DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Advanced Criminal Law
Module Code LG130
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Lauren O'Connell
Semester 2: Lauren O'Connell
Autumn: Lauren O'Connell
Module TeachersLauren O'Connell
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module aims: - to build upon the understanding of the criminal law and the criminal justice system which students will have acquired in the Criminal Law module; - to provide a deeper, socio-legal analysis of the development of particular criminal offences and the methods of addressing such offences, through the study of case-law and legislation; - to provide theoretical frameworks for conceptualising and analysing the operation of criminal law and the criminal justice system - to consider the operation of the criminal justice system through the lens of a number of key moments in the system

Learning Outcomes

1. describe and critically assess the basis of criminal liability, selected offences and selected defences to criminal charges
2. discuss the main criminal justice theories;
3. account for many of the changes in the criminalisation of and responses to certain activities in Ireland (and other jurisdictions);
4. apply criminal justice theories to the development of the Irish criminal justice system, with reference to relevant case-law, legislation and societal influences;
5. and, apply case-law and legislation, as well as theory, to criminal law problems.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Tutorial6Preparation, Attendance and Participation in Tutorial
Assignment Completion35Research and write up
Independent Study60Reading for lectures and tutorials
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

What is crime?
Consideration of a range of perspectives on the source of the concept of crime, including social construction. Critical reflection on our knowledge about crime, particular crime surveys and statistics

Sexual Offences
Socio-legal analysis of the law relating to sexual offences: overview of legislation and case law, recent changes, rape myths, problems in the system

Current criminal issues
study of current issues of criminal law which allow for critical, socio-legal analysis of the role and function of criminal law. May include, for instance, abortion, sex work, drugs, terrorism, domestic violence

Theoretical Perspectives
Theoretical perspectives on the criminal justice system, in particular Packer's Models of due process and crime control

Pre-trial process
May include research led teaching assessment of the regulation and operation of garda station interviews of suspects

Juvenile Justice
An examination of criminal procedure in relation to child offenders: age of criminal responsibility; garda diversion programme; Children Court; sentencing; imprisonment as last resort

Victims' place in the criminal justice system: victim information rights; compensation; victim impact statements

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentIndividual Written Assignment80%
ParticipationTutorial Participation20%
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Hale, Hayward, Wahidin and Wincup: 2009, Criminology, 2nd, OUP,
  • Maguire, Morgan and Reiner (eds.): 2007, The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 4th, OUP, Oxford,
  • OMahony (ed.): 2002, Criminal Justice in Ireland, Institute of Public Administration,, Dublin,
  • Walsh: 2002, Criminal Procedure, Thomson Round Hall, Dublin,
  • Smith and Hogan: 2009, Criminal Law: Cases and Materials, 10th, OUP, London,
  • Lanier: 2006, The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Criminology and Criminal Justice, Ashgate, Aldershsot,
  • Nicola and Wells: 2003, Reconstructing Criminal Law, 3rd, CUP,
  • O Donnell and O Sullivan: 2001, Crime Control in Ireland: The Politics of Intolerance, Cork University Press,
  • Garland: 2001, The Culture of Control :Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society, OUP, Oxford,
  • Pavlich: 2000, Critique and Radical Discourses on Crime, Ashgate Dartmouth, Aldershot,
  • Bibbings and Nicolson: 2000, Feminist Perspectives on Criminal Law, Routledge, UK,
  • Bacik and O Connell (eds.): 1998, Crime and Poverty in Ireland, Round Hall, Dublin,
  • Nicola and Wells: 1998, Reconstructing Criminal Law, 2nd, Butterworths, UK,
  • Daly and Maher (eds.): 1998, Criminology at the Crossroads : Feminist Readings in Crime and Justice, OUP, Oxford,
  • O Mahony: 1996, Criminal Chaos, Round Hall, Dublin,
  • Fennell: 1993, Crime and Crisis in Ireland, Cork University Press,
  • Packer: 1967, The Limits of the Criminal Sanction, Stanford University Press, Stanford,
Other Resources

35100, Moodle, 0, Lecture notes and links to relevant journal articles, case-law and websites will be available on the DCU Moodle page for this module., 35101, Electronic Resources, 0, Some useful electronic resources are: Justis, WestLaw IE, FirstLaw, LexisNexis, www.bailii.org, www.irishstatutebook.ie, www.lawreform.ie, www.courts.ie, www.echr.coe.int, 35102, Journals, 0, Students should also regularly refer to relevant journals, such as the Irish Criminal Law Journal, the Judicial Studies Institute Journal, and the British Journal of Criminology.,
Programme or List of Programmes
BCLBachelor of Civil Law (Law & Society)
Date of Last Revision28-MAY-12

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement