Skip to main content


Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3003: Criminal Law

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Aims

In this module you will cover the core elements of some of the major crimes in the law of England and Wales. The emphasis will be on understanding how the criminal law can be applied to real-life ‘problem’ scenarios. You will also be encouraged to reflect on whether or not the law could be improved, and even propose some creative new approaches. In particular, the module aims to enable you to:


(a)   Communicate knowledge and understanding of the major principles and controversies of the criminal law syllabus.


(b)   Identify the relevant issues from the criminal law syllabus which arise in a problem or essay question.


(c)   Analyse, evaluate and apply the criminal law syllabus in context to reach conclusions.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. demonstrate in-depth understanding of the general concepts and principles governing the criminal law, their derivation and the various theories that encapsulate and attempt to systematise them;
2. demonstrate detailed knowledge of the law governing the offences and defences covered on the module, including areas of growth or areas in need of reform;
3. demonstrate a critical understanding of the importance of non-legal/contextual materials, including academic commentaries, and be able to use them effectively to produce an academic argument.
Discipline-Specific Skills4. demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of a range of legal rules, concepts, values and principles, and be able to explain and discuss the relationships among them;
5. identify and apply the relevant law to make an informed judgement about the merits and relevance of particular information and make reasoned choices between alternative solutions or arguments;
6. communicate technical legal information and argument effectively and concisely, in a manner appropriate to the discipline.
Personal and Key Skills7. take responsibility for your own learning and manage time efficiently in preparing for learning activities, and to work independently within a limited time frame to complete a specified task;
8. identify, retrieve and use efficiently a range of resources with minimal guidance;
9. work effectively with others within a group, meeting obligations to the other members of the group.