module specification

LL4004 - Criminal Law (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Criminal Law
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Reflective statement
Coursework 20%   Coursework (1000 words)
Unseen Examination 60%   End of year unseen examination
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Wednesday Afternoon
Year (Spring and Summer) City Wednesday Afternoon
Year City Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module provides an academic introduction to fundamental rules of criminal law, including the principles of a range of criminal offences.

Module aims

To develop the student’s knowledge and understanding of the fundamental rules of criminal law and principles of a range of criminal offences;
To develop an ability to apply such knowledge and understanding to problem solving;
To develop the ability to find and use legal sources, including internet sources, to draw conclusions there from and to undertake basic research;
To develop an ability to criticize, analyse and evaluate aspects of the criminal law;
To foster autonomy and rigour in learning.
To develop the student’s ability in written communication and literacy.


Characteristics of Criminal Law, Burdens of proof, Classification, Overview of Human Rights Act 1998

Actus Reus: Coincidence, Omissions, Causation

Mens Rea: Intention, Recklessness, Negligence, Gross Negligence, Strict/Vicarious & Corporate Liability,

Parties to criminal offences

Defences: Automatism, Insanity, Intoxication, Infancy, Duress, Necessity, Public & Private Defence, Mistake, Consent

Offences:  Homicide -  Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter, Involuntary Manslaughter

Violent Offences – Assault & Battery, Offences Contrary to sections 47,18 & 20 Offences Against the Person Act 1861, Stalking & Harassment, Racially & Religiously Aggravated Assaults

Property Offences - Theft, Robbery, Burglary, Handling, Blackmail, Fraud, Dishonest Obtaining of Services & Making Off Without Payment

Sexual Offences –  Rape, Assault by Penetration, Sexual Assault

Inchoate offences – Attempts, Conspiracy, Serious Crimes Act 2007

Learning and teaching

Learning & Teaching Strategy
Weekly two-hour lecture and one-hour seminar.  The lecture will be used for:
Dissemination of knowledge through an overview of each topic with detailed guidance on appropriate aspects;
An introduction to relevant academic literature;
Guidance on learning strategies;
Use of blackboard and IT resources;
Whole group questions & discussion.

The seminar will be used for:
Development of skills necessary to attain the module learning outcomes through:
Written and oral questions/answers designed to reinforce fundamental rules/principles/cases;
A range of step by step writing exercises;
IT tasks such as research of cases/statutes and/or blackboard MCQ’s;
Assessing student’s written seminar preparation;

Blended Learning
All learning materials, previous examination questions, sample Q/A’s and a comprehensive system of MCQ’s will be on blackboard.
Student engagement will be encouraged in both lectures and seminars through weekly use of:
blackboard for access to all of the above materials;
The above on- line resources for case-precedents, legislation, topic Q/A’s, examination Q/A’s and general information.

Opportunities for reflective learning/pdp
Each weekly seminar will contain space for students to reflect on what they have learnt in relation to the overall syllabus. There will be two formative assessments with generous feedback opportunities structured into the timetable and a range of sample answers posted onto Blackboard.

Employability strategy will aim to acquaint students with a range of employment avenues in criminal justice and an awareness of the relationship between the academic study of criminal law with the criminal justice environment.  This will be achieved through guest criminal justice/LPC Criminal Litigation speakers/Criminal Justice DVDs.

Student’s Study Responsibilities
The need for attendance, punctuality, preparation and engagement will be emphasised with particular reference to written and IT research, problem-solving, team-work, discussion, debate and critical awareness of the subject.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module the student will be able to demonstrate:
Knowledge and understanding of the most important rules of criminal law and a range of offences;
Problem-solving techniques;
Basic legal research techniques;
Basic analytical skills;
Independence and rigour in learning;
Good written communication.

Assessment strategy

Reflective statement in week 7. (20%)

Written Coursework (2000 words) January (20%): Essay or problem-based question involving legal research, knowledge, understanding and application of fundamental principles of syllabus in the first term.
(Module outcomes: 1,2,3, 4 and 5)

End of year Unseen 2 hr 15 minute examination (60%): Two sections (1) 20 MCQ’s and (2) Two out of five written questions covering the whole syllabus.
(Module outcomes: 1,2,4 and 5)


NB Students must use the most recent edition of the books cited.

Allen, M, Textbook on Criminal Law (Oxford University Press)
Clarkson, CMV & HM Keating, Criminal Law Text & Materials (Sweet & Maxwell)
Loveless, J, Complete Criminal Law, Text, Cases and Materials (Oxford University Press)
Ormerod, D, Smith & Hogan: Criminal Law (Oxford University Press)

Case & Statute Book
Allen, M, Elliott & Woods: Cases and Materials on Criminal Law (Sweet & Maxwell)
Loveless, J, Criminal Law Statutes (Pearson Press)
Ormerod, D, Smith & Hogan:  Criminal Law: Cases & Materials (Oxford University Press) 

On Line Resources for British & ECHR caselaw
westlaw for British and ECHR caselaw and academic journal articles for Law Commission reports, consultations, draft bills for decided Supreme Court cases for UK Acts of Parliament, explanatory notes and bills for general information on criminal justice, criminal law, research & statistics. for Ministry of Justice policy documents relating to the content and scope of criminal law for the Oxford University Press on-line resource centre accompanying the recommended text containing testbanks of MCQ’s with answers and feedback, twice-yearly updates, further web links, guidance on answering examination and problem questions.