Criminal Law - LAWS5080

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 5 30 (15) Laura Charleton checkmark-circle


As one of the Foundations of Legal Knowledge, these modules have a direct contribution to qualification as a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales). The content of these modules is informed, therefore, by the requirements of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board and each serves to provide students with substantive knowledge of English criminal law. The module therefore covers the following:
• Introduction to the concept of crime, the structure of criminal justice and the general principles of liability
• Harm and the boundaries of criminal law
• Considering cases – how to effectively summarise cases and write a case note
• Murder
• Defences to murder
• General defences
• Manslaughter
• Non-fatal offences against the person
• Sexual offences
• Inchoate offences
• Complicity
• Property-related offences


Contact hours

Contact Hours: 55
Private Study: 245
Total Study Hours: 300


LAWS5080 - all single and joint honours law programmes except: Certificate in Law (Canterbury); and those undertaking the 'Certificate Route' of the LLB Law.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Module will be assessed by 40% coursework and 60% examination.

The examination takes the form of a three hour unseen paper (60%)

The coursework will consist of two pieces of assessed work:

Advice note, 2000 words – 20%.
Compulsory oral presentation – 20% - approx. 5-10 minutes. This element must be passed alongside the other elements to pass the module overall. These assessments will be recorded and each group participant will receive a group mark.

Reassessment methods
The module will be reassessed by like-for-like reassessment of the failed individual component(s).

Indicative reading

• Herring J., Criminal Law: Text, Cases and Materials, 8th Edition, (Oxford University Press, 2019)
• Horder J., Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law, 9th Edition, (Oxford University Press, 2019)
• Ormerod, D., Smith and Hogan: Criminal Law, 15th Edition, (Oxford University Press, 2018)
• Ormerod and Laird, Karl, Smith, Hogan and Ormerod's: Criminal Law, 15th Edition, (Oxford University Press, 2018)
• Padfield, N., Criminal Law, 10th Edition, (Oxford University Press, 2016)
• Thomas M., Criminal Law, 1st Edition, (Hall and Stott, 2018)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a sound grounding in the concepts, principles and rules of criminal offences.
2. Demonstrate a sound understanding of the wider debate in respect of the place of criminal law in the social context, the definitions of harm and the boundaries of criminal law.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of the major theoretical debates in the criminal law field.
4. Assess criminal liability in a given factual situation and identify any defences by applying relevant legal principles, case law and statute law to the facts, and critically debate any issues raised.
5. Engage in a reasoned and informed discussion of the major areas of criminal law making appropriate reference to legal and academic source authorities.
6. Evaluate the operation of the criminal law in the social context.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate their skills in summarising cases and developing argument.
2. Demonstrate research and presentation skills through class presentations and through assessment.
3. Undertake independent legal research and identify and retrieve up to date information, using a range of paper and electronic sources.
4. Present legal argument both in class and through assessment
5. Recognise potential alternative conclusions for particular situations, and provide supporting reasons for them.
6. Use relevant legal terminology with care and accuracy.
7. Present and evaluate information in a numerical or statistical form.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.