LLB (Hons) Criminal Law

Southwark Campus

Mode: Full-time


Join the pursuit of justice

Keen to help the CPS bring criminals to justice? Eager to help innocent people clear their name? Wherever you see your career in criminal law taking you, this qualifying law degree provides a fantastic launchpad. With a solid grounding in all area of criminal law, you’ll be perfectly positioned to take your career in whichever direction you want, thanks to the broad foundation this degree will give you.

Changes are being planned to routes to qualification as a solicitor or barrister. The changes are likely to affect undergraduate students starting law degrees and graduates starting law conversion courses from September 2021. Read more.

Why Law at LSBU?

Happy students: 1st overall in Law for satisfaction with teaching among London universities (Guardian University League Tables 2020) with an energetic Student Law Society that arranges talks, visits and competitions.
1st for graduate prospects for Law among London Modern universities (Sunday Times League Tables 2020) and joint 1st for career prospects in Law amongst UK universities (Guardian University League Tables 2020).
Expert academics – our teachers are qualified solicitors and barristers, passing on their insights, real-world case expertise and passion for law.
Ranked 2nd for Overall Satisfaction amongst London competitors in Law (National Student Survey 2020)
Outstanding facilities – we'll equip you with an iPad or tablet, complete online support and access to a personal law e-library worth £6000.
Work experience - you could volunteer at the County Court Help Desk, with local law firms, or be a Legal Adviser at LSBU's free drop-in Legal Advice Clinic.
Alternative route – we’re the only university in London to offer qualification as a legal executive via the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) modules on the LLB. Complete the necessary options and you’ll be eligible to become a graduate member of the CILEx.
Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
3 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus


All our Qualifying Law Degrees share a common first year, so you’ll find yourself gaining a broad legal understanding from the off. In year two, you’ll begin to specialise, starting with developing your employability. Year three brings with it a focus on independent learning, so expect plenty of project work.

Throughout the course, you’ll be assessed in a number of different ways, each of which has been specially selected as being relevant to the skills you’ll be expected to demonstrate. These include coursework, oral presentation, multiple choice tests, case notes, in-class essays and exams.

Year 1

Semester 1

  • Legal skills, legal study, legal system (including foundation)
    You'll be introduced to aspects of the English Legal System, and practical, transferable legal skills and legal theory essential to effective engagement with legal studies. You'll be introduced to the theories of what law is and what are its sources, the court system, EU and International law and the personnel involved in the administration of the law.
    You'll encounter and develop a range of skills, including study skills, deriving law from primary sources and explaining, discussing and applying it, research, using secondary sources, problem solving, essay writing, communication and IT skills, numerical skills and reflective learning.
  • Foundations of public law
    You'll study the fundamental laws, practices and principles of public law which define and influence the relationship between the individual and the state as characterised by various governmental institutions in the UK. Detailed consideration is given to the fundamental mechanisms by which human rights are protected and government is subject to legal and political accountability. Various skills are developed including those of analysis, critical evaluation and problem solving.
  • Introduction to contract and tort
    This module is designed as your introduction to the areas of tort and contract law. You'll be introduced to the basic concepts of contractual and tortious liability. In terms of substantive coverage, contract law will focus on formation of contract and tort will focus on Trespass to the Person and how this aims to ensure protection of liberty, autonomy and personal integrity. The module seeks to explore the workings of these areas of law with exploration of the underlying legal, social and economic policies. In addition this module is designed to reinforce the legal skills, legal study and legal system module.

Semester 2

  • Introduction to public and EU law
    The purpose of this module is to further develop students’ understandings of the nature of constitutional arrangements in the UK, with a focus on sovereignty especially in relation to membership of the EU. The aims of this course are as follows: to provide students with a good grounding in the institutions of governments in the UK and the underlying principles upon which they are based; to provide students with a grounding in the institutions and principles of governance in the EU; to link the above mentioned through an exploration of the dilemmas of sovereignty and the continuing need for the supremacy of governmental institutions drawing upon selected historical, social and constitutional developments to highlight such issues.
  • Contract law
    This module is designed to build on the Introduction to tort and contract module and introduces you to the basic concepts of contractual liability arising in the context of contract content, vitiating factors and discharge of a contract. You'll explore the workings of these areas of contract by considering the underlying legal, social and economic policies. In addition this module is also designed to reinforce the legal skills, legal study and legal system module.
  • Tort law
    This module builds on the Introduction to contract and tort module and introduces you to the basic concepts of tortious liability in the context of negligence and torts derived from negligence. The module seeks to explore the workings of these areas of torts with exploration of the underlying legal, social and economic policies. In addition this module is also designed to reinforce the legal skills, legal study and legal system module.

    Year 2

    Semester 1

    • Working in the law (including foundation)
      In this module you're provided with an opportunity to develop transferable and practical skills in the context of your career development. You'll have the opportunity to think about different kinds of legal work and to reflect on your knowledge, develop and practice your skills and gain experience needed to pursue the career of their choice.  The module will assist you in making, reviewing and implementing your career plan. You'll be encouraged and supported in gaining practical work experience in furtherance of the development of their career plan alongside the module. The module is assessed by 100% coursework.

    • Criminal law 1
      You'll be introduced to the basic principles of criminal liability, and will explore statutory and common law sources on which the law is based. The module is assessed by a part seen examination paper (100% - 2 hour examination plus 15 minutes reading time - 50% for unseen questions and 50% for a seen question which will be made available to students a week prior to the examination).
    • EU rights
      Law of the European Union reflects the importance of EU law in the English legal system. It is important to the management of the UK economy and relevant to the financial practitioners in the City. Business leaders' decisions are influenced by EU competition law. It is important to migrants and practitioners of immigration law, to consumers and trading standards officials, to all employees through employment law and to all of us in relation to the environment. The module is assessed by an unseen examination paper (100% - 2 hours plus 15 mins reading time).

    Semester 2

    • Criminal law and the law of criminal evidence
      In this module you'll build upon the basic principles of criminal liability studied in criminal law 1 and examine how the rules of evidence apply while considering some more complex areas of criminal law. The module is assessed by a trial observation (50% - 2,500 words maximum) for criminal evidence and an unseen examination paper (50%  - 1 hour plus 15 minutes reading time) for criminal law 2.
    • Property, equity and trusts 1
      This module introduces you to property law (including land law) and equity and trusts. You'll study some basic property law topics, focusing upon the creation, transfer and management of property interests. Key legal, transferable and practical skills are developed. At the same time, the module explores the economic and social basis of property law in business and the family, and the reasons for and policies behind the law. Assessment is by means of a part seen examination. The module also gives preparation for the further study of property equity and trusts 2 and land law. 

    Plus one option from the below for semester 2 (please note that although most optional modules run, we do not guarantee to run every module each year):

    • Comparative law - legal traditions of the world Students study key concepts of major legal systems of the world – Arabic, Chinese, civil law and common law. They study the basic underlying philosophies and methods of each legal system and a selection of current topics of debate such as law making and judicial decision making, contract law, crime and punishment, human rights and the relationship between the individual and society and medical law. This allows them to analyse and evaluate the similarities and differences of approach between the different legal systems. Students then choose one of these topics as the subject for an oral presentation researching, analysing and evaluating the law and proposals for reform in the light of different approaches between two or more of these major world legal systems.
    • Gender, justice and the law
      You'll explore a number of legal topics which have important consequences for women and their relationship with the law. You'll be encouraged to develop an appreciation of the social, economic and political contexts in which the law and feminist theories operate. The module recognises the importance of combining theory and practice and seeks to explore those connections by embedding theory within a practical legal framework; for example, by exploring the impact of feminist and associated theories in the areas of domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment.
    • Medical law and ethics
      You'll study key concepts of medical law and medical ethics. You'll study current topics of debate in medical law, such as consent to treatment, abortion and euthanasia, from a legal and then an ethical perspective. This allows you to analyse and explore the relationship between ethics and law. You then choose one of these topics as the subject for an extended essay, researching, analysing and evaluating the law and proposals for reform in the light of different ethical positions and approaches. 

      Year 3

      Semester 1

      • Property, equity and trusts 2
        You'll build on the property equity and trusts 1 module, in particular its introduction to equity and trusts, to fulfil the study of these topics required by the legal professional bodies as a foundation subject of a qualifying law degree. You'll examine the trust and equity in action by considering the powers and duties of trustees, and the control exercised by the courts over them at the behest of beneficiaries (or in the case of charity trustees, the Attorney-General and the charity commissioners). Special attention is given to the role of trustees in the management of charities and co-owned land, among numerous other examples of the role played by trustees in business life, such as in pension funds, investments and as personal representatives. The module is assessed by a part seen end of term examination paper (100% -  2 hour examination plus 15 minutes reading time).
      • Criminal litigation in context
        You'll examine key areas in the criminal litigation process, from arrest and charge, through to trial, appeal and sentencing. You'll focus on the roles of key personnel and organisations in the criminal justice system, the funding of criminal matters by the Legal Services Commission/Criminal Defence service and human rights issues. You'll also be introduced to the rules of client care and professional conduct in criminal cases, criminal evidence and the special considerations that apply to young offenders under the age of 18.

      Semester 2

      • Land law
        Land law is a study of relationships. You'll study the relationship between the land and the rights which can exist in or over it, the relationship between the various persons who own an estate or interest over the land or want to defeat the competing interests in or over the land. You'll look at the rights and duties of each party to that relationship, how these relationships co-exist and what happens when the relationships come into conflict. Land law governs the relative priorities enjoyed by two or more interests concerning the same piece of land. Land law creates clear rules and formalities as to how the owner of an interest in land can acquire, transfer or extinguish that interest in land. You'll study the interests over land which land law is prepared to recognise and how these interests must be protected to ensure enforceability against third parties. The module is assessed by a part seen end of term examination paper (100% - 2 hour examination plus 15 minutes reading time).

      Either Semester 1 or 2

      • Project (this is a compulsory module which students can choose to complete in either semester 1 or 2)
        You'll be given an opportunity to carry out extended independent research in an area of your choice relating to substantive English law. Normally, you'll not be allowed to choose a topic that has been taught in detail on the degree. There are three pieces of assessed work, which count towards the final project mark. A project supervisor is allocated to you once you've selected a project area. 

      Plus two optional modules (please note students must complete three modules per semester. Although most optional modules run, we do not guarantee to run every module each year):

      Semester 1 options

      • Analysis of evidence and proof: the science of proof This module introduces the students to the theory of the function of the law of evidence and the necessity for a distinct consideration of the analysis of evidence and proof from the rules of admissibility. These theories are mainly advocated by Professor William Twining and Jeremy Bentham. The module then introduces the students to a practical tool of analysis of facts in a hypothetical case that students will eventually translate in to two pieces of coursework for assessment. The students analyse the evidence in terms of relevance and then for presentation at a mock trial on the module. The classes require the students each week to focus on the preparation of the chart which in turn prepares them for trial. The chart is a detailed analysis of evidence in the hypothetical case given to students, presented in diagrammatic form which can be put in to their professional development portfolios.

      Semester 2 options

      • Civil litigation
        The module examines key areas in the civil litigation process, from pre-action steps and issue of claim, through to trial and appeal, including: the ethos of modern civil litigation, human rights issues, civil litigation funding, the central role of the Civil Procedure Rules, rules of professional conduct in civil litigation cases, case management by the court, offers to settle, civil evidence and civil advocacy, orders, judgments and their enforcement and an overview of the civil costs regime.
      • EU criminal and migration law
        The focus of this module is migration, justice and security in the EU. The module incorporates an Erasmus Intensive Programme (IP) under which LSBU students study with students from other EU universities. The field trip will require students to work intensively over a 2 week period with students from the partner universities and thus attendance for activities and class possibly during part of the Easter vacation either at LSBU or at a partner university outside of the UK.
      • Law and technology
        The module provides students with an opportunity to analyse and evaluate the impact of technology on Law, Dispute Resolution and the delivery of Legal Services. Lectures will consider the uses of technology as they impact on areas of law such as Contract and Commercial Law, roles and careers in the Legal Profession, on Access to Justice and Dispute Resolution processes and on the delivery of Legal Services. In workshops, Law students will work in project groups with Computer Science students to design and create a piece of legal technology software such as a learning or access to justice resource.


        With a qualifying law degree, you can go on to apply to the Legal Practice course or Bar Professional Training course, in order to qualify as a solicitor or barrister. You could also apply your degree to other careers that value analytical and persuasive skills.

        A law degree offers a variety of career choice in one of the most well-paid and socially important sectors. The type of career on offer can depend on the kind of law firm you want to work for, and possibly the area of law you specialise in. And options are not confined to the legal services sector either, due to the range of transferable skills gained from the course.

        DAC employability partnership

        DAC Beachcroft partnered with LSBU to create an employability programme which aims to help increase diversity within the firm. This project came about due to Nick Young's (regional partner at DAC Beachcroft) strong affiliation to LSBU as an alumnus of the university.

        Nick Young is an alumnus here at LSBU, and created this employability programme to help increase diversity within his firm, DAC Beachcroft, where he's a regional partner.

        DAC Beachcroft are supporting the development of law students at LSBU with employability skills through training and preparation for a training contract, and the steps involved before securing a contract.

        Working in the Law module

        Working in the Law is a compulsory module for second year LLB students. The module delivers sessions on graduate employability, writing applications for law work, developing Curriculum Vitae and making presentations. You'll actively use online materials developed by the University Careers Service to encourage you to think about your knowledge, skills and attributes when considering career options. Personality and psychometric tests are carried out for you to further reflect upon and provide an opportunity to develop further as part of the Personal Development Plan (PDP). The module goes further to introduce you to the contentious and non contentious areas of practice, providing an opportunity to appreciate application of the law in practice.

        We place a great emphasis on employability: you're supported in gaining work experience and additional evening sessions are organised for practitioners to deliver talks to you about life in practice. We regularly arrange Continuing Professional Development sessions, which are open to you to attend and network with practitioners.

        Law student editorial magazine

        In addition to these programmes, students will have the opportunity to be contributors and editors in the annual law students magazine, The Devil's Advocate.

        Please click and zoom to read the articles in full detail.

        Employability Service

        We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.

        At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

        • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
        • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

        Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.

        Placements and volunteering are at the heart of our approach. As well as adding value to your CV by giving you the practical skills employers are looking for, they make you a better student.

        In your time with us you can enjoy opportunities at:

        LSBU Legal Advice Clinic

        This free drop-in service is open to the public and staffed by our law students, supervised by practising solicitors. Students receive specialist training, supervised sessions in undertaking research and give legal advice on live issues such as Social Welfare Law as well as Employment Law.

        Future lawyers project

        Our Future Lawyers Project with the South London Law Society provides students with placements in local law firms in order to complete the Working in the Law module. You'll have the opportunity to shadow solicitors and where appropriate carry out tasks in placements with South London firms such as: Powell & Co, Anthony Gold Solicitors, Hanne & Co, Fisher Meredith and Deighton Pierce Glynn.

        County Court Helpdesk

        This free drop-in service is open to the public and staffed by our law students, supervised by practising solicitors. Students receive specialist training, supervised sessions in undertaking research and give legal advice on live issues such as Social Welfare Law as well as Employment Law.

        London Law Careers Fair

        We are part of the London Law Careers Fair, giving our students priority booking for the annual national law fair held at the Law Society. It is an opportunity to meet future employers and ask about training and employment opportunities. This is an important initiative in which students hear from top practitioners, including Judges, solicitors, barristers and legal executives in break-out sessions designed to address topics of current interest.

        The London Borough of Southwark

        We’ve set up a placement programme in conjunction with Southwark Council. Complete a placement during the academic year and enter a competition at the end of the year for a full two week placement during the summer holidays.

        South London Law Centres

        Southwark Law Centre, Blackfriars, Cambridge House and the Afro Asian Advisory Service provide work placements so you can gain an insight into the workings of a law centre and the public advice sector in areas such as Employment Law, Housing Law and Immigration law.

        Taught by qualified lawyers

        Visiting Professors and Fellows are leading lawyers who support us by teaching on our courses and giving lectures to students and local practitioners. Examples include Imran Khan, Solicitor, Joel Bennathan QC and sir Geoffrey Bindman.

        Teaching and learning

        No.1 UK wide for Satisfied overall with the course in Law

        Guardian League Table, 2018

        Law Mentoring at LSBU

        Law students are invited to take part in a Law mentoring scheme as both a mentor or mentee. This programme gives mentors experience in supporting and leading, whilst mentees benefit from their guidance.

        Free resources and technology

        • We invest in resources and technology to support your learning journey.
        • After enrolment you will receive FREE: a tablet computer; access to the latest version of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Teams; Moodle (our Virtual Learning Environment); over £6000 of Oxford University Press Law Trove Library of online law text books; and access to top quality practitioner databases (e.g. Westlaw  & Lexis) and numerous other resources.  We also nurture and develop your skills through our Law Division Skills and Support Site.
        Percentage of time spent in different learning activities
        Lectures and seminars Self-directed study
        Year 1 24% 76%
        Year 2 24% 76%
        Year 3 21% 79%

        Personal Tutoring

        As an undergraduate Law and Social Science student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first semester at LSBU.  The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.

        Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University.  They should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.


        Entry requirements

        • A Level ABB or:
        • BTEC National Diploma DDM or:
        • Access to HE Diploma with 33D 3M 9P or:
        • Equivalent Level 3 qualifications worth 128 UCAS points
        • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English, or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).
        • We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.

        Work experience in a Law firm prior to enrolment is not required. However if you can secure any, it will provide a good entry point and start your self-development connected to Law.

        Advanced entry

        If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.

        How to apply

        International students

        International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.

        Home/EU applicants

        Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
        3 years
        Start date
        Application code
        Application method


        Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.

        Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.

        Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.


        You don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.

        Prepare to start

        Applicant events

        After you’ve received your offer we’ll send you emails about events we run to help you prepare for your course.


        Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.

        Preparatory Reading List

        We would not want students to buy course texts until they have seen tutors and been advised. Instead they could usefully read an introduction to studying law, e.g. Learning the Law by Glanville Williams, Letters to a Law Student by Nicholas McBride or Studying Law by Askey and McLeod.

        • Read newspapers, preferably the quality press.
        • Follow what's happening in parliament and related constitutional issues.
        • Follow news stories related to legal issues.

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        Fees and funding

        Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.


        Year 1 FT Southwark SEPT

        The fee shown is for entry 2020/21
        UK/EU fee: £9250International fee: £14470
        AOS/LSBU code: 4206Session code: 1FS00
        Total course fee:
        UK/EU £27750
        International £43410

        For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.

        Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.

        See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 160 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 102 KB).

        Possible fee changes

        The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.

        The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.


        We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.

        Contact information

        Course Enquiries - UK

        Tel: 020 7815 7815

        Due to COVID-19, call waiting times may be longer than usual. Any questions? Use the green bubble on the bottom right hand corner to start a live chat with us

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