Criminal Law

The details
Essex Law School
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
26 March 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

LLB M122 English and French Law (Maitrise),
LLB M100TS Law,
LLB M103 Law (Senior Status)

Module description

This module, which is taught across the academic year, introduces students to the substantive criminal law of England and Wales. This will involve a study of the law governing criminal liability.

Module aims

The module aims to introduce and develop understanding of Criminal Law

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students at level 5 should be able to demonstrate the following:

1. Knowledge and understanding of the legal elements of criminal liability and the major criminal offences and defences
2. An understanding of the criminal law in its wider social, political, and philosophical context
3. An ability to read, understand, and analyse judicial decisions
4. An ability to break down a criminal law statute to its component parts and to interpret the statute
5. An ability to analyse and answer factual problems raising issues of criminal liability, and, in particular, to be able to do the following:
a) Identify the legal issue(s) arising
b) Identify and explain the relevant law
6. Engage in legal reasoning and problem-solving by applying the law, using relevant statutes and case-law, to the factual scenario
7. Appreciate the importance of facts and how they can affect legal analysis
8. An ability to evaluate the criminal law and to present a coherent oral and written argument on that basis

Module information

Indicative Syllabus:

1. An Introduction to Criminal Law:
-Preliminary matters: Classification, Procedure, the Courts, Sentencing, and Appeals
-Criminal Law Theory
2. The Elements of Crime: Actus Reus
3. The Elements of Crime: Mens Rea
Intention, Recklessness, Negligence
4. Offences Against the Person: Assault & Consent as a defence to Offences Against the Person
5. Homicide
Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter: Loss of Control & Diminished Responsibility, Involuntary Manslaughter: Constructive Manslaughter, Gross Negligence Manslaughter, Reckless Manslaughter
6. Non-Consensual Sexual Offences: Rape, Sexual Assault,
7. Property Offences (Theft)
8. Defences: Incapacity, Infancy, Insanity, Automatism, Mistake, Intoxication
9. Defences: Other General Defences
Duress, Duress of Circumstances, Necessity, Public/Private Defence
10. Inchoate Crimes: Attempt
11. Parties to Crime

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly lectures and bi-weekly tutorials


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Formative Essay (LW104 Criminal Law)    0% 
Coursework   Multiple Choice Quizzes - Continuous Assessment (LW104 Criminal Law)    50% 
Coursework   Essay (LW104 Criminal Law)    50% 
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 180 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 180 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Additional coursework information

Assessment will be split as 10% MCQ, 30% CW (essay) and 60% in person restricted materials exam. This will allow students to develop there understanding of the module through continuous feedback

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
40% 60%


Coursework Exam
0% 100%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Simon Cooper, email: sjcoop@essex.ac.uk.
Mr Simon Cooper, Dr Audrey Guinchard, Angela Francis, Dr Ebba Lekvall
Law UG Education Administrators: lawschoolug@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Christopher Lloyd
Oxford Brookes University
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 1916 hours, 27 (1.4%) hours available to students:
1889 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Law School

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.