This Module can only be taken as a Short Course for Credit.
Please go to the 'Upgrade to a professional qualification' section for more information.

Due to the nature of the subject matter in this Module, security clearance may be required. 

The course will equip you with the awareness and ability to critique different legal and ethical frameworks and factors that need to be considered when designing and delivering cyber operations against a range of adversarial actors or deploying cyber capabilities as part of a Full Spectrum Operation.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 03 - 07 Mar 2025
  • Duration5 days face to face learning (with additional distance learning to be completed during 7 weeks)
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£2,350 Concessions available

What you will learn

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


  • Describe the range of legal and ethical issues to be considered when conducting an offensive cyber operation,
  • summarise the legal frameworks to be considered when considering a cyber operation for intelligence, for military effect against a state adversary or against a non-state actor.


  • Appraise the legal and ethical considerations when conducting a cyber operation, whether as part of a military campaign or not,
  • evaluate the longer-term consequences of adopting a particular course of action that causes tension against an existing domestic or international legal framework.

Core content

This module will consider the range of different legal regimes that need to be considered when planning or conducting offensive cyber operations. The module will look at the applicable legal framework for intelligence operations, military operations, information operations and propaganda. It will consider the obligations provided through customary international law, international humanitarian law and domestic legislation that need addressing when considering a cyber operation.

The module will look at the implication of conducting cyber operations in a range of different contexts, considering cyber as part of a military campaign, prior to the declaration of war and against non-state actors. The applicability of the Laws of Armed Conflict will be explored when considering cyber operations.

You will be introduced to a range of different concepts that could be considered when developing appropriate courses of action for cyber operations. The concepts include but are not limited to: sovereignty, right to self-defence, espionage, sabotage, subversion, intelligence, ius ad bellum, ius in bello, armed attack, threat or use of force, necessity, proportionality, distinction, targeting, perfidy, ruse and state responsibility.

Finally, this module will allow you the opportunity to look at the various proposed legal frameworks for cyber operations and assess their suitability to support operational planners. 

Upgrade to a professional qualification

After successful completion of this Short Course for Credit, Cyberspace Operations MSc and the Cyber Defence and Information Assurance MSc 10 credit points can be put towards the MSc.

Find out more about short course credit points.

Who should attend

Students must have successfully completed Foundations of Cyber in order to take this as a Short Course for Credit.


Robert Black


A limited number of MOD sponsored places are available.

Location and travel


How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.