Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Criminal Justice LAW3018

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides an in-depth and critical examination of the criminal justice system and process. It does so with particular reference to United Kingdom jurisdictions (especially Scotland), but will also draw upon the experiences of other jurisdictions and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.


Weekly 2 hour seminars.

Requirements of Entry

This course is only available to LL.B students, or visiting students.

Excluded Courses





 Degree exam (2 hours) - 60%; Class essay (4,000 words) - 40%.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

1. To introduce students to the criminal justice process and criminal justice policy in the UK, with particular reference to Scotland.

2. To develop and apply conceptual, critical and analytical skills to the institutional and procedural issues associated with contemporary criminal justice in the UK, with particular reference to Scotland.

3. To develop a critical understanding and evaluation of areas of debate within criminal justice.

4. To assess the role of material from other jurisdictions as a source of understanding and critical analysis of the Scottish experience.

5. To provide opportunities to carry out independent research on topics of contemporary relevance.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students will be able to:

1. Evaluate critically criminal justice process and policy.

2. Understand and critically analyse issues arising at all stages of the criminal justice process, from investigation to appeals against conviction.

3. Demonstrate broad awareness of the major contemporary issues in criminal justice practice and policy.

4. Exhibit a wide knowledge of both primary and secondary sources in relation to the topics covered.

5. Demonstrate oral communication skills, with a particular focus on presenting knowledge and information to support oral argument

6. Undertake independent research using a variety of legal and non-legal sources.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

  Completion of the summative exam and essay.