Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) (Single Honours)
2014 - 2015
Bachelor of Laws (Single Honours)
Law with Criminology
Law with Criminology
University of Chester
University of Chester
Undergraduate Modular Programme
Full-time and Part-time
Classroom / Laboratory,
Annual - September
Recognised by the Joint Academic Stage Board as a Qualifying Law Degree
Law (LA modules), Department of Social and Political Science (SO modules)
Wednesday 1st December 2010
As to Law:
To acquire knowledge and understanding of legal doctrines, concepts, principles, rules and values in core areas of law.
To understand the English legal system and the impact of European Union law and institutions on that system.
To study in depth a number of substantive areas of law, a perception and appreciation of the context in which law operates and the development of a critical perspective of the law and legal institutions
To understand the dynamic nature of law, of uncertainty in the law, and of the need for and proposals for law reform.
As to Criminology:
To provide a critical and academically challenging course in contemporary criminology, which relates to life concerns.
To provide a course of study which allows students to critically discriminate between theories of crime, which base their explanations primarily at the level of the individual, and those that relate crime to social processes.
To allow students to deploy and apply research in criminology in order to gain evidence to evaluate competing explanations.
As to both Law and Criminology:
· To acquire an appreciation of the links and synergies between the two disciplines and also their differences.
To develop transferable graduate level skills in research, analysis, synthesis, problem solving, communication (oral and in writing) and the ability to work autonomously and as part of a team in a multi-cultural society.
Knowledge and Understanding As to Law: Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of
a substantial range of legal doctrines, major concepts and values that underpin law and the legal system.
the purpose of some areas of law from a critical perspective
principles and rules as they apply to specific areas of law and legal systems
the potential for impact of European Union law and European institutions on English law and the English legal system
some substantive areas of law, including some in-depth study
In addition, depending on the options chosen at level 6, demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of
a number of areas of business law in a commercial context
areas of crime and criminal justice, and their interaction with human rights, and the context in which the criminal justice system operates
As to Criminology:
The programme of study examines a range of theoretical perspectives which relate crime to its social, individual and legal contexts. Study includes:
An examination of the major criminal justice agencies and their relationships between policy, theory and practice.
Histories of crime and punishment, the relationship between crime and social order.
An understanding of the dynamics of power in relation to crime and criminality.
An understanding of how crime is researched and how data on crime is presented.
The study of crime as representation with particular reference to the Media portrayals of crime, criminals and victims.
The study of contemporary and comparative criminology.
An understanding of the contribution of the key disciplines that inform criminology; namely sociology, psychology and law, and their interrelationship. Substantive areas of focus would include drugs, civil liberties and contemporary issues in law and order.
Thinking or Cognitive Skills
As to Law: Thinking or Cognitive Skills - students should be able to:
recognise and distil issues from factual or hypothetical information and prioritise them in terms of their relevance and importance
undertake an analysis of complex legal or factual information in a systematic way and according to the purpose to be served
apply knowledge and understanding to solve problems – actual or hypothetical
propose and handle alternative solutions
produce a synthesis of relevant doctrinal and policy issues in relation to a topic
offer critical evaluation of particular arguments and make informed judgements about their merits
As to Criminology:
These skills are developed on an incremental basis as the student progresses through the programme. Description, together with the fostering of intellectual curiosity, at level one is enhanced at levels two and three by the development of skills which demonstrate the ability to progressively engage in analysis and synthesis respectively. Students will learn techniques of description, critical analysis and synthesis in relation to the understanding of crime. They will learn how to make reasoned arguments, the critical interpretation of evidence in relation to research methodology and text and to develop the ability to practice reflection through knowledge, which has been accumulated throughout their programme of study. Practical Skills
As to Law:
Practical Skills: students should be able to:
identify and retrieve legal information using paper and electronic sources
use primary and secondary sources relevant to the topic under study
collate information and materials from a variety of sources in a coherent way
plan and undertake tasks in areas of law already studied
plan and undertake research in areas of law not previously studied
properly attribute and utilize the work of others
As to Criminology:
Practical Skills Includes communication skills (speaking, discussion, reading, discourse and argument), presentational skills; information and communications technology (to include the use of computers and word processors) as well as statistical and quantitative techniques and information retrieval (primary and secondary sources).
Application of Number
Information Literacy and Technology
Improving own learning and performance
Working with others
As to Law:
Understand and use proficiently the English language, both orally and in writing,
Present knowledge in a way which is comprehensible to others and directed to their concerns
Construct a consistent and sustained argument
Understand and present relevant statistical or other numerical data as part of an argument
Word process work in an appropriate format
Use e-mail and the World-wide Web
Reflect on your own learning and seek and make use of feedback
Manage your time effectively
Work in groups as a participant who contributes effectively to the group’s task
Construct a consistent and sustained argument and see benchmarks above.
As to Criminology :
'The term transferable skills refers to those skills that go beyond a single discipline. Benchmarking statements often make reference to transferable and generic skills. The [University] uses the term key skills to refer to a set of specific skills that fall within these headings. The [University] has embraced the six key skills identified by the Qualifications, Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCA).' (Key Skills Advisory Group, 2000). Reference to transferable skills is made in the BSC benchmark standards and in the Options Series for Criminology developed by prospects.ac.uk (www.prospects.ac.uk/links/Options). They are defined as marketable qualities that are increasingly required by employers. For the purposes of this document these transferable skills will be defined as key skills in accordance with the University's adoption of the QCA guidelines. Thus a range of key skills (translated from the QCA guidelines into the six programme learning outcomes below) to enhance employability will be developed across the programme. Whilst these skills are inherent across all three levels, they are nevertheless developed progressively. Modules referenced below are used as core examples to highlight the explicit embedding of key skills in module aims, learning outcomes and assessment in line with constructive alignment (Biggs, 1999). Students should be able to:
Demonstrate through application written and oral communication.
Apply IT, information literacy and research skills through practical and project work.
Present data and evidence in an appropriate format for a variety of audiences (both quantitative and qualitative).
Participate effectively in group work/group related activities.
Apply time planning and management and engage in reflective practice when conducting study tasks and assessments to improve own learning and performance for career development and employability.
Engage in problem solving, for example, by evaluating evidence of diverse kinds and drawing appropriate conclusions.
Transferable Professional Skills
These skills are not separate but embedded in the key skills above.
The programme is designed to provide an opportunity for students to meet learning outcomes in law and criminology for different purposes.
Students may wish to continue on the path to legal professional qualification and the programme has been designed as a Qualifying Law Degree.
Some will wish to use their knowledge of law and criminology, as well as the transferable skills acquired through their study, to prepare for a career in an allied profession. Others will wish to study law and criminology as academic disciplines in their own right and acquire a social science/arts qualification. All of these factors have been considered in the design of the programme. The Law element incorporates study of all the areas needed for a Qualifying Law Degree, including a module incorporating study skills. At level 6 students will be able to specialise to some degree in areas of the law that are of particular interest to them and/or of particular relevance to their future career. However, the choice of Law options is constrained by the programme choice to study Criminology alongside Law. It is expected, although not mandatory, that students will choose Law options to complement their interest in Criminology. These include Evidence and perhaps Family Law and Child Law. The programme complies fully with the requirements of the FHEQ and the Law Subject benchmark statements. The Law benchmarks are drafted somewhat differently from those in other subject areas. The purpose is, among other issues, to provide a basis for institutions to devise their own learning outcome statements compatible with the benchmark statements. Also, the benchmarks set as a minimum certain achievements which a student must demonstrate to be awarded an undergraduate honours degree in law.
Thus the statements are both generic and look to the final outcome of study on a law programme. Thus it is not possible or appropriate to map the benchmark standards against individual modules.
The Criminology modules are structured to give the students a firm foundation in level 5 and although there is no choice at level 5 and little choice at level 6, these modules do complement the Law modules, particularly in the areas of Public Law, Criminal Law and Human Rights Law.
Please note that this programme has been granted derogation from the University's Regulation, and therefore students wishing to have Qualifying Law Status cannot be compensated in the 'Foundation Modules'.
120 credits at level 4: Certificate of Higher Education plus 120 credits at level 5: Diploma of Higher Education plus 120 credits at level 6: LL.B Hons
For entry to the programme for 2012/13 a typical applicant will have a minimum of 320 UCAS points, of which 280 points must be obtained from GCE A2 or Vocational A Level (6 or 12 unit) awards, including a grade C in one subject . The remaining points may be from A2, AS, Vocational A/AS level (3, 6 or 12 units) awards, or from level 6 skills certification. Applicants will not be interviewed. There is no typical applicant background for Law, although the majority of students do have the conventional Curriculum 2000 qualifications. Within those qualifications, most subject disciplines are acceptable, although, again, the majority will have studied arts/social science/business-related curricula.
Applicants with non-standard qualifications will be considered by the Law School in conjunction with the Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions Services in accordance with the precepts and procedures set out in the University Handbook on The Admission of Students. This may particularly apply to those wishing to study the programme part-time, although, as there is no separate part-time mode of delivery, such students will be considered against the same criteria as non-standard full-time applicants.
1. Purpose of the Law Benchmark Standards
The Law benchmarks are drafted somewhat differently from those in other subject areas. The purpose is, among other issues, to provide a basis for institutions to devise their own learning outcome statements compatible with the benchmark statements. Also, the benchmarks set as a minimum certain achievements which a student must demonstrate to be awarded an undergraduate honours degree in law.
Thus the statements are both generic and look to the final outcome of study on a law programme. Thus it is not possible or appropriate to map the benchmark standards against individual modules. The key skills are set out and mapped in the definitive document and have been informed by the subject benchmarks.
2. The Benchmarks
The text below has been extracted from the Law benchmark document. The Law Benchmark statement was last revised in 2007. The following criteria are set out in the Benchmark Statement relating to subject specific abilities:
Any student graduating in Law must show achievement in all of the following areas of performance, thereby demonstrating substantially all of the abilities and competences identified in each area of performance.
Knowledge: A student should demonstrate a basic knowledge and understanding of the principal features of the legal system(s) studied, viz. s/he
• should be able to demonstrate knowledge of a substantial range of major concepts, values, principles and rules of that system;
• should be able to explain the main legal institutions and procedures of that system;
• should be able to demonstrate the study in depth and in context of some substantive areas of the legal system.
2. Application and problem-solving:
A student should demonstrate a basic ability to apply her or his knowledge to a situation of limited complexity in order to provide arguable conclusions for concrete problems (actual or hypothetical).
3. Sources and research: A student should demonstrate a basic ability
• to identify accurately the issue(s) which require researching
• to identify and retrieve up-to-date legal information, using paper and electronic sources;
• to use primary and secondary legal sources relevant to the topic under study.
4. General transferable intellectual skills
Analysis, synthesis, critical judgement and evaluation: A student should demonstrate a basic ability
• to recognise and rank items and issues in terms of relevance and importance;
• to bring together information and materials from a variety of different sources;
• to produce a synthesis of relevant doctrinal and policy issues in relation to a topic;
• to make a critical judgement of the merits of particular arguments;
• to present and make a reasoned choice between alternative solutions.
5. Autonomy and ability to learn: A student should demonstrate a basic ability, with limited guidance
• to act independently in planning and undertaking tasks in areas of law which she or he has already studied;
• to be able to undertake independent research in areas of law which he or she has not previously studied starting from standard legal information sources;
• to reflect on his or her own learning, and to seek and make use of feedback.
6. Key skills
Communication and Literacy: Both orally and in writing, a student should demonstrate a basic ability
• to understand and use the English language (or, where appropriate, Welsh language) proficiently in relation to legal matters;
• to present knowledge or an argument in a way which is comprehensible to others and which is directed at their concerns;
• to read and discuss legal materials which are written in technical and complex language.
7. Other key skills: numeracy, information technology and teamwork: A student should demonstrate a basic ability
• where relevant and as the basis for an argument, to use, present and evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form;
• to produce a word-processed essay or other text and to present such work in an appropriate form;
• to use the World-wide web and e-mail;
• to use some electronic information retrieval systems.
• to work in groups as a participant who contributes effectively to the group's task.
The British Society of Criminology (BSC) (professional body) has developed a subject benchmark statement for criminology in 2006. An explicit underpinning argument for the development of the criminology benchmark statement from a teaching and learning perspective is that it will act as a baseline/reference point from which to develop modules and assess the progress of teaching and learning within the criminology community (see also The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, 2006, Guidelines for preparing programme specifications).
Whilst the subject benchmark statement points out that 'it should be regarded as minimum standards within an emergent discipline', it also points out that 'it is expected that all such programmes will enable students to develop' in seven areas:
A basic understanding of the major theories which are deployed throughout the social sciences which allow us to understand the social and personal context of all aspects of crime, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance.
An understanding of key concepts and theoretical approaches which have been developed in relation to crime, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance.
An understanding of the basic principles of social research as applicable to criminological topics; of what can be achieved by different methodologies and techniques; of when a particular methodology or technique is most appropriately used; of how the results of any particular study may be evaluated; and of the ethical principles governing criminological research.
A basic understanding of the principles of human rights and civil liberties which are applicable to policing, to the different stages of the criminal justice process, and to all official responses to crime and deviance.
An understanding of the dimensions of social divisions and social diversity in relation to criminological topics.
An understanding of the construction and influence of representations of crime and victims and of responses to crime and deviance as found in official reports, the mass media, and public opinion.
An understanding of the local, national, and international contexts of crime, victimisation, and responses to crime and deviance.
It is these seven areas that underpin the design of the criminology modules in terms of content and outcomes.
Teaching Methods - Law
The principal methods of delivery are through lectures (for a whole cohort), workshops (all or part of a module cohort) and seminars (usually a maximum of 15 students). There is a good ratio of small group to large group teaching (typically 1 to 2 at level 4 and better at levels 5 and 6). Typically lectures will be expository and explanatory, teaching to printed materials. However, they will also afford students every opportunity to interact. Workshops will typically be a mixture of lecturing and setting the students tasks and are often used for consolidation of previous topics. Students will be given tasks to complete before seminars and all students will be given the opportunity and be expected to participate in seminars. Tasks are typically to prepare one or more problem questions (i.e. students are given a short, written scenario and they have to identify the relevant area(s) of Law and apply them correctly and appropriately to the facts) and/or to prepare a given topic for analysis and discussion. The conduct of seminars might take various forms. Students may be asked to present part of the seminar, or, at level 5 and above, to run the session. They may be split into sub-groups or, more typically, all students will contribute within a session facilitated by a member of the academic staff.
Students will also benefit from input into formal teaching sessions by guest lecturers. Professional guest lecturers are invited to take sessions in some modules, particularly the more specialist ones at level 6.
During the one week induction programme the students learn basic legal academic skills. Sessions include information on the programme of study, life as a law student and an introduction to legal skills and exercises to help review those skills. They receive quick feedback on these exercises so that strengths and weaknesses in skills can be identified at an early stage and the students can ascertain what areas they need to improve in and what support they might need. Students also have library induction sessions and continue with learning how to use a law library in the dedicated system and skills module.
Students’ learning comes from a variety of sources. On a day to day basis, they consolidate what they have taken from lectures, and prepare for seminars. Part of the assessment in Contract Law, both formative and summative, is designed to induct them into the technique and regime of preparing for seminars. For students on the “Law with” programmes, the system and skills module introduces them to such discipline. The induction sessions and other Level 4 modules also teach the students how to access, evaluate and use electronic sources and materials. It is hoped that electronic materials will continue to be developed for the programme, allowing interactive use of them.
Mooting, debating and mock trials are used as both specific legal and generic skills. Students experience them formatively in the level 4 English Legal System and Critical Legal Skills module .This affords them the opportunity to learn and develop public speaking skills and to present arguments orally in a rational and lucid manner. It is hoped that they will participate in both internal and external mooting competitions at level 5. A senior local judge judges the final of the internal competition. Some may also benefit from short placements in a solicitors’ office. They have an opportunity to enhance their experiential, reflective and independent learning in the level 5 module LA5005 Law Experiential.
Students are encouraged to become more independent and critical in their learning as they progress from one level to another. This is reflected in the lessening of class contact hours at level 6 and the quality and type of seminar task set.
Development of Professionalism and Autonomy
Students are given early tuition on independent learning. The level 5 LA5005 Law Experiential module, if chosen, gives them the opportunity to produce an independent, reflective piece of work based on participation in or observation of some aspect of law in practice.
The aims and learning outcomes of modules progress from level to level, requiring and enabling students to adopt a more independent and professional approach to their studies. The nature and content of assessment tasks will also evolve from level to level, requiring more independent research and critical appreciation of primary sources of law.
Students who experience learning difficulties or who, for whatever reason, need ongoing support, are actively encouraged to contact the designated member of Student Support and Guidance.
The Criminology modules utilise a variety of learning and teaching methods which provide opportunities for students to enhance their learning skills and personal development during their degree programme. These teaching and learning methods also take account of equal opportunities and inclusive practice.
Lectures will be used to provide an introduction to the main themes, debates and interpretations of their subject, conveying basic information and signposting issues to be considered.
Seminars and workshops will provide opportunities for more student-centred and interactive learning. TUTORIALS - will provide the opportunity for individual or small groups of students to meet with individual staff members. The aim is to provide a context whereby students' personal development and progress can be assessed (formative feedback); students can be encouraged to develop learning skills; students can be assisted to make informed and realistic choices within their degree course and support can be offered for individual or group project work, work-related placements and dissertation supervision.
Managed Learning Activities - these will comprise of formative learning activities that are set with a specific task focus to develop students academic skills in preparation for summative assessments (in line with the QAA code of practice - ensuring students have adequate time to reflect on learning before being assessed).
There may also be practical problem based activities and guided independent study - these will allow students to conduct practical activities related to a given problem/task and develop their understanding of how research evidence can inform policymaking. For example, conducting a risk assessment in order to implement crime prevention measures.
As to Law:
Each module descriptor states the module specific learning outcomes that are assessed in each component of assessment. The assessments will then test the programme and learning outcomes. These will be articulated in each in-course assessment and will accompany draft examinations for external examiners’ information and scrutiny. Thus, there is conceptual linkage between the benchmarks, programme aims and outcomes, skills, module outcomes and assessment in each module and these linkages will be apparent in the actual assessment tasks.
Apart from the above, the assessments are designed to provide a broad platform for students to demonstrate that they have achieved the module and programme outcomes in a diverse set of assessments.
These diverse methods are: examinations, written individual assignments, timed constrained assessment – involving a substantial element of problem solving, group presentations, drafting, dissertations, seminar assignments, mooting, reflective logs and journals, portfolio – report and reflection, library/electronic search "audits".
Transferable/key skills are generally incorporated within modules and related to relevant assessments as appropriate, however they are not all directly assessed. Self-directed learning forms an element of all modules and the necessity to work within tight deadlines is an essential requirement across the curriculum. The ability to communicate orally and in writing will be developed across the range of modules and numeracy is an inherent part of formal and/or informal development and assessment in some modules.
Reflection is directly assessed in some modules.
As to Criminology:
Formative assessments are varied and may include:
presentations (written and verbal)
essay plans both self-study and timed
question and answer sessions
on-line quizzes and debates
information literacy exercises
Summative assessments are varied and include:
Exams, both traditional and structured
Compilation of key concepts
The basic graduate characteristics are set out in the extract from the Law Benchmarks Statement in section 25 above. This extract is taken from the section headed "Statement for Employers". However, it should be emphasised that the majority of students should achieve and display such characteristics at a higher level. The students will be demonstrated to have achieved these characteristics through the development of the skills outcomes developed from and informed by the Benchmarks Statement. These skills are mapped against modules in the definitive document and the module learning outcomes incorporate these skills. In particular, the ability to critically analyse, apply knowledge in a wider context and present arguments in a coherent and appropriate manner are all transferable skills that make law graduates desirable employees in a number of professions and careers.
Typical Career Paths
Less than 50% of law graduates qualify and practise as either a solicitor or barrister.
Some other graduates may practise law as paralegals, or perhaps with another qualification such as membership or fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. However a law degree is recognised as a rigorous, social science and/or arts degree and qualifies graduates to pursue a wide range of careers. These include professions closely allied to Law such as the police, social workers and court workers, for which graduates of this programme will be very well suited. Law graduates are well qualified for entry into the various branches of the Civil Service, whether or not in a legal capacity.
Students who graduate with this degree will also have knowledge and understanding of crime, its background and consequences, and an understanding of theories about criminality. Capacities for imaginative, rigorous and critical thinking will be developed through the course of study. Subject specific skills, such as the knowledge of the social process of crime and the criminal justice system, and the ability to understand a variety of types of evidence, are complemented by skills of wide applicability beyond the degree, including IT skills, research and problem solving, communication, and working as part of a team
Graduates who study Law and Criminology will find the subject a useful grounding for entry to a range of careers where the understanding and contextualisation of crime is regarded as valuable.
The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.
Each module and programme is developed in line with University policy to both promote equality and diversity and encourage all students in the development of their learning. Within Law, much of the subject matter naturally affords a range of cultural perspectives and this is particularly so in such modules as Human Rights, Discrimination Law, Family Law and Child Law. At level 4 three modules (discussed in section 24 above) are designed to encourage students to think about the theoretical, philosophical and nature of law and these inherently promote the discussion of diversity and equality. Indeed, it is difficult to think of many modules that do not have some content regarding these issues.
There is flexibility in materials and delivery of teaching to support students with disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds and the Law School works closely with Learning Support in delivering this support. The induction week activities are designed to integrate all students both academically and socially and to make academic staff aware of any such issues.
In addition, diagnostic activities have been devised and implemented in induction and supportive exercises in modules in the first year to give all students an equal chance of succeeding. Assessments are designed to afford equal opportunity to all students to display their knowledge and skills. Anonymous marking enhances equal opportunity to all students. Some members of the Law School are undergoing training as amanuenses.
Throughout their period of study students are provided with opportunities to develop additional skills or gain experience outside of the formal course structures.
Across all years students are invited to support the Law School by joining Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions- Law. This group develops and plans the Law School's activities for Open and Applicant Days, contributes to Level 4 induction and other initiatives such as sessions run for schools and colleges.
The Law School offers to run a Debating, Advocacy, Mooting and Presentation Society and a Film Society which again allows for students to take on responsibility while developing presentation and critical thinking skills.
At levels 5 and 6 the students are encouraged to run the Student Law Society. The students are encouraged to forge links with the student society at the University of Law and with local Trainee Solicitors' Groups and Young Solicitors' Groups. The Student Law Society organises educational activities as well as social events.
All of these are actively supported by the Programme Team and the students benefit additionally from some very eminent guest speakers and careers talks and visits arranged by the Law School.
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