Shattered Glass

An interdisciplinary journey through the developments of crime, war and justice in the globalised world

Module details

  • Offered to 3rd & 4th Years
  • Thursdays 16.00-18.00
  • Planned delivery: On campus (South Kensington)
  • Two-term module, worth 5 ECTS
  • Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
  • Extra Credit, or Degree Credit where your department allows
Degree credit module options by departmentHow to enrol

This module explores the conceptions and developments of crime and conflict in the contemporary globalised world and their difficult relations with justice.

We will consider legal policy, conflict, and the use of digital technologies in the prevention and management of conflict and the evolution of warfare and law, policy and cyber enabled and cyber dependent crimes, and rights, justice, and the autonomy of the person.

The methodology will be highly interactive and problem oriented. To this purpose, the learning materials will not be just academic writings, as we will rely also on journalism, fiction, TV and radio broadcasts.

Please note: The information on this module description is indicative. The module may undergo minor modifications before the start of next academic year. 

Information blocks

Atomic Bomb On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Engage and critically assess the developments in conflict, crime and justice brought about by globalisation
  • Access, interpret and apply relevant findings and theories from different disciplines (e.g. criminology, law, sociology) and their practical relevance
  • Correctly employ and critically assess relevant definitions, key concepts and theoretical frameworks and use them correctly in their analysis
  • Find, read and interpret academic sources and materials independently and use them to assess real-life problems
  • International Law and the categorisation of conflict
  • Disinformation and misinformation: social control and the online environment
  • Computerised systems, conflict, and the digital era
  • Artificial Intelligence, data, warfare, and the future
  • World War in the twentieth century: the impact of generational trauma and lessons in strategies for peace
  • Legal policy and cyber dependent crimes: hacking and disruption of functionality of a computerised system
  • Legal policy and cyber enabled economic crimes
  • Harassment and crimes against the person in the online environment
  • Restricting personal freedom and offending behaviour: The justification and function of sentencing in criminal law
  • The impact of changing medical and technological advancements on legal philosophy and legal rights and freedoms
  • Autonomy of the person and the limitation and criminalisation of individual choice and identity
  • Learning basic legal skills

This module is organised into three main parts:

  1. Conflict, law, and digital technologies
  2. Cybercrime and transnationalism
  3. Justice, rights, and freedom of the individual

Each part of the module includes special skills sessions to complement your knowledge and assist you in the preparation of your assignments. At the end of the course, you should be able to understand key global developments in conflict, crime, and justice - especially those enabled by science and technology.

Active learning is essential for this module. Collective and interdisciplinary critical discussions are encouraged during each session through stimulating issues, case studies and scenarios. A number of practical sessions during the year will see you actively engaged in the learning process.

You will participate in several, specifically designed activities:

  • Law reform exercise: you will be divided into groups of advisors to the Government and Parliament on a particularly problematic issue of criminalisation
  • Mock trial: you will be prosecutors, defence lawyers, judge, jurors, witnesses in a mock trial on a criminal case
  • Research and writing-skills session: you will conduct some research in small groups on specific legal or socio-political themes assigned by your lecturer and then write a draft structure for a possible essay. You will then have the opportunity to self-assess the results of your exercise and to have feedback and feedforward from your lecturer

Your learning will be augmented digitally in the following ways:

  • The lecturers use slides delivered beforehand via the VLE
  • The slides alternate the theoretical explanation/discussion of certain issues with the showing of videos and pictures, to give you practical and concrete examples of the relevance of the issues
  • Occasionally online polling is used
  • You can expand your knowledge through a number of optional materials, which will also be helpful when writing your assessments. The reading materials are listed on Reading List (Leganto), accessible via the VLE. You will be introduced in class to library and IT sources/services to support your research
  • This module uses an appropriate VLE, through which summative assessments are submitted.

First marks and feedback are returned to you, via the module VLE, within two weeks of submission. Ideally second marking has also taken place within this time, though for larger modules this is not possible. Individual feedback will include extensive comments from both the first and the second marker not only on the strengths and weaknesses of each submission, but also on possible ways to improve. General feedback will be also provided to the whole cohort via announcement on the VLE to outline the overall results and general issues. Feedback from the first assessment informs the second assessment.

Summative assessment and feedback is returned with a disclaimer that marks may be modified by later markers or external examiners. Additional formative feedback includes in-class feedback from your lecturer on class exercises, and peer feedback on presentations and group projects when appropriate.

Throughout the module you will receive formative feedback as follows:

  • In-class feedforward from your lecturer on exercises and assignments to come
  • In-class feedback from your lecturer on exercises and assignments past
  • Optional individual feedback/feedforward sessions with your lecturer

Coursework: Problem-based exercise - 1000-1500 words (30%)

Coursework: Essay - 1500-2000 words (70%)

  • Requirements: You are expected to attend all classes and undertake approximately 85 hours of independent study in total during the module. Independent study includes reading and preparation for classes, researching and writing coursework assignments and preparing for other assessments.
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 6 module. For an explanation of levels, view the Imperial Horizons Level Descriptors page.‌‌
"Thank you for giving such a spirited and involved module. It was genuinely surprising to see the level of engagement and passion you brought to the content and which has absolutely spread ... this module was a hidden gem that I hope more future students stumble across."
"An enjoyable module with detailed and constructive feedback on the assignments, it has definitely helped to improve my writing."
"I recently obtained a training contract at an international commercial firm (with the aim of specialising in intellectual property law). The module was a great talking point in the interviews!"
"The level of feedback given on the coursework was fantastic. The module itself is such a great addition to the Horizons program."
"The course is very well organised and clearly delineated. The topics are all very interesting and discussed in considerable depth."
"Great module, a good dash of colour amidst all the engineering!"