Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Criminal Law for Criminologists
Academic Year
Semester 1
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 6 x 1 Hour Seminars
Lecture 28 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Seen examination  Candidates are not permitted to bring any books, notes or any other materials into the examination.  100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Seen examination  Candidates are not permitted to bring any books, notes or any other materials into the examination.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Evaluate and analyse critically the scope and purpose of the criminal law, with reference to historical development, current problems, criminological theory and the possibilities for reform;
2. Identify and explain the fundamental principles of criminal law and critically analyse their relevance and application;
3. Identify and analyse the elements forming the basis of criminal liability, namely the conduct element and the mental element;
4. Identify and explain the relevant constitutive elements of a few major offences and defences and be able to apply them to simple factual situations in order to solve problems;
5. Consider how basic criminal law contributes to criminological theory and vice versa;
6. Construct convincing and cogent arguments on the basis of relevant law and criminological theory.

Brief description

Criminal Law for Criminologists will introduce first year criminology students to the basic principles of criminal law and will set these in the context of the broad theoretical basis of criminology. The study of the general principles underlying the criminal law forms an important part of criminological education

The course will set out the general principles and some of the main defenses and then study the most important serious specific offences to allow students to see how these are applied. The emphasis is on the underlying principles. Can criminal liability be incurred without proof of fault or of criminal intent? Will a person be deemed to "intend" a consequence where he knew it to be an inevitable side effect of his intended behaviour? Can ignorance of the law ever amount to a defence? What if a person sets out to commit a certain crime, but abandons the idea before completing it? It will expose students to some issues of statutory interpretation, and require them to study some case law

Students must be prepared to question and criticise the law, whilst at the same time attempting to understand it. This legal information will then be considered in its criminological background so that students can better understand how the two interface and combine or clash


  • Sociology and criminal law ? definitions:
  • Crime; Deviance; Zemeology;
  • Analysing Criminal Conduct
  • Actus Reus
  • Voluntariness & Automatism
  • Omissions liability
  • Causation
  • Mens rea and Intention
  • Recklessness
  • Strict Liability
  • Introduction to Murder
  • Constructive Manslaughter
  • Gross Negligence Manslaughter
  • Loss of Control
  • Diminished Responsibility
  • Sex Offences I
  • Sex Offences II
  • Interface of Law and Criminology
  • Sociology and Criminal Law ? questioning justice
  • Psychology ? interface with free will

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Oral communication skills will be encouraged in and honed in seminars and also in lectures through interactive learning. Written communication skills will be practised through note taking both in lectures and private study and in formal submission of written work in assignments and examinations
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be encouraged to practise and test their own learning and ability to use and interact with the materials through interactive leaning in both lectures and seminars. They will also be supported to learn how and when to use critical and contextual analysis
Information Technology Preparation for seminars and the examination will all require use of the library databases and other electronic databases. Students will be referred to useful urls and be encouraged to retrieve data electronically
Personal Development and Career planning Enhanced capacity for independent and critical thought Good time-management skills in preparing for seminars and submitting work on time
Problem solving Ability to apply knowledge of legal rules to problem situations
Research skills Ability to locate, read, interpret and comprehend a wide variety of legal and criminological texts
Subject Specific Skills Problem solving and the application of legal rules to criminological theory and vice versa
Team work In seminars students are often asked to perform tasks in groups


This module is at CQFW Level 4