Skip to main content

Unit information: Crime, Justice and Society in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Crime, Justice and Society
Unit code LAWD20034
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Torrible
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)

LAWD10014 Criminal Law

Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one
School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

This unit builds upon a prior understanding of substantive principles of criminal law in order to expand and deepen knowledge and understanding, and to consider the operation of criminal law in society. In particular, the unit emphasises the notion of criminalisation and focuses upon the boundaries of criminality, both through looking critically at the process by which certain types of behaviour become defined as criminal and some do not, and through looking at the discretionary processes through which law is (or is not) enforced in practice.

CJS is an advanced criminal law unit which builds on your knowledge and understanding from criminal law. It adds to your studies to date by:

  • examining aspects of offences already studied in greater depth (e.g. homicide in relation to corporate manslaughter, homicide in relation to medical criminality, offences against the person in relation to domestic violence);
  • looking at other offences (e.g. sexual offences, bribery);
  • examining criminal law in context and in practice (that is, looking at what actually happens - as well as studying statute and case law).
  • Overarchingly, it takes a socio-legal approach.

Your learning on this unit

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  • Research aspects of criminal law, criminal justice and policy (and other relevant areas of law and policy) on their own
  • Evaluate their findings and present them in essays
  • When presented with a proposition on an aspect of crime, criminal law or criminal justice: present arguments for and against the proposition, citing relevant authorities (both from the unit and from their own independent research), including the views of writers and the findings of studies from a range of relevant disciplines, and assess the weight of their arguments
  • Locate and confidently discuss any relevant reform proposals
  • Draw a reasoned conclusion as to whether they agree or disagree with the proposition.

How you will learn

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

How you will be assessed

1 x summative assessment: coursework with a specified word count (100%)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LAWD20034).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.