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Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SOC2120: Introduction to Open-source Intelligence (OSINT)

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year-to-year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following themes:

  • Introduction: What is Open-source intelligence? What is its role in contemporary law enforcement investigations? Preparing your computer for OSINT work.
  • OSINT methodology and workflow, documentation, and ethics
  • Search engines and online communities
  • Social media part 1
  • Social media part 2
  • Email, usernames, telephone numbers, and search engines
  • Online maps, geolocation, and documents
  • Images and videos
  • Domain names and IP addresses
  • Government and business records and virtual currencies
  • Data breaches and leaks
  • Wrap-up revision, and the future of OSINT

The teaching sessions for this module will take the form of weekly two hour long practical sessions, whereby the students will have short lectures from the module convener on the above subjects accompanied by practical exercises.

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2211 x two hour taught practical sessions
Guided independent studies36Course readings and other multi-media content
Guided independent study25Reading/research for essay
Guided independent study59Group work/research for technical report

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).