module specification

LL4057 - Criminal Law I (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Criminal Law I
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
114 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 40%   Multiple choice test 1 hour Multiple choice test.
Coursework 60%   1,000 word essay Essay and problem-based questions
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Friday Morning

Module summary

Criminal Law I is a core module for the LL.B. courses and the BA in Law, which introduces students to the key principles of Criminal Law, one of the foundation subjects of English Law, as identified by the professional legal bodies, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board.

The module provides an academic introduction to the fundamental rules of criminal law, including the key principles of a number of criminal offences involving homicide. Criminal law affects many aspects of human behaviour and interaction but has complex definitions.

The aims of this module are as follows:

1. To help students to understand the changing landscape of criminal law as well as some of the major debates in the subject.

2. To teach and assess key skills of analysis, academic writing and legal research in the context of criminal law. It does this by emphasising the use of primary and secondary sources of criminal law, including court judgments, Acts of Parliament, Parliamentary Papers and academic journal articles.


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 liability

• Homicide
• Murder
• Voluntary manslaughter
• Involuntary manslaughter
• Criminal Damage

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Learning and 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 Weblearn and IT resources;
Whole group questions and 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 and statutes
Legal writing

Blended Learning

All learning materials, previous examination questions and sample Q/A’s will be on Weblearn for use in directed private study.

Student engagement will be encouraged in both lectures and seminars through weekly use of Weblearn for access to all of the above materials.

There will be required use of the professional legal databases, especially Westlaw and Lexis Library, for legal research

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 frequent feedback opportunities structured into the timetable and a range of sample answers posted onto Weblearn.

Students’ 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 successful completion of this module, the students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the fundamental principles and characteristics of criminal law.

2. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of the law relating to homicide and criminal damage.

3. Demonstrate the ability to discuss case study problems.

4. Demonstrate the ability to write discursive essays relating to the topics covered in the syllabus.

Assessment strategy

1. Multiple Choice Test (1 hour)

Multiple choice test, including situational judgment and factual knowledge

2. Written Coursework (1,000 words)

Essay and problem-based question involving legal knowledge, understanding and the application of fundamental legal principles.


To be advised.