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LS4035: CRIMINAL LAW (2020-2021)

Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04


Course Overview

The course builds upon the basic understanding of criminal law acquired in LS1020 although it is very important to understand that the topics are approached from a much more theoretical perspective. The course examines in detail selected principles of criminal liability, including the role and limits of the criminal law, the defence of mental disorder, murder, rape, provocation and the limits of excusability. Comparative material from a variety of jurisdictions is included. 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 25 credits (12.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Elizabeth Shaw

Qualification Prerequisites

  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5
  • LS1020 Criminal Law (Passed)
  • Law (LS) (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Course Aims:

  • To introduce candidates to issues of importance and current interest in the modern criminal law.
  • To analyse those issues in terms of Scots law and also in terms of selected foreign systems of law.
  • To encourage personal research into a particular issue of current concern.
  • To encourage critical discussion of aspects of the present criminal law of Scotland. Main Learning Outcomes:
  • To develop awareness of the literature (both primary and secondary) relevant to criminal law studies and to develop an understanding in depth of the particular issues studied.
  • To critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of Scots criminal law.
  • To develop an understanding of the variety of available solutions to problem areas within the criminal law. Knowledge and Understanding The course provides students with the opportunity to acquire an in-depth understanding of academic debates concerning legal and ethical problems that arise in the following areas: the role and function of the criminal law, the defence of mental disorder, the definition of murder, the definition of rape, the provocation defence, involuntary intoxication and the defences of necessity, coercion and superior orders. Subject Specific Skills and Concepts
  • To produce coursework which is fully referenced, using correct legal citations;
  • To analyse, synthesise and critically evaluate legal materials from a variety of sources;
  • To conduct effective legal research, retrieving a range of up-to-date legal materials in electronic and non-electronic formats;
  • Ability to express informed opinion, orally and in writing, on issues of criminal law. Key Skills (Transferable)
  • Ability to conduct further personal research with a fair degree of confidence;
  • Ability to communicate, in writing, the results of personal research;
  • Ability to argue logically and support arguments with evidence;
  • Ability to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information, when conducting research projects;
  • Ability to work effectively in small groups;
  • To develop time management skills. Content: The course builds upon the basic understanding of criminal law acquired in LS1020, but approaches the topics from a much more theoretical perspective. It examines in detail selected principles of criminal liability, including the role and limits of the criminal law, the defence of mental disorder, murder, rape, provocation and the limits of excusability. Comparative material from a variety of jurisdictions is included.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

MCQ Test (15%)

2000 words essay (40%)

2 out of 6 questions assessment (45%)

Resit: each failed element should be retaken

Alternative Resit Arrangements

Resit failed element in same format

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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