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BSc Accounting / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Trust and Security in a Digital World: From Fake News to Cyber Criminals

Unit code UCIL20132
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Computer Science
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Rapid advances in technology and connectivity have led to new opportunities in every aspect of life, from manufacturing, finance and retail, to education, media, and politics. Digital technologies and services profoundly influence our lives and improve our world in countless ways.

But these advances also raise challenges. What do our digital footprints reveal, and who is trying to exploit them? How do new technologies offer new opportunities for cybercriminals to steal our data, our money, and our identities, lock us out of our homes, poison our water, and switch off our lights? How does the use of digital media change the nature of democracy and affect trust in democratic systems and established authorities?  And what technical, behavioural and legal measures are available to prevent harm and maintain trust in digital systems?

This unit explores the risks to security in our super-connected, data-driven world and what can be done to preserve trust in our digital environment.

The unit will be delivered online via Blackboard and includes contributions from leading researchers, both from Manchester and external to the University. It is made up of 10 modules, which will be released at intervals.



This unit addresses social, psychological, legal and technical aspects of threats to security in digital contexts, and the impact on trust. The unit will enable you to understand the nature of digital harms, from online crimes to the malicious manipulation of information to influence behaviours and attitudes - transcending the digital boundaries to effect physical and psychological attacks. We will explore the different ways in which those harms can be reduced or prevented so that you can make well-informed choices about countering security threats in personal, societal and business contexts.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit you will be able to:

·       Distinguish the nature and range of cyber threats and ways to counter them

·       Identify the skills and knowledge required by professionals working in the industry

·       Apply this knowledge in your own personal, societal and business contexts

·       Put acquired knowledge and skills into practice to manage a cyber security incident using an interactive case study



Module 1: Our super-connected world

Modules 2 - 4: Cybercrime
Module 5: Fake news

Module 6: CSI Cyber - Investigating and prosecuting digital crimes

Module 7: Privacy and data protection

Module 8: How to keep a digital system safe

Module 9: Is digital security fit for humans?
Module 10: Responding to a security threat


Teaching and learning methods

The unit includes contributions from leading researchers located in Manchester and around the world.

The unit is delivered entirely via Blackboard. The unit is made up of 10 x online modules which will be released at intervals.

The unit is interactive and adopts a blend of approaches including video inputs, and case studies.


Assessment methods

1.     Ongoing, end of module assessments (20%)

2.     2 x short written assignments (70%)

3.     Case study (10%)


Feedback methods

Via Blackboard

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Tutorials 39
Independent study hours
Independent study 61

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Emma Barrett Unit coordinator

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