oral feedback (as appropriate), and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme.





Module abstract

The Foundations of Information Rights module provides students with a fundamental understanding of the major access to information regimes which operate in the UK. It is designed to bring all students to a base level of understanding of those regimes prior to them moving on to deal with the subject specialist core modules. Information rights is an increasingly important and contentious area of the law with developments in technology making more and more information more widely available and allowing organisations to use it in increasingly sophisticated ways. In this module students will study the development and operation of the data protection, freedom of information and environmental information legislation. They will develop a critical understanding of the rights and obligations created by these regimes, will look at how the interact with each other and how the rights and obligations are enforced.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year distance learning

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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