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Module SXL-2113:
Criminal Law

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Ms Chaynee Hodgetts

Overall aims and purpose

Criminal Law is a compulsory module in the LLB programme. The aim of this module is to enable students to state and apply the rules of the English criminal law dealt with in the course accurately and relevantly, and to accurately explain recent actual and proposed changes to this area of law. It will also enable students to appreciate the wider contextual issues related to criminal law and to compare and contrast that law accurately and relevantly with the equivalent areas of any other legal system with which the student is familiar. Finally, the module will also allow students to undertake legal research to acquire knowledge of the key components of the criminal law, and to further utilise that knowledge by applying it to hypothetical factual scenarios involving the criminal law.

Course content

The module will allow the student to study the modern English criminal law, in particular the law relating to: Introduction; actus reus; mens rea; Negligence and Strict Liability; General Defences; Parties to Crime; Inchoate Offences; Homicide; Non-fatal Offences against the Person; Offences under the Theft Acts 1968 and 1978: Theft and Related Offences; Offences involving Deception; Further Offences under the Theft Act; Criminal Damage; Sexual Offences.

Assessment Criteria


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.


An outstanding, possibly brilliant, 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.


An answer which, while predominantly correct in its presentation of material, contains a significant level of error and is therefore not entirely reliable.

Learning outcomes

  1. Outline the functions of criminal law, giving examples of relevant offences, and to explain the relationship between law and morality.

  2. Distinguish between criminal liability for acts and omissions and explain when liability will be imposed for omissions.

  3. Identify and differentiate between the various culpable states of mind.

  4. Distinguish between offences of basic and specific intent and apply the distinction to a factual scenario.

  5. Compare the various forms of unlawful homicide and assess the effectiveness of the current law.

  6. Identify and evaluate general defences to criminal charges.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM 2 hour 2
ESSAY Written assignment 1

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Tutorials will routinely require students to engage individually and in groups in commenting upon, critically evaluating and applying the principles and details of the subject under the guidance and instruction of the tutor. Attendance and participation by all students is expected, as understanding is based upon one’s own development of ideas in context.

Private study 156

The module will be taught by means of approximately 36 hours of lectures taught over the course of one semester and covering the topics outlined in the course content.


Transferable skills

  • 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.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • 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
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

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


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: