LW7100 - The Law of Data Management

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will develop a critical understanding of the laws relating to data management. Whilst the focus will be on data protection in the UK and Europe, you will be encouraged to bring in examples from other jurisdictions providing an international perspective on data management. You will examine the development of data protection law in England and Europe, the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act), the EU Directive on Data Protection (the Directive), the Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. The module will take a critical look at the legal framework that governs data protection and privacy both regionally and internationally. This module covers the following topics: the history and development of data protection law; key definitions within the legislation and how they have been interpreted and applied; the data protection principles which govern legal regulation and practice; the rights which are created by the Act and Regulation, who they are granted to and how they might be enforced; the obligations which are imposed on organisations over how they process personal data; how the exemptions in the legislation apply to domestic law; how notification arrangements work and how the data protection regime is enforced, in particular looking at the powers of the Information Commissioner.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will utilise lectures and seminars to initiate your practical thinking on the content areas mentioned above. The lectures will cover the basic legal and conceptual frameworks of the topics outlined above. Seminars will provide an opportunity to discuss the law in the context of the contemporary themes in the legal regulation of data and the law governing how data is held, managed and distributed. These sessions will, thereby, consolidate your understanding and emphasising the implications of the law. Formative assessment will be achieved by, group discussion, informal peer assessment and assessed and non-assessed exercises. Individual and group feedback will be given to students in the small group sessions on their performance after the submission of practice assignments and/or workshop tasks. You will be assessed summatively by way of a written piece of coursework based on a case study, which will take place in the Semester Two assessment period.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The staff who teach on this module have both academic and practitioner experience in this area. As such, you will receive bespoke academic support to stimulate your thinking around this subject. All lectures will be recorded and made available to students to aid in learning and understanding. You will be encouraged to use this resource to develop your appreciation of the interrelated nature of the disparate areas of law studied as part of the module. The module will make use of the eLearning site (Blackboard Ultra), where lecture materials, podcasts, recordings, and other learning support materials will be made available. The module site will also direct you to supplementary resources which you are encouraged to explore in addition to the material covered in lectures and workshops. The module will make use of an online reading list. The reading list will provide you with links to key texts and information on their availability in the university library.

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:

1. You will be able to display and critically apply expert legal knowledge within the field of data management.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

2. You will be able to analyse and communicate complex legal and policy issues relating to the law of data management.

3. You will be able to critically evaluate source material, suggest alternative approaches to the law relating to the application of data management in practice and reflect on the application of your knowledge and that of others within practical contexts

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

4. You will take responsibility for your own independent learning in the field of data management, working independently to further enhance existing skills and develop new skills to a high level.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be achieved by, group discussion, informal peer assessment and assessed and non-assessed exercises.

The summative assessment for the module will be accomplished on an individual basis by way of one, 3000-word assignment, which constitutes 100% of the marks for this module. 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. It may include discussion of recent developments and assessment criteria will be provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance. Whilst being one piece of work, the coursework may involve a mixture of mandatory and option questions.

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 module will take a critical look at the legal framework that governs the management of data and related privacy issues both regionally and internationally. Data protection has achieved a far greater prominence in society over the last three decades as the ability to locate, collect and manipulate personal data has grown exponentially. The rules which bind how organisations use individual personal data and the rights which individuals have over their own information have changed significantly over that period with the introduction of the EU Directive on Data Protection, the UK’s Data Protection Act and the EU Regulation on Data Protection. Understanding how organisations can make use of personal data, what rights individuals can exercise over their own information and how the regime is regulated and enforced is crucial to both the public and private sector. Upon completion of this module you will have a deep understanding of the law relating to data protection and how it applies in a wide variety of practical contexts. You will be able to draw on knowledge and understanding of the relevant statutory provisions but will also look in detail at key case law developments as well as making extensive use of guidance and good practice.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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