LW4000 - Criminal Law

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of criminal law and knowledge of key offences and defences. You will consider the nature, scope and function of the criminal law and be introduced to fundamental concepts concerning the elements of criminal liability. You will study key criminal offences with key defences being introduced at appropriate points. Topics relevant to participation in crime and inchoate offences (assisting and encouraging crime, conspiracy and attempt) will also be covered. You will learn how to recognise and locate relevant criminal law cases and statutes using on-line and print resources and how to comprehend, explain and apply the information so obtained. You will develop the ability to explain and analyse the criminal law and will be able to apply its principles to the facts of given scenarios.

This module covers the following topics:

• Elements of criminal liability (actus reus and mens rea)
• Homicide (murder and manslaughter)
• Non-fatal offences against the person (e.g. assault and battery, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, unlawful wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm and unlawful wounding or causing grievous bodily harm with intent)
• Sexual offences (e.g. rape and sexual assault)
• Offences under the Theft Act 1968 (e.g. theft, robbery and burglary)
• Criminal Damage
• Accomplice liability
• Inchoate offences (assisting and encouraging crime, conspiracy and attempt)
• Liability in criminal law for omission to act
• Defences (e.g. intoxication, automatism, duress and self-defence)

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn via a combination of large group sessions, small group sessions, tutor guided independent learning and independent learning.

The large group sessions will develop your knowledge and understanding of criminal law.

The small group sessions will develop your ability to explain and analyse principles of criminal law and to problem solve by applying those principles in the context of given factual scenarios. This will include developing your ability to comprehend, explain and apply criminal cases and statutes that you have located.

You will be expected to engage in tutor guided independent learning both in order to consolidate the learning from the large group sessions and in order to prepare for the small group sessions. This will include developing your ability to recognise locate and comprehend relevant criminal law cases and statutes. You will be made aware of the tutor guided independent learning in which you are required to engage via the large group sessions, an on-line reading list that will be accessible on the eLP and the instructions that you are given in order to enable you to prepare for each small group session.

You will be expected to engage in some independent learning in order to consolidate the learning from the large and small group sessions and from the tutor-led independent learning. This will again include developing your ability to recognise, locate and comprehend relevant criminal law cases and statutes using both on-line and print resources.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University supports you in learning and research with an excellent library, excellent teaching facilities, access to practitioner and academic on-line legal databases and resources and appropriate software.

This module will be managed by a designated Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. Material will be delivered to you by lecture and through the eLP and you will access additional information via your directed and independent use of on-line legal data bases and print resources. The large group sessions will be recorded on Panopto, meaning that you will be able to refer back to them on-line in order to consolidate your learning.

The eLP site will contain: Powerpoint slides used in large group sessions; the module handbook (which will contain exercises to be used in the small group sessions); advice on assessment, supported by sample questions and answers; and Panopto recordings of large group sessions.

As well as contact with the lecturer, who delivers the large group sessions, you will also be taught by a seminar tutor, who delivers the small group sessions. Should you have queries you may approach the lecturer or your seminar tutor or e-mail your query to either member of staff, either to have your query answered on line or to make an appointment for a face to face meeting. Academic support is also available to you through formative and summative feedback on assessments. You will have the opportunity to submit formative written work and to work through practice questions prior to the end of module summative assessment.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the module you should be able to:

• Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of key principles of criminal law and be able to apply those principles in the context of given factual scenarios.

• Demonstrate your ability to identify, explain, evaluate and interpret relevant criminal case law and statutory authorities.


Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

By the end of the module you should be able to:

• Communicate your knowledge and understanding of key principles of criminal law and of criminal relevant case law and statutory authorities accurately, using accurate legal terminology and forming structured and coherent arguments.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

By the end of the module you should have developed the ability to:

• Enhance your knowledge and understanding of key principles of criminal law via both tutor directed independent learning and independent learning.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment

During the semester you will have two formative assessments. (1) A written exercise analysing a recent court judgment. This will be marked by your seminar tutor and you will receive written feedback on your answer. (2) A mock examination to be made available via the eLP and completed in your own time. You will receive written feedback in the form of a model answer and oral feedback in the form of a discussion of the examination in one of the workshops.


Summative assessment

This will take the form of a 2 hour unseen examination. The examination will require you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of key principles of criminal law (including knowledge and understanding that you have obtained via tutor directed independent learning and independent learning).

Summative feedback will be available in written form on scripts, via the eLP as notes for guidance and orally from module/seminar tutors.

Assessment Criteria and Grade-Related Criteria will be made available to you to support you in completing assessments. Grade-Related Descriptors are descriptions of the level of skills, knowledge and/or attributes that you need to demonstrate in order achieve a certain grade or mark in an assessment, providing a mechanism by which the quality of an assessment can be measured and placed within the overall set of marks.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

Criminal law is one of the most interesting and popular subjects you will study on your law degree programme. In this module you will study a number of key criminal offences, including murder, manslaughter, theft, robbery, burglary, criminal damage, rape and sexual assault. You will consider what must be proved in order to establish liability for a criminal offence. You will examine defences that persons accused of criminal offences can raise, such as intoxication, automatism, duress and self-defence. You will develop the ability to locate relevant criminal law statutes and cases using on-line and print resources and to understand and explain the information so obtained. You will also develop the ability to explain principles of criminal law by forming structured and coherent arguments, using correct legal terminology, and to problem solve by applying your knowledge of criminal law to given factual scenarios.

Course info

UCAS Code M101

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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