Course Title: Criminal Law

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Criminal Law

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2015

Course Coordinator: Dr Brianna Chesser

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99252328

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.04

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There is no pre-requisite however it is strongly recommended that students have completed Foundations of Law or its equivalent before undertaking this course.

Course Description

This course examines some of the principles and elements of criminal law. You will be introduced to the different sources of criminal law, the elements of criminal offences and you will explore the substantive topics of homicide, including the categories of manslaughter, defences to homicide such as self defence, sex offences and non fatal offences against the person through the discussion of relevant case law and legislation. .

You will spend time in analysis and problem solving in these areas of criminal law to further your appreciation of the substantive criminal law and to develop your ability to apply research and analytical skills to other areas of study

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

What can I expect to learn by studying this course?

1. Be able to understand and analyse the constituent elements of a range of substantive criminal offences;
2. Understand some of the theoretical criticisms of the way the criminal law is structured and administered;
3. Be able to analyse recent reforms in the area of criminal law;
4. Be able to detail some of the important processes of the criminal law (as opposed to its content) with a focus on the balance between the rights of the individual and the state; and
5. Demonstrate legal research techniques.

This course is intended to develop your analytical and problem solving skills with a focus on practical application as well as enhance your legal researching skills. You will also become familiar with some of the key areas in criminal law reform.

As part of the learning experience you will learn how to problem solve and you will have opportunity to demonstrate that skill through independent problem solving and group work. You will read appropriate cases and legislation and have the opportunity to contribute to class discussion on various topics

By the end of the course, you should:

• Have a good understanding of the elements of the criminal offences studied
• Be able to identify specific offences and analyse the application of the law relating to those offences to given fact situations
• Understand some of the complexities that arise in the application of those laws in practise
• Have well developed analytical and problem solving skills that will have application in other areas of study and work

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities this semester include online tutorial activities, in-depth case analysis and legal problem solving skills.

Overview of Learning Resources

There may be a prescribed text [casebook] for this course. You may access any relevant legislation , case law and journal articles through the RMIT library electronic databases or generally through the World Wide Web.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment are drawn from essays, short problem solving questions, examinations, internet based activities, multi media tasks and group activities. These assessment tasks are designed so that you can demonstrate your skills and understanding of the concepts and issues central to aspects of criminal law studied during the course and also to enhance your problem solving abilities.
You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.  

Assessment Tasks  

    Assessment Task 1: Reading Activities 20%, CLO1 and CLO5   

    Assessment Task 2: Short Problems, 30%, CLO1, CLO 4, CLO5 

    Assessment Task 3: Research Problem, 50%, CLO1 – CLO5 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.  

If you have a long- term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.  

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.