Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Criminal Justice and the Penal System
Academic Year
Semester 1
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   (Unseen)  50%
Semester Assessment Essay  (2,000 words)  40%
Semester Assessment outline  10%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  (2,000 words)  40%
Supplementary Assessment outline  10%

Learning Outcomes

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

​1. Understand and apply detailed knowledge of the law, policies and theories that underlie the criminal justice system.

2. Understand and analyse critically the key concepts of the subject and the methods of evaluating the operation of the system.

3. Analyse, assess, and evaluate critically relevant data and research materials, and where appropriate use this information to develop and predict policy implementations and outcomes.

4. Engage critically in debate and present reasoned and evidence based argument in a detailed manner.

Brief description

Criminal justice is a discrete discipline that encompasses the fields of law and criminology and looks at the legal procedures and institutions that give effect to the criminal law. The three key areas of the criminal justice system are police, courts (including sentencing) and corrections.


This module considers the enforcement of laws, investigation and prosecution of criminal conduct, court procedures and sentencing, and the implementation of sanctions. This amounts to a large body of policy, law and practice that provides the context within which the criminal law operates.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Seminar discussions will develop individual and group presentation and oral argument.
Improving own Learning and Performance Seminar preparation and exam will develop different aspects of academic research, from understanding, evaluating and referencing sources through the dissemination of ideas to others orally, and in developing written communication skills.
Information Technology Library and online research skills are fundamental to preparation for seminars and exam.
Personal Development and Career planning Recommended topic for any considering working in the criminal justice system, or in the field of criminal law.
Problem solving Seminar discussion/preparation and debate. Analysis and evaluation of policies.
Research skills Research and preparation for seminars and exam.
Subject Specific Skills Reading, understanding and evaluating legal and social science materials particular to the criminal justice system.
Team work Group activities, discussion and debate in seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 6