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LAW2260 : Criminal Law

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Ms Samantha Ryan
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aims of the course are as follows:

1. To introduce students to the substantive criminal law of England & Wales through the study of basic principles/elements of criminal liability, key offences and some defences;

2. To enable students to consider the above in a critical and evaluative way by drawing upon wider academic commentary and law reform proposals

3. To enable students to apply this knowledge in a clear, logical and critical manner to factual scenarios and to write about criminal law issues in an informed, clear and critical manner

4. To provide a sufficient knowledge and understanding of key elements of criminal law so that students will be able to engage with new or unfamiliar criminal offences in the future

Outline Of Syllabus

* Introduction – What is a crime?

* Actus Reus – Acts, Omissions, and Causation

* Mens Rea – Intention, Recklessness, and Transferred Malice

* Homicide – Murder and Manslaughter (Voluntary Manslaughter – loss of control and diminished responsibility and Involuntary Manslaughter – Unlawful and Dangerous Act Manslaughter and Gross Negligence Manslaughter).

* Non-Fatal Offences against the Person and Consent – Offences against the Person (assault, battery, ABH and GBH), Consent and Sexual Offences (Rape)

* General Defences – Self-Defence, Duress

* Theft and Robbery

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:001 hour in person lectures – on a twice weekly basis
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00Preparation for written assessment and exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture31:003:00additional sessions cover an introductory session, a feedforward and feedback session on coursework.
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials41:004:00Combination of short recordings and text made available via Canvas to support lecture content
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:005 x 1 hour seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1106:00106:00Combination of own reading, seminar preparation and revision.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures: There will be 22 one-hour lectures delivered in person. The lectures will deliver the substantive content of the module setting out and explaining the essential content, highlighting issues of controversy and where further reading and research is necessary. The aim of the lectures is to help students achieve the intended knowledge outcomes set out above and providing the foundational basis for the intended skills outcomes set out above.

Small group teaching: There will be 5 one-hour small group classes. The seminars will provide students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge to problem based and essay based questions and obtain feedback on their approach. The seminars also provide students with the opportunity to learn from each other and to clarify any issues. The seminars help deliver the skills outcomes outlined above and help students prepare for both the coursework and exam components of the module.

3 x One hour sessions delivered to whole cohort in person. One introductory session, one in advance of written assessment submission to provide guidance on coursework assessment and one to provide feedback on the coursework.

Structured Guided Learning: combination of pre-recorded material and text to supplement lectures and MCQs to test knowledge and understanding of substantive content.

Independent Study: There are 106 hours allocated to independent guided study and 60 hours to coursework preparation and writing and exam revision and preparation. Students are supported with reading lists and hot topics on the substantive topics studied but also have freedom to pursue their own further reading on specific topics.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination1351A75Inspera Digital Exam. Students must answer 2 questions from a choice of 4.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M25Maximum 1500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written exercise provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their written, research and analytical skills and to demonstrate intended learning knowledge and skills outcomes. It provides feedback to students which can help them assess their performance on the module and helps prepare students for the end of year exam.

An digital (Inspera timed invigilated) examination enables students to demonstrate essential knowledge, understanding and skills. In particular, it tests knowledge and understanding across the wider curriculum content, it enables students to demonstrate problem solving skills, analytical skills, the ability to write in an informed, evaluative, concise and precise manner on a specific topic/scenario under time constraints.

Reading Lists