Skip to Content

LS551S: CRIMINAL LAW (2015-2016)

Last modified: 25 Mar 2016 11:39

Course Overview

The course examines topics of current interest in criminal law from a theoretical perspective. The course focuses on the moral principles and policy considerations underlying specific criminal laws, rather than taking a purely “black-letter law” approach.  It considers how some of the most serious offences, such as murder and rape, should be defined and also examines various defences such as provocation, diminished responsibility, mental disorder, coercion and necessity.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Elizabeth Shaw

Qualification Prerequisites


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

  • Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Law (LS) (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course examines selected principles of criminal liability in the light of criminal law theory. Topics include 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.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed


Contact Teaching Time

14 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


1st Attempt: The final (two-hour) examination counts for two-thirds of the final assessment. The remaining one third of the final assessment consists of an assessed 3,500 word essay.

Resit: 2-hour exam worth 100%.

Formative Assessment




Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.