Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Law


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Criminal Law (LAW 2221).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of the criminal law by developing specific expertise in the criminal regulation of sexual activity;
  • To expand students’ understanding of the broader social, political and gendered context in which criminal law and policy operate.


  • The module will examine key issues in the regulation of sex, including:
  • The role of the criminal law
  • Gender and feminist theories regarding law and crime
  • Sexual offences
  • Rape
  • Regulation of pornography
  • Regulation of sex work/prostitution

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the main theories examining the criminal regulation of sex;
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of selected areas of substantive law relating to law, sex and crime;
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • evaluate critically the relevance and applicability of theories of crime, gender and law to the regulation of sex;
  • demonstrate analytical and critical skills regarding the legal, political and gendered implications of current and proposed criminal laws and policies on the regulation of sex;
  • evaluate selected areas of substantive law and policy in the light of different approaches to the regulation of sex, including the ability to offer personal and justifiable opinions on the effectiveness of specific laws and the desirability of reform.
Key Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • demonstrate developed research and writing skills, including the ability to work independently and to take responsibility for their own learning.
  • describe and evaluate in a comprehensive manner the arguments and analysis of other commentators
  • write in a clear and structured way and put forward ideas in a scholarly manner

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

  • There will be 8 lectures which will impart knowledge and provide a clear framework for the study of particular topics. One lecture will focus on essay feedback and essay writing skills.
  • There will be 9 two-hour seminars during which there will be detailed examination and discussion of key texts and materials. This format will encourage advanced reading and in-depth analysis. The seminars will develop and enhance students’ capacity for evaluative critical analysis;
  • The formative assignment develops essay-writing skills, the ability to engage in sustained evaluation of selected issues and the ability to evaluate the law in a critical and contextual way.
  • The examination tests knowledge and understanding across the entire module, as well as the ability to focus on relevant legal issues and organise knowledge and argument appropriate to the questions posed.
  • The summative essay enables students to develop their research skills, to demonstrate their ability to work independently, and to show their ability to meet the subject-specific and key skills of the module.
  • The modes of assessment will encourage independent learning and research skills and will examine students' ability to meet the learning outcomes of the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 8 4 in Michaelmas and 4 in Epiphany term 1 hour 8
Seminars 9 4 in Michaelmas and 5 in Epiphany 2 hours 18
Preparation and Reading 174
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
written examination 2hrs 30mins 100%
Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative essay 4000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

1 x 2,000 word essay.

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