Issues in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (910M3)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

This module will provide you with an introduction to key contemporary issues in criminal law and criminal justice, with a view to enabling you to understand the main challenges facing the English and Welsh criminal justice system at the present time. Topics will include issues which highlight the contemporary problems facing both substantive criminal law and the justice system, including: youth justice and the age of criminal responsibility; overcriminalisation for example by new `inchoate type' offences in response to the threat to security; the relationship between personal autonomy and the criminal law; the difficulties in securing convictions for certain types of offences such as sexual violence and child abuse; the impact of gender upon both the substantive criminal law and criminal justice; prison overcrowding; and access to justice. You will discuss these topics from an interdisciplinary perspective, placing them within the context of human rights, social and political developments.


33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


50%: Examination (Distance examination)
50%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 27 hours of contact time and about 273 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.