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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


You can progress through these courses as fast or as slow as you like. Each course is approximately 10 hours total, and includes recent news articles, instructional videos, and discussions of current events related to the subject. You can enjoy learning anywhere, because each course is laptop and mobile friendly.

Current Courses

Physiological Biometrics: An Introduction

This introduction to biometrics provides you with an overview of the history, development, application, and future uses of physiological biometrics such as fingerprints, iris scans, facial recognition, and hand geometry. Significant attention is placed on biometrics as identification and authentication modalities for identity and access management systems as well as for public safety purposes.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the historical foundations of biometrics;
  • Identify and interpret the scope, depth, and breadth of the uses and limits of biometrics;
  • Compare and contrast several applications of physiological biometrics;
  • Critically analyze the political, economic, and policy factors that impact the role and use of biometrics across various sectors; and
  • Identify and appraise emerging challenges to biometrics and consider how these can be addressed.

Behavioural Biometrics: An Introduction

Behavioural biometrics continues the investigation of the history, evolution, and application of biometrics such as signature verification, voice identification, and gait analytics. Behavioural biometrics are investigated in the context of both private and public sector applications such as public safety, health-care, financial institutions, and the service industry.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the historical foundations of biometrics;
  • Identify and interpret the scope, depth, and breadth of the uses and limits of biometrics;
  • Compare and contrast several applications of physiological biometrics;
  • Critically analyze the political, economic, and policy factors that impact the role and use of biometrics across various sectors; and
  • Identify and appraise emerging challenges to biometrics and consider how these can be addressed.

Bitcoin and Blockchain: An Introduction

This course will introduce you to the fascinating and rapidly growing world of bitcoin (cryptocurrencies) and blockchain technologies. The future of money rests in digital currency, and the most famous of digital currencies at the time of this writing is bitcoin. Bitcoin, is intimately linked to a technology referred to as blockchain, an unchangeable chronological list of all transactions that can be linked to and confirmed within a given digital currency. This course provides an overview of the definition, history, and application of bitcoin and blockchain and then focuses specifically on their application, along with a brief synopsis of future trends, markets for their application, and the future of crime in the blockchain economy.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the historical foundations of bitcoin (digital currencies) and blockchain;
  • Identify and interpret the scope, depth, and breadth of the uses and limits of bitcoin (digital currencies) and blockchain;
  • Compare and contrast several applications of both bitcoin (digital currencies) and blockchain technology;
  • Critically analyze the political, economic, and policy factors that impact the role and use of bitcoin (digital currencies) and blockchain across various sectors; and
  • Identify and appraise emerging challenges to bitcoin (digital currencies) and blockchain and consider how these can be addressed.

Cybercrime: An Introduction

This course is designed to provide you with an overview of criminal activity perpetrated using computers, the internet, and other network-connected digital devices. Course topics include a synopsis of the history of cybercrime, emerging trends, applicable legislation, cybercrime investigations, and the nature of digital evidence. Cybercrime prevention methods are highlighted, as are understanding cyber victimization and criminal typologies.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize how past, current, and emerging digital technologies impact the cybercrime landscape;
  • Make connections between the emergence of cybercrime and the evolution of digital technology;
  • Become more comfortable with the language and terminology associated with cybercrime;
  • Begin to critically analyze the legislative issues relating to cybercrime laws in Canada, including understanding the jurisdictional challenges related to enforcement;
  • Consider victimology in cybercrimes and identify the societal factors that contribute to cyber criminology;
  • Compare and contrast the most common methods of cyber-attacks;
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the changing crime landscape, including how cybercrime bridges the gap between virtual/digital and physical worlds; and
  • Describe the user’s role in cybercrime prevention and identify some user-related vulnerabilities commonly exploited by cyber criminals.

Smart Cities

Smart city solutions emphasize a collaborative approach that focuses on and encourages data collection and the sharing of information to promote safety and manage risk.

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the network of devices – including smartphones, CCTV cameras, GPS and RFID technologies, and crowdsourced information – that can be leveraged to develop sustainable infrastructure and coordinate city resources.

GIS Systems

This course offers an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and the invaluable contributions made by such technology to crime mapping, municipal planning, policy development, health care systems, business intelligence, and agricultural development in the 21st century.

Upcoming Courses

Video Surveillance Systems (Late Summer)

This course is intended to respond to a need for public safety practitioners to be able to identify, protect, store, collect, transport, and utilize video surveillance footage.  

Relevant legislation, the value and prevalence of video evidence, and emerging video surveillance technologies such as body-worn cameras and video analytics are discussed.  

Students are also afforded the opportunity to use some popular Video Management Systems software and tools.

Future Directions in Digital Technology (Late Summer)

Each of the five modules in this course is an overview of five new technologies:

  • Drones and Robotics
  • Augmented Reality
  • AI Machine Learning
  • Internet of things and wearables
  • Quantum Computing
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