Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Criminal Law - Visiting Students Only
Academic Year
Semester 1
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
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
Lecture 22 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 4 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2000 words  100%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2000 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Recognize and explain the fundamental principles which underlie the criminal law in detail, and critically analyse their relevance and application to specific criminal offences.
2. Identify, analyse and evaluate the elements forming the basis of criminal liability, namely the conduct and the mental elements, and the exceptions to these
3. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the relevant constituent elements of major offences - both in legislation and in the common law - and apply them to factual situations in order to solve problems.
4. Evaluate and analyse the scope of the criminal law, and coherently identify its current problems, and comment on the ongoing options for reform proposed in particular by the Law Commission.
5. Construct convincing and cogent arguments on the basis of relevant law and evidence, in order to develop skills in reading, understanding and applying the relevant legal texts (be it cases or legislation) to legal problems; and to interpret and critically analyse legal rules and texts in a refined and effective way.
6. Demonstrate an understanding of how common law (case-based) offences differ from statutory criminal offences, and how the UK courts rely on precedent to make decisions in criminal law cases, unlike civil law European legal systems.

Brief description

The module sets out general principles relating to the mens rea (mental element) and the actus reus (conduct element) of criminal offences, before proceeding to look at the substantive offences of murder; manslaughter; partial defences; sex offences and participation in crime.


The module aims to inform students of the principles of criminal law upon which most offences are based, and of the key criteria in identifying the most serious of criminal offences, such as homicide and sexual offences. They will also be informed of the key cases, and legislation which govern the criminal law. The module will also demonstrate to Visiting students the distinctions between our common (case-based) system, as opposed to the European civil law (code-based) system


  • Introduction to criminal law
  • Analysing criminal conduct
  • Actus reus
  • Voluntariness and automatism
  • Omissions liability
  • Causation
  • Mens rea and intention
  • Recklessness
  • Strict liability
  • Murder
  • Constructive manslaughter
  • Gross negligence manslaughter
  • Loss of control partial defence
  • Diminished responsibility partial defence
  • Sexual offences (1 & 2)
  • Non-assessed test
  • Participation in crime (1 & 2)
  • The necessity defence

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication The module will develop students' written communication skills by way of the examination. In addition, student will develop their oral communication skills through individual and group responses to set work on the seminars
Improving own Learning and Performance Pre and post-lecture research and seminar preparation; using legal databases in preparation for seminar work and the written assessment
Information Technology Students will be required to undertake research for the module using bibliographic search-engines and library catalogues in preparation for their assessment, (and their seminars). They will also use standard word-processing packages to carry out their work.
Personal Development and Career planning Learning throughout the module will be relevant to a career in the legal profession but will also enhance the VS student's knowledge of how a common law, as opposed to a civil law system of law works.
Problem solving The module will develop students' problem-solving skills in a number of ways. Students will be required to analyse a range of sources and texts in order to answer problem-solving questions in the seminars; as part of their independent research for the non-assessed test, AND in their examination.
Research skills Students are expected to research and synthesize a range of academic source material in preparing for their seminars and for their assessment
Subject Specific Skills Legal research: use of legal databases as a resource for statute and case law Reading primary sources in the way of cases and legislation Problem solving exercises in seminars will assist in examination problem-solving style questions, and, more widely, in the legal profession.
Team work The seminars will include problem-solving and group discussions which will provide opportunities for students to develop team-working skills and discuss their thoughts with the rest of the class


This module is at CQFW Level 6