Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to M101
Tied to M103


  • Introduction to English Law and Legal Method (LAW 1121) and UK Constitutional Law (LAW 1091) and Individual and the State (LAW 1081).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide a general understanding of the nature and functions of the criminal law (to include both an understanding of the general principles of criminal law and the principles governing selected crimes).


  • Introduction to the criminal justice system; the general elements of criminal liability; modes of participation; inchoate offences; defences; and the elements of selected offences.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should be able to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the criminal justice system; the general elements of criminal liability; modes of participation; inchoate offences; defences; and the elements of selected offences in English and Welsh criminal law.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to demonstrate a capacity to apply the subject knowledge to factual situations raising issues of law which may be uncertain and complex, and to evaluate critically the doctrinal coherence and consistency of English and Welsh criminal law.
  • The ability to communicate legal arguments, findings, and solutions, both orally and in writing, appropriately to the needs of a variety of audiences.
  • The ability to use the English language and legal terminology with care and accuracy.
Key Skills:
  • Students will be able to identify relevant principles of law, apply those principles to problem questions, analyse relevant case law and identify legal and policy issues and arguments concering various areas of criminal law.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate sound analytical and writing skills as well as the ability to work independently and to take responsibility for their own learning.
  • Students will be able to apply knowledge to complex situations, to recognise potential alternative conclusions for particular situations, and to provide supporting reasons for them.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures are used primarily to impart knowledge and also to suggest approaches to evaluation and critical analysis;
  • Seminars will be used to develop and enhance students' capacity for legal-problem solving in a particular factual situation, evaluative critical analysis and their appreciation of laws' linkage with broader fields of enquiry;
  • There will be a formative assignment. This will take the form of either an essay or problem question; both modes of assessment are used in the exam, with a working bibliography. The formative assignment will allow students to develop knowledge and skills required for the exam, and to receive feedback ensuring that they understand what is expected.
  • The exam will provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a number of core areas in English and Welsh criminal law. The exam will consist of a number of questions from which students will have a choice to answer.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 weekly 1 hour 20
Seminars 6 Normally three in Michaelmas and three in Epiphany 1 hour 6
Preparation and Reading 174
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 3 hours 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

A short essay or problem question in the style of those used in the exam, of no more than 1,500 words plus a working bibliography.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University