LLB Law with Politics

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Criminal Law

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS20300
Credit rating 30
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Law
Available as a free choice unit? No


  1. Building an Offence: Actus Reus
  2. Building an Offence: Mens Rea
  3. Homicide and the Partial Defences to Murder
  4. Criminal Law Reform and the Role of Legal Scholarship
  5. Legal and Academic Skills: Writing Essays and Solving Problems
  6. Non-Fatal Offences against the Person
  7. General Defences to Criminal Liability
  8. Property Offences




The course unit aims to:


Provide an overview of the doctrinal and theoretical aspects of criminal liability in England and Wales including detailed investigation of select criminal offences and defences.


This compulsory course unit is taught to LLB Law with Politics students in Year 2 of their studies. It is one of the Foundations of Legal Knowledge subjects required for students wishing to satisfy the Academic Stage of Training for the Bar Standards Board.



Teaching and learning methods

All Level 1 and Level 2 Law course units use a combination of lectures and 2 hour workshops as the scheduled teaching and learning activities.

Lectures will include delivery of substantive content, interactive quizzes for ongoing oral feedback, and skills development sessions.

Workshops will enable students to participate in a range of activities in small groups and will be led by the workshop leader. Workshops will provide opportunity for peer interaction and oral feedback from the workshop leader.

This course unit has a Blackboard page which will be used to deliver the range of course materials and information about teaching, learning and assessment for that course unit.

Independent study, including an online Discussion Board, will support research skills, and knowledge and understanding of the course unit content.



Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand the doctrinal basis for select criminal offences and defences in England and Wales.
  • Develop knowledge of a range of theoretical perspectives within the academic literature on the aims, values and principles of the criminal law.


Intellectual skills

  • Analyse doctrine by drawing from theoretical perspectives within the academic literature.
  • Identify and present conflicting theoretical arguments and begin to weigh up their relative merits.

Practical skills

  • Apply criminal law doctrine to practical problem-solving scenarios.
  • Prepare written work meeting appropriate academic standards and reference sources correctly.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Communicate theoretical and doctrinal ideas relating to criminal law clearly and succinctly to others, including in oral form.
  • Engage with public policy proposals for criminal law reform using doctrine and theory. 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 20%
Written assignment (inc essay) 80%





MCQ exam

20 mins


Individual online feedback


3000 words


Individual written feedback and cohort feedback

Feedback methods

Formative Assessment:

Coursework  -  1500 words  - Individual written feedback and cohort feedback

MCQ tests - 20 mins x 8 - Individual online feedback


Summative Assessment:

MCQ test - 20 mins  - 20% - Individual online feedback

Coursework - 3000 words - 80% - Individual written feedback and cohort feedback

Recommended reading

J Herring, Criminal Law: Text, Cases and Materials (9th edition OUP 2020)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Practical classes & workshops 16
Independent study hours
Independent study 254

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Fae Garland Unit coordinator
Philip Handler Unit coordinator
Neil Cobb Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Closed book examination.

Restricted to 2nd year LLB (Law with Politics) for whom this course is compulsory.

This course is available to incoming study abroad students.

Pre:requisites: Compulsory year 1 Law School courses.

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