LW1CRI-Criminal Law

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: restricted to LLB students
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Beatrice Krebs

Email: b.krebs@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
To introduce the student to the underlying principles of criminal liability.

This module will address the application of a range of criminal offences and defences. It will provide the student with an appreciation of the development of the criminal law by precedent and statutory interpretation. The module will outline the difficulties of enforcing the law, the need for reform and the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, the students will be able to:
• demonstrate an awareness of the principles of English criminal law and the main offences and defences;
• engage in critical evaluation of the law and comment on proposals for reform;
• apply legal principles with appropriate authorities to the solution of problems;
• evaluate legal arguments and engage in critical appraisal of criminal law doctrine;
• formulate coherent legal arguments and present them clearly in writing.

Additional outcomes:
Students will develop their oral communication skills through participation in tutorial discussions. Development of ICT skills will be encouraged through utilisation of electronic resources including databases and the Internet. Independent learning will be encouraged through the use of a self-study topic.

Outline content:
• Sources of criminal law – common law, statute, ECHR and Human Rights Act 1998
• Principles of criminal law – actus reus, mens rea, causation, voluntariness, mistake, strict liability
• Homicide offences – murder, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter
• Participation – accessorial liability
• Non-fatal offences against the person and sexual offences
• Defences – self-defence, duress, necessity, intoxication, insanity
• Inchoate offences – conspiracy, encouraging or assisting crime, attempt
• Offences against property – theft, fraud offences, burglary and robbery.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will be taught by a combination of lectures and tutorials. To encourage independent learning, no lectures will be given on one key topic. A handout will be provided as guidance for this exercise and students will be expected to make their own notes. Students will be required to produce two pieces of written work, the SECOND of which will form part of the summative assessment of the module.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 20 2
Tutorials 3 5
Guided independent study 75 75
Total hours by term 98.00 100.00 2.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Written assignment including essay 25

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will be expected to submit one piece of written work of not more than 5 pages, formatted in accordance with the rules as set out in the School Guide (Programme Assessment) Assessed Work Rules.

Relative percentage of coursework : 25%.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One two-hour examination (three questions to be answered from a choice of questions) in May/June. Students must answer at least one question from each of two sections (Section A – essays, Section B – problem questions).

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resit any failed element. Hence, submit a piece of assessed work on a new topic by August/September or resit the examination in August/September (format as for original examination) or both.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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