Module Code: H9ITLW
Long Title IT Law and Ethics
Title IT Law and Ethics
Module Level: LEVEL 9
EQF Level: 7
EHEA Level: Second Cycle
Credits: 5
Module Coordinator: KAREN MURRAY
Module Author: KAREN MURRAY
Departments: School of Computing
Specifications of the qualifications and experience required of staff  
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
# Learning Outcome Description
LO1 Interpret the obligations of operators, owners and controllers of secure systems.
LO2 Assess the rights of intellectual property owners and obligations regarding the communication, transmission and storage of that property.
LO3 Investigate and evaluate the offences committed by those who access, damage or disregard cybersecurity.
LO4 Critically analyse the rights of data subjects and others and obligations on data controllers and others to secure the processing of personal data.
LO5 Discuss current models of information and computer ethics and evaluate the evolving nature of ethical norms relating to new technologies and the law.
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is required before enrolment on this module. While the prior learning is expressed as named NCI module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).

No recommendations listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
Entry requirements  

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Introduction to Law and Ethics
• Irish legal system – Sources of law – Divisions of law – Courts – Administration of law • Foundations of ethics and moral philosophy – Importance of ethics –Ethical decision-making • Distinguishing law and ethics
Privacy and Data Protection
• Sources of privacy law – Anonymity and surveillance • Data protection principles – Processing personal data and special categories of personal data – Data security – Data Protection Commission – International transfers and cloud computing – Biometrics • Electronic communications • Obligations, rights and remedies
Intellectual Property Law
• Copyright and related rights – Software – Internet Content – Designs • Patents – Software, business methods, games and presentations of information • Trademarks and passing off – Domain names and cybersquatting • Data bases – Design rights • Obligations, rights and remedies
• Electronic contracts, signatures and documents – Marketing and selling goods & services online – Spam and related issues – Consumer protection – Obligations, rights and remedies
Criminal Law and Defamation
• Cybercrime – Online fraud and forgery – Illegal online content – Crimes against the confidentiality, integrity and availability of computer data and systems – International and European crime – Detection and prosecution • Security of Network and Information Directive • Defamation – Obligations, rights and remedies – Internet and social-networking
Computer Ethics
• Information Technology Ethics – Anticipating and assessing ethical issues in emerging IT – Ethical decision-making online – Regulation of the internet • Ambient technology – Biometrics – Digital platforms – Health technology – Internet of things – Persuasive technologies – Social networking – Spam – Virtual & augmented reality • Autonomy and identity – Anonymity, privacy and surveillance – Freedom of expression, censorship and filtering – Security – Justice – Balance of Power – Digital divide • Ethics for IT workers and users – Professional organisations, codes of ethics, certification – IT policies, secure systems and firewalls
Assessment Breakdown%
End of Module Assessment60.00%


Full Time

Assessment Type: Continuous Assessment % of total: 40
Assessment Date: n/a Outcome addressed: 1,4
Non-Marked: No
Assessment Description:
Students will be presented with a problem scenario or topical area concerning security systems and will be required to apply legal theory and/or ethical and/or technological considerations to a practical situation.
End of Module Assessment
Assessment Type: Terminal Exam % of total: 60
Assessment Date: End-of-Semester Outcome addressed: 1,2,3,4,5
Non-Marked: No
Assessment Description:
Students are required to answer three questions out of five questions. Some questions will be in a 'legal problem' style format, where students must apply their knowledge and understanding of legal principles to a particular set of facts. Some questions may require students to critically analyse a piece of relevant legislation, case or principle.
No Workplace Assessment
Reassessment Requirement
Repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

NCIRL reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Module Target Workload Hours 0 Hours
Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture No Description 1 Every Week 1.00
Tutorial No Description 1 Every Week 1.00
Independent Learning No Description 8.5 Every Week 8.50
Total Weekly Contact Hours 2.00

Module Resources

Recommended Book Resources
  • Kelleher D. & Murray K.. (2007), Information Technology Law in Ireland, 2nd edn.. Tottel, Dublin.
  • Reynolds G.. Ethics in Information Technology, Cengage, United States of America.
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Kelleher D. & Murray. (2018), EU Data Protection Law, Bloomsbury, Dublin.
  • D. Bainbridge. (2014), Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law, Bloomsbury, Dublin.
Recommended Article/Paper Resources
  • Commercial Law Practitioner.
  • The Employment Law Review.
  • Irish Employment Law Journal.
  • Employment Law Reports.
  • Irish Law Times.
  • Legal Ethics.
  • Ethics and Information Technology.
Other Resources
Discussion Note: