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Data Protection Law and Information Governance - PGCert


Course Description

Typically information governance/security and law have been taught as distinct subjects in different discipline areas. In recognition of the relationship that exists between information governance/information security and the protection of personal data this programme brings together these subjects in one multi-disciplinary qualification.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Data Protection Law and Information Governance is a distance learning course that has been specifically designed to meet the needs of professionals already working in data protection and/or information governance. You will study three modules. The first of these, the legal research module, will develop your ability to undertake legal research and to present your research findings appropriately. In the second module you will develop your understanding of information governance and security principles that underpin the management of an organisation’s information assets. The third module will focus upon data protection law and practice.

The programme will not only provide you with valuable knowledge of current law and proposed developments to the law and to the principles of information governance, it will also enhance your ability to advise upon both information governance and data protection. The research, writing and presentation skills you will develop will also be of use to you in your working environment. Unlike typical CPD type learning this programme will challenge you to undertake critical evaluation of the law and to consider the application of information governance and security to your own/a chosen organisation.

Learn From The Best

This programme is delivered jointly by academics within Northumbria Law School and the iSchool, in the Faculty of Engineering and Environment. Northumbria Law School is actively involved in research and consultancy in the field of data protection, information sharing, freedom of information and privacy law. The iSchool, which delivers the information governance and security module, is widely recognised for its innovative distance and work-based learning programmes in information and records management and for its related research.

This course is delivered by a team of solicitors and academics with extensive experience in data protection and information governance, who are actively researching the area. In addition our team also boast memberships to key professional bodies, in addition to editing industry publications such as the Records Management Journal.

Teaching And Assessment

This course is primarily delivered online to provide flexibility and the ability for you to study at times convenient to you. We believe, however, that opportunities to engage with your tutors and with fellow students are an important part of your learning experience. On two of the modules you will be offered the opportunity to meet your tutors and attend lectures or workshops at the University at an optional study day. All of the content will be available online should you not be able to attend. On the third module you will be encouraged to engage with your tutor and with fellow students via the module discussion board.

Module Overview
KC7046 - Information Governance and Security (Core, 20 Credits)
LW7002 - Data Protection (Core, 20 Credits)
LW7003 - Legal Research (Core, 20 Credits)

Each taught module is assessed via written assignment. On the legal research module you will work in a group with other postgraduate students to undertake the research, writing and review of that assignment. On the data protection module and the information governance module you will submit an individual written assignment at the end of each module. As part of the assessment process you will be expected to undertake a critical evaluation of the law, and to consider information governance and security in your own or another chosen organisation.

Learning Environment

Your course will be delivered online using the latest innovative software. Learning materials such as module handbooks, assessment information, lecture presentation slides, recorded lectures and electronic reading lists will be available via our highly accessible e-learning platform, Blackboard. You can also access student support and other key University systems through your personal account.

Research-Rich Learning

Research Rich learning (RRL) is embedded across the programme, reflecting the pervasive research culture of the law school. Your student journey commences with the Legal Research module. This module will help you to gain a clear awareness and understanding of appropriate legal research methods and legal sources and how to cite those sources. In your subsequent modules your tutors will expose you to a range of academic literature covering substantive data protection law and relevant information governance and data security frameworks and principles. You will also develop your legal research skills further as your tutors encourage you to discuss, evaluate and critically examine relevant principles and frameworks and as you undertake your own research in order to complete your module assignments.

Give Your Career An Edge

It is envisaged that most students who study this programme will already be employed within the data protection/information governance fields. It recognises that the introduction of a new data protection regulation will result in significant challenges for professionals working in the data protection field, and seeks to help you to develop the skills and knowledge which you will need to do your job professionally notwithstanding the changing legislation framework.

Your Future

This course provides academic recognition of your knowledge of data protection and information governance law and your ability to apply that knowledge to practice. It also provides a strong foundation for further study. Should you decide upon completion of the programme that you wish to further develop your knowledge of information rights law or information governance/security then Northumbria Law School and the Faculty of Engineering and Environment both offer masters programmes in these fields. This programme provides you with a stepping stone towards study a Masters in Law (an LLM). Successful completion of this programme exempts you from study of the first three modules on the Pg Dip/LLM in Information Rights Law and Practice.

What Does Britain Leaving The EU Mean For This Course?

We can confirm that we will not be changing the course in light of the Brexit decision. The focus in this course will be the current legal framework, and any likely reforms including the GDPR. There are several reasons why the course will not be changed at this particular point. Firstly there are no changes to the current legal framework on data protection or environmental information. This is well explained in a statement by the information commissioner's office https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2016/06/referendum-result-response/ and was reiterated by Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the Government Minister responsible for Data Protection, on 4 July. These statements also acknowledge that there is a need for reform in data protection and that would have to be seen in the context of European data protection laws. Although it is not clear what the exact relationship of the UK and EU will be in the future there is a recognition that there will be a need for equivalency of data protection law in the UK with other countries. The need for equivalency of the law is likely to be necessary whether the UK is part of the single market, or if it exits the European economic area, in order for EU countries to send data to us as part of the 8th principle (See Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 1998). As such the GDPR still has relevance in our understanding of what would be required to achieve equivalent protection and what likely reforms on data protection may be considered in the UK. From an educational perspective the examination of reforms such as the GDPR provide a useful mechanism to critique current data protection laws, allowing for the discussion of strengths and weaknesses, even if all those reforms are not ultimately adopted. We will of course keep the position under review, as we do with all our teaching areas in order to ensure that learning material reflects both the current law and likely changes to that law.

Visit the Data Protection Law and Information Governance - PGCert page on the Northumbria University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants need not have a law or information management qualification but should normally possess one of the following: A good honours degree; A comparable professional qualification. Candidates with other qualifications and relevant professional experience may apply and will be judged individually on merit. Applicants for whom English is not their first language should have attained a score of 6.5 IELTS or equivalent.

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