In choosing to study Aberystwyth University's LLB Criminal Law Degree (M131) you'll immerse yourself in the fascinating content associated with Criminal Law. You'll be introduced to the core legal concepts whilst specialising in Criminal Law. Our degree is recognised by the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, providing a direct route to the legal profession. The degree is taught in the oldest and most well-regarded Law School in Wales. You will benefit from the experience and enthusiasm of our expert staff, many of whom have also practised as barristers or solicitors, thus providing a practical application to your theoretical studies. The employment outcomes upon successful completion are wide, with our graduates carving out careers in politics, local government, business and the media as well as the traditional progression routes. You'll develop the essential skills and attributes expected by employers of law graduates and emerge with a practical and applicable degree. Expand the sections below and discover more...
This LLB Criminal Law programme is designed to equip you with the formal knowledge required for a successful law career in the twenty-first century whilst also enabling you to gain specialist knowledge in the area of Criminal Law.
Why study Criminal Law at Aberystwyth?
Our degrees are qualifying Law degrees for entry to the legal profession. If you wish to qualify as a solicitor you will be eligible to continue vocational training on the Legal Practice Course (LPC) upon graduation, or the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) if you wish to train as a barrister. Aberystwyth has its own Legal Practice Centre within the Department of Law and Criminology, so we can offer you the opportunity to complete your solicitor training with us. Successful completion of particular modules will enable you to gain exemption from some professional examinations.
The Department of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth is the oldest Law School in Wales, founded in 1901, and has an excellent reputation for the quality of its teaching and the expertise of its staff. Your learning is closely linked to the vigorous research activity carried out in the department, providing you with an outstanding, dynamic and up-to-date learning environment. You will benefit from a mature and well-stocked Law library, supplemented by generous electronic resources.
As well as being active in research and publication, our lecturers also participate in national and international debate and policy-making in legal, criminological and related fields. Recently, for example, our staff have been involved in the work of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA); the Countryside Commission for Wales; the Youth Justice Board; the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee; the Welsh Assembly Standing Orders Commission; and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Department offers a programme of valuable social and professional opportunities, such as trips to law fairs and to the Inns of Court in London. The Mooting Society provides you with the opportunity to develop and test your key advocacy and litigation skills in a fun and competitive environment, by taking part in mock trials. Aberystwyth University regularly competes in national and international mooting competitions, and there is also a Welsh National Mooting Competition for students who wish to moot through the medium of Welsh.
There is a strong international staff and student profile in the Department and there are frequent visits by academics and experts from other countries. There are also opportunities for you to study abroad at one of our partner institutions in Utrecht (Netherlands) Katowice and Wroclaw (Poland), Brno (Czech Republic) and Helsinki (Finland), all of which offer legal courses in English.
The Department also offers a number of modules taught through the medium of Welsh. Further details may be obtained from the Department.
Welsh medium modules available
Year 1 Options Core modules in Part I: Students must choose 120 credits of the following LA or GF modules dependant on language preference:
Available both years Options All students - At least 60 credits during Years 2 and 3 from the following (NB. Some topics are only offered on alternate years - therefore some modules listed will be replaced in the next academic year):
Available both years Options All students - Optional Modules Years 2 and 3 - in addition to the core elements, students may choose additional Optional modules to complement their particular area of interest. However, students must take at least 300 credits of LA/GF modules from the Department of Law and Criminology over the 3 years of the scheme.
Your LLB in Criminal Law opens up a range of exciting opportunities for employment and further training. You will be a strong candidate for training to become a barrister or a solicitor. Your specialism in Criminal Law also opens up opportunities for employment with the Police, Probation or Prison Service. In addition, recent statistics from HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) show that law graduates succeed in the areas of criminology, financial management, business, human resources, international relations, journalism and education. Throughout your training you will develop a wealth of core legal skills and other skills that can be easily transferred into almost any graduate or professional employment situation.
Studying for a degree in Criminal Law will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• the ability to work independently
• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
• self-motivation and self-reliance
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement
• research skills
You will be able to gather, assimilate and interpret a wealth of legal information quickly and accurately, and you will be confident in selecting and deploying the most appropriate of a range of legal methodologies. You will also have proven your abilities in structuring and communicating ideas efficiently, writing for and speaking to a range of audiences, evaluating and organizing information, working effectively with others and working within time frames and to specific deadlines.
In addition to these skills, you will benefit from the prestige of holding an LLB in Criminal Law from one of the UK's foremost universities. Law is rightly perceived as an academically demanding subject, and this puts you at an advantage over your competitors in any employment context.
Year in Employment scheme (YES)
The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.
GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
What will I learn?
This LLB Criminal Law programme is designed to help you fine-tune your cognitive abilities and give you the formal knowledge required for a successful law career in the twenty-first century. In addition to a rigorous core of modules which will provide you with fundamental training in the law with a specialism in Criminal Law, you will also be able to choose optional modules which will enable you to pursue those areas of the law which are of most interest to you.
In the first year you will receive core training in a number of foundation subjects which must be studied and passed for the purpose of obtaining exemption from the first stage of professional law examinations; these include Contract law and Criminal law. You will also explore the structure and development of the English and Welsh Legal system, learn about the significance of judicial precedent and its relationship with the court system, and analyse the processes of creating legislation and how it is interpreted by judges.
In the second and third years you will be introduced to the Law of Torts, Public Law, and Equity and the Law of Trusts, which you need to study in order to gain exemption from the Law Society and Bar Part I examinations. A compulsory module on Principles of Evidence will direct your learning toward your specialism in Criminal Law. You will also be able to tailor your study through careful selection from a range of elective modules.
Among many skills, you will learn: to explain the structure and function of legal institutions; to analyse the processes of legislation and development of legal principles; to understand the importance of legal precedent and make use of it; to understand the theories and principles of evidence in legal proceedings; and to construct convincing and cogent arguments on the basis of relevant law and available evidence.
How will I be taught?
The Department is committed to teaching through tutorials and small-group seminars alongside traditional lectures, and to delivering innovative and high quality teaching that will allow you to realise your potential, and will meet your learning expectations.
You will be assessed through essays, exams, study logs or portfolios, oral presentations, including mooting exercises, and a compulsory dissertation in the field of Criminal Law. In all these areas you will need to construct legal arguments and apply legal reasoning as you build your case.
You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.
You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.
The lectures, seminars and the Department's supportive staff will greatly assist you in your legal training. You will also benefit from the many opportunities within the department and the university to develop your academic rigour and professionalism so that, upon graduation, you are perfectly positioned for the next stage of your career.
I love the fact that there is such a wide choice of modules available, which make it possible for me to discover which areas of law interest me. I like the fact that lecturers and seminar tutors are knowledgeable outside of their specialism, which allows you to appreciate the overlap between modules. Christopher Dunn
I chose to study the LLB Law degree as I wanted to go on to train as a solicitor. One of the great things about the degree is the wide range of optional modules you can choose, and if they don't run every year, as some don't, they run every other year so you are guaranteed to have the chance to do the ones you want. Also, the staff are extremely friendly and approachable, meaning that any problems, issues or questions you have will be answered quickly and easily. Whilst it involves a lot of hard work, as does any degree, it is well worth it in the end, and you will have fun and gain experience along the way! Katie Jayne Mansell
The combination of a brilliant course with a beautiful town is perfect. I have loved studying Law at Aberystwyth over the past 3 years. Although it has been hard work and exhausting, it has been thrilling and challenging as well. All the lecturers, tutors and staff are fantastically friendly and helpful and care about the department and the way modules are taught. The Law library houses everything you need for your degree, so you don’t need to go far. Law attracts so many different personalities and students from different backgrounds and spending 3 years with them is great. The modules offer great choice. William Pryce
Law is a challenging subject which stretches me each and every day and that is exactly why I enjoy it! Thanks to both the brilliant staff and the extensive resources available to students, the challenge remains one which I’ve never felt was out of my grasp. Aberystwyth itself is a great town, ideal for a variety of students. It has something to offer for everyone, and I know of no better place to make close friends. The town is very relaxed and welcoming, and when it is sunny there is no place in the UK I’d rather be. Andrew James Hall