Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

LLM in Information Technology Law by online distance learning – programme director interview


IT Law is one of the most exciting areas of
law that we can currently study and here in Edinburgh we are perfectly placed to provide
you with an LLM in IT Law that allows you to look at the legal framework that governs
this area of law and the use of information technology systems. Almost everything we do is, of course, bound
up in our use of computers these days we do our shopping and our discussions online, we
meet friends and we socialise. There are some areas that are particularly
interesting of course, we are talking a lot about things like online privacy at the moment,
there are issues around cloud computing, we are going as far as even to consider driverless
cars in the future and there is a lot of research being done in the area of robotics and artificial
intelligence. The LLM in Information Technology Law will
require you to do six modules, four of which will be core modules, that means you will
have to do them over the course of your degree. Once you have completed your six modules you
will get the opportunity to write a dissertation in an area of law that your are particularly
interested in, so this could be something to do with your current job or an area that
you wish to explore further following your studies. When you study for an LLM in IT Law at Edinburgh,
you will be taught by a number of researchers who are specialists in the areas that they
teach. For instance, my particular area of expertise is online privacy and data protection,
so this will feed into my teaching in the course Information Control and Power.
Many of us are involved in policy discussions and the making of policy, for instance Professor
Burkhard Schafer was recently called as a witness to the House of Commons Select Committee
to talk on the legal framework governing driverless cars, our colleague Daithi Mac Sithigh, was
one of the youngest academics giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in the UK that looked
at the regulation of media. We also have input from practitioners, for example, one of our
online sessions on Freedom of Information is actually led by somebody who works for
a local council as a Freedom of Information Officer. So for those of you who are looking
for practical relevance of the course, you will find that the people you will be in contact
with are actually people who are out there in the community discussing these things and
being engaged with the relevant stakeholders. This is also reflected in the way in which
you are going to learn, because of course you are going to do most of your learning
in your student discussions and this is where the programme is extremely interesting because
you will meet students from all walks of life and of different jurisdictions, so you are
going to discuss the issues we are going to put in front of you with people who come from
very different areas. So for instance if I asked you to research something in the area
of online privacy you might be having discussions about it with somebody who is currently trying
to advise his own government in his own country on devising a new framework in this area,
or you might talk to somebody who works in the law department of a big technology company.
So the discussions we’re having in the online sessions are very much informed by what you
bring to the process and by the way in which you share your different experiences from
your home countries. Once you’ve completed your LLM in IT Law with
us you will have obtained an internationally recognised postgraduate qualification that
will make you stand out as an expert in this field, and that is, of course, particularly
useful for those of you who are intending on practicing law. I have been a practicing
solicitor for seven years myself and I can confirm that having an LLM in this area can
give you that extra recognition and expertise in this particular field. We also have a number
of students who come into the area from a computer sciences or information technology
professional background and what we find here is that many of them have been involved in,
for instance, contractual negotiations or project management, and that they are finding
that having an overview and a qualification in the legal aspects of computer technology
actually helps them and gives them that extra bit of recognition within their companies
and firms that will allow them to become involved in these kinds of projects and to push what
they are doing further.

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