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 (Semester Two) LAW3032

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is a 20-credit course that is designed to be taken over one semester. It will examine a range of contemporary issues and debates relating to the criminal justice system. It will do 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. The particular issues covered will vary on a year by year basis but are likely to include topics such as the prosecution of sexual offences, the use of juries in criminal trials, the use of restorative justice and victim involvement in criminal justice processes.



8 x two-hour seminars

Requirements of Entry

Admission as a visiting law student. 

Excluded Courses

Criminal Justice (full-year).




Exam: 1 hour (50% of final grade)

2,000 word written assignment (50% of final grade). This will be an essay question based on a particular seminar of the course.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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

This course will:


1. Introduce students to issues in criminal justice policy in the UK, with particular reference to Scotland.

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

3. Provide an opportunity to assess the role of material from other jurisdictions as a source of understanding and critical analysis of the Scottish experience.

4. Provide an opportunity to carry out an independent research project on a topic of contemporary relevance.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


1. Understand and critically evaluate issues in criminal justice policy.

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

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

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

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Completion of the summative exam and essay.