Criminal Law Dissertation
Run by School of History, Law and Social Sciences
40.000 Credits or 20.000 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Overall aims and purpose
The purpose of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to write an extended piece of independent research-based work on the criminal law and criminal justice system.
In particular, the aims of the module include enabling students to formulate a research proposal setting out appropriate research techniques and methodologies; enabling students to plan, organise and write a lengthy piece of work; and enabling students to demonstrate an ability to undertake a detailed and sustained investigation into a particular topic or issue within the field of legal scholarship.
The module also provides students with the opportunity to present their research findings to their lecturers and peers.
The module will provide students with the opportunity to develop their research skills; an opportunity to develop their skills of written and oral presentation and an opportunity to research a topic in more depth than is otherwise possible during their undergraduate studies.
D- to D+ (40-49%) An answer which, while predominantly correct in its presentation of material, contains a significant level of error and is therefore not entirely reliable.
B- to B+ (60-69%) High Standard: A comprehensive answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in an argument which, while clear, logical and critical, leaves room for improvement in its construction and presentation. An answer which shows complete competence in the subject.
A- to A* (70+%) An outstanding answer containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in a clear, logical, critical argument with little room for improvement. An answer which demonstrates a complete mastery of the subject.
C- to C+
C- to C+ (50-59%) An answer which, while always in the main accurate and correct, fails to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant material and is lacking in criticism. An answer which while reliable with regard to correctness is either not comprehensive or not entirely pertinent.
Demonstrate mastery of appropriate referencing systems.
Demonstrate a high level of skill in structuring and articulating arguments in a problem area within criminal law
Display evidence of original analytical thinking or problem solving, including the ability to analyse legal authorities in contexts relevant to the dissertation topic.
Demonstrate expertise in the research area when succinctly responding to questions on the dissertation topic
Synthesise and critically evaluate relevant published information on a specific topic of research
Demonstrate proficiency in presenting research findings orally, using a Powerpoint presentation (or similar)
Teaching and Learning Strategy
These seminars will help students to develop the necessary research and writing skills required to successfully complete the module.
Personal one-to-one supervisions will take place over two semesters and supervisors will provide written and verbal feedback on the work.
Students will use private study time to research their topic thoroughly and work on their dissertation, including preparing for supervisory meetings.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- Develop the ability to interpret legal rules and employ techniques of legal reasoning competently and efficiently in order to offer a range of solutions and conclusions to actual or hypothetical complex legal problems, all supported by relevant academic literature, jurisprudence and legislative research. Such solutions will be clearly communicated and presented
- Develop the ability to analyse complex legal issues, set against the background of the political, social, economic or cultural contexts in which they may arise
- Develop those skills which are necessary for scholarship and research in legal subjects, namely the ability to identify relevant primary and secondary legal sources and to retrieve accurate legal information using paper and electronic sources
Resource implications for students
There are no resource implications for students studying on this module.
The reading list will vary depending on the topic area selected by the student. Supervisors will offer some assistance with scoping out the project and developing a suitable bibliography.
Support on the writing process will be delivered during guidance sessions and through the supervision process.
Courses including this module
Optional in courses:
- M212: LLB Criminal Law year 3 (LLB/CL)
- M21P: LLB Criminal Law with Placement Year year 4 (LLB/CLP)
- M1M1: LLB English Law and French Law year 3 (LLB/ELFL)
- M115: LLB Law with English Literature (International Experience) year 3 (LLB/ILEL)
- M100: LLB Law year 3 (LLB/L)
- M11B: LLB Law (4 year with Incorporated Foundation) year 3 (LLB/L1)
- M1N4: LLB Law with Acc and Finance year 3 (LLB/LAF)
- M1NB: LLB Law with Accounting & Finance (4yr with Incorp Found) year 3 (LLB/LAF1)
- M101: LLB Law (2 year) year 3 (LLB/LAW2)
- M1N1: LLB Law with Business Studies year 3 (LLB/LBS)
- MN1B: LLB Law with Business (4year with Incorporated Foundation) year 3 (LLB/LBS1)
- MT11: LLB Law with Chinese year 4 (LLB/LC)
- MT12: LLB Law with Chinese (International Experience) year 4 (LLB/LCIE)
- M116: LLB Law with French (European Experience) year 4 (LLB/LFE)
- M117: LLB Law with German (European Experience) year 4 (LLB/LGE)
- M1V1: LLB Law with History year 3 (LLB/LH)
- M1V2: LLB Law with History (International Experience) year 4 (LLB/LHI)
- M102: LLB Law (International Experience) year 4 (LLB/LI)
- M103: LLB Law with Accounting & Finance (Intl Exp) year 4 (LLB/LIA)
- M104: LLB Law with Business Studies (International Experience) year 4 (LLB/LIB)
- M105: LLB (European) Law with French year 4 (LLB/LIC)
- M108: LLB Law with Social Policy (International Experience) year 4 (LLB/LIF)
- M110: LLB Law with Welsh (International Experience) year 4 (LLB/LIH)
- M113: LLB Law with Criminology (Intl Exp) year 4 (LLB/LIK)
- M118: LLB Law with Italian (European Experience) year 4 (LLB/LITE)
- M10P: LLB Law with Placement Year year 4 (LLB/LP)
- M1L2: LLB Law with Politics year 3 (LLB/LPOL)
- M1V5: LLB Law with Philosophy and Religion year 3 (LLB/LPR)
- M1C8: LLB Law with Psychology year 3 (LLB/LPSY)
- M119: LLB Law with Spanish (European Experience) year 4 (LLB/LSE)
- M1L4: LLB Law with Social Policy year 3 (LLB/LSP)
- M1LB: LLB Law with Social Policy (4 yr with Incorp Foundation) year 3 (LLB/LSP1)
- M1Q5: LLB Law with Welsh year 3 (LLB/LW)
- M1M9: LLB Law with Criminology year 3 (LLB/LWCR)
- M1MB: LLB Law with Criminology (4 yr with Incorporated Foundation) year 3 (LLB/LWCR1)
- M1MP: LLB Law with Criminology with Placement Year year 4 (LLB/LWCRP)
- M1QK: LLB Law with English Literature year 3 (LLB/LWEL)
- M1M0: LLB English Law and French Law year 3 (LLB/UKLFL)