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Law and Criminology (LLB)

Entry year

Study Law and Criminology at Cardiff and gain hands on experience of Law in the real world

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Course overview

This degree programme is an opportunity to study both law and criminology within an interdisciplinary social sciences context.

The LLB Law and Criminology programme is both challenging and stimulating, enabling you to build the skills required for a career in law or a wide range of professions. In addition to the foundation modules constituting the academic stage of training that is necessary to become a solicitor or barrister in England and Wales, known as the ‘Qualifying Law Degree’, we offer a wide selection of optional study areas which cover traditional and contemporary legal subjects.

The programme is taught collaboratively by the Schools of Social Sciences, and Law and Politics, thus providing you with the opportunity for in-depth study in both disciplines.

Our degree enables you to complete the academic stage of training to become a barrister or solicitor and to proceed directly to the vocational stages of training for the legal profession in England and Wales: the Bar Professional Training Course or Legal Practice Course.

We are the only Russell Group University to offer both of these courses, meaning that you have the option to stay with us in Cardiff to complete your entire legal education. The Legal Practice Course has consistently received the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority/Law Society’s highest rating. 

Criminology is the field of study which focuses on criminalisation, victimisation, and social responses to crime and disorder. We draw on a range of social science perspectives and offer you the chance to explore sociological, psychological and political approaches to crime and its control. You will examine how to approach problems of crime, justice and control as a social scientist before applying your new research-driven skills to real world issues and debates. As a joint honours student, you will find that often there are complementary issues and perspectives that link subjects, be they critical analysis, historical contexts or recent research.

Both Schools involved in delivering this degree offer a challenging course of modules, supported by a friendly atmosphere and excellent student-staff relations.

Distinctive features

Cardiff School of Law and Politics

We are committed to developing your employability, with our dedicated Careers Consultant on hand two days a week in the Law building. We offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities, some unique to Cardiff University, which equip our students with a competitive edge over other law graduates.

Pro Bono Schemes

We work in partnership with lawyers, charities and voluntary organisations to give our students the opportunity to practise and extend their skills.

Our two most established schemes are our Innocence Project (the first in the UK to have a conviction overturned by the Court of Appeal) and our NHS Continuing Healthcare Scheme, which is unique to Cardiff.

Both initiatives have won or been shortlisted for prestigious national awards and help by assisting members of the community and vulnerable groups with matters for which there is in reality no legal aid. You can also apply for a place on our scheme with the Welsh Rugby Union, where we advise amateur rugby clubs on legal issues.

The application process for each of our schemes is different and we cannot guarantee that students will secure a place on the scheme of their choice, or on any of our schemes. Our portfolio is regularly reviewed and what we offer is subject to change.


Our students are encouraged to enter annual mooting competitions. These competitions give you an opportunity to present legal issues before a judge, against an opposing counsel.

Mooting is a great skill to be able to add to your CV and provides an invaluable experience of public speaking in a formal setting.

Client interviewing competition

Our students are encouraged to take part in an annual client interviewing competition, which has Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC as its President.

You will gain crucial experience interviewing and counselling in a simulated setting and will be assessed against specific criteria that include interpersonal skills and your ability to handle legal problems.

School of Social Sciences

  • The opportunity to learn from leading criminologists with strong links to police, probation and prisons, as well as local authorities, and Welsh and UK government institutions
  • The opportunity for you to learn in a School that was ranked 3rd in the UK for research quality in sociology and 5th for education in the 2014 Research Excellent Framework (REF)
  • The involvement of research-active staff in teaching
  • The emphasis on independent learning in a research-led environment
  • The variety of modules on offer in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary School
  • The opportunity to study abroad.


UCAS codeM190
Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe school typically has 550 places available
Typical applications receivedThe school typically receives 3000 applicants
  1. School of Law and Politics

    Law Building

    Museum Avenue


    CF10 3AX

  2. School of Social Sciences

    Glamorgan Building

    King Edward VII Avenue


    CF10 3WA

Entry requirements

AAB - ABB or AABB - ABBB to include two facilitating subjects. Please note, General Studies, Citizenship Studies and Critical Thinking will not be accepted. It is not necessary to have A-level Law and we do not require students to sit the LNAT test. Students who are retaking subjects or who take longer than two years to complete A level or equivalent qualifications (normally sat over two years) may be required to achieve AAA or AABB. Applications are considered on a case by case basis.

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Grade D in a BTEC diploma plus AB at A-Level in two facilitating subjects, excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking.

IBc offer: 35 points overall, or 666 at HL.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the Cardiff School of Law and Politics and School of Social Sciences admissions criteria pages.


Grade B or grade 6 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other sub-scores.


At least 90 with minimum scores of 22 for Writing and 20 in all other components.

PTE Academic

At least 62 with 62 in Writing and no less than 54 in all other components.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: a Distinction in Writing and at least one Distinction and two Merits in other components.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

GCSE English Language Grade B or 6, IGCSE English First Language grade B, IGCSE English as a Second Language not accepted.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

You should be prepared to invest in some key text books and to cover the costs of basic printing and photocopying.  You may also want to buy copies of other books, either because they are particularly important for your course or because you find them particularly interesting.

If you have a laptop computer you will have the option of purchasing software at discounted prices.

Course specific equipment

What the student should provide:

You do not need any specific equipment to study on this programme.  Access to a laptop computer would be advantageous as many readings are available electronically and most assessments are prepared using standard word processing software.

What the University will provide:

Networked computers with appropriate file space and all necessary software.  Access to essential and background reading for each module plus a wide range of journals and other online resources.  All course documents will be available online (via the VLE) and hard copies of essential documents will be provided if requested.


We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

We are currently working with our students to update and improve the content of this course. The information shown below reflects the current curriculum and is likely to change. The review of the course is expected to be completed by August 2019 and this page will be updated by end of October 2019 to reflect the changes.

This is a three-year, full-time course, consisting of 120 credits a year. The final degree classification that you are awarded is based on the grades you achieve in the modules that you take in years two and three.

During the course of your degree, you will be able to take the Foundations of Legal Knowledge modules that constitute the Qualifying Law Degree.

Modules offered by the School of Social Sciences allow students to explore sociological, psychological and political approaches to the study of criminology.

Academic years consist of two semesters. You are required to pursue modules to the value of 120 credits in each year of your studies.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

Students take four compulsory 20-credit Law modules and two compulsory 20-credit modules in Criminology in Year 1, none of which count towards the final degree classification.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Contract [20]CL420120 credits
Criminal [20]CL420220 credits
Legal Foundations [20]CL420320 credits
Public Law [20]CL420420 credits
Key Ideas in Social ScienceSI028120 credits
Foundations of Contemporary CriminologySI028420 credits

Year two

In years 2 and 3, modules are chosen from a range of options, including those required for legal practice in the UK.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Offending and VictimisationSI020120 credits
Responses to CrimeSI020220 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Land Law [20]CL520120 credits
Tort [20]CL520220 credits
Discrimination and Law [20]CL520520 credits
Cyfraith Tir [20]CL522120 credits
CAMWEDD [20]CL522220 credits
Welsh DevolutionCL522320 credits
Datganoli yng NghymruCL522420 credits
French Law ICL525520 credits
French Law IICL525620 credits
Land Law [30]CL530130 credits
Tort [30]CL530230 credits
Discrimination and Law [30]CL530530 credits
EvidenceCL530630 credits
Crime, Law and SocietyCL531330 credits
Media Law [30]CL531830 credits
Cyfraith Tir [30]CL532130 credits
CAMWEDD [30]CL532230 credits
Welsh Devolution [30]CL532330 credits
Datganoli yng Nghymru [30]CL532430 credits
Legal Practice: Foundation SkillsCL532730 credits
Miscarriages of Justice: The Cardiff Innocence ProjectCL532830 credits
Legal History [20]CL622020 credits
Administrative Law [30]CL630330 credits
Human Rights LawCL630830 credits
Commercial LawCL631330 credits
Public International Law [30]CL631930 credits
Legal History [30]CL632030 credits
Environmental Law and JusticeCL632730 credits
Law in the CommunityCL633430 credits

Year three

In years 2 and 3, modules are chosen from a range of options, including those required for legal practice in the UK.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

In each year of the programme, students are required to take modules to the value of 120 credits, which will be made up of 80 credits in Law and 40 credits in Criminology. Modules are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars, amounting to approximately ten to twelve hours a week of formal teaching.  This, of course, will be supplemented by independent research and study through which students will acquire more advanced knowledge and understanding. 

Students take four compulsory 20 credit Law modules and two compulsory 20 credit modules in Criminology in Year 1, none of which count towards the final degree classification.  In Years 2 and 3, modules are chosen from a range of options, including those required for legal practice in the UK.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities


Guided independent study




Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities


Guided independent study




Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities


Guided independent study




How will I be supported?

All modules within the programme make extensive use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Learning Central, on which students can access discussion forums and find course materials including recordings of lectures, links to related materials, multiple-choice tests, past exam papers and examples of student work from previous years.  We provide students with frequent feedback on their work. This comes in an array of formats (including oral tutor feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance). This feedback is intended to help students reflect on their performance and identify things they can do in order to improve.

All students will be allocated a personal tutor in both the Law School and the School of Social Sciences. Personal tutors will not only assist with reflection on performance on the course but also advise on study techniques, module selection and career planning (in conjunction with the University’s Career Service) and provide a first point of contact when difficulties are experienced.

An extensive programme of careers lectures and workshops is delivered within the Law School and an in-house Law Careers Consultant is available.

A range of staff are available to provide further support, including an academic support tutor, a pro-bono scheme co-ordinator and specialist law librarians. A member of academic staff acts as a designated Disability and Diversity Officer and ensures that reasonable adjustments are made for students with disabilities.




How will I be assessed?

Modules are assessed in a variety of ways, as detailed in the module descriptions. Social Science modules usually include a mixture of exam and coursework, whilst Law modules are typically assessed by examinations held place during the summer examination period.  Coursework is submitted on designated dates during the academic session. 

During the academic year, students will be required to complete various pieces of formative work which are designed to assist them in achieving the learning outcomes for individual modules and improve their ability to perform well in summative assessment. Formative work might be written or oral and may be submitted formally to a tutor or presented during tutorials or seminars. Preparation for formative work will normally be done during students’ independent study time. Feedback on formative work is given frequently and in a wide variety of formats and is intended to help students identify strengths and weaknesses in their learning, as well as giving indications of how they might improve in their performance in summative assessments.

Alternative provision may be made for students with disabilities.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams


Practical exams




Year 2

Written exams


Practical exams




Year 3

Written exams


Practical exams




What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Describe the main principles, values, institutions and processes of the legal systems in England and Wales and the European Union
  • Where appropriate, demonstrate awareness of the impact of relevant international law on the laws of England and Wales and outline alternative models of legal regulation with reference to the laws of other jurisdictions
  • Describe and explain the main principles, values and rules of the primary areas of substantive law of the legal system of England and Wales
  • Explain the relationship between an existing body of law and relevant political, economic, social and cultural issues and outline how these factors contribute to contemporary legal debates
  • Explain the political, legal, social and/or philosophical context of the evolution of a particular body of law
  • Give an explanation of the meaning of complex legislation and identify its doctrinal implications
  • Provide a summary of a complex body of case law and identify the legal principles arising from it
  • Explain the meaning and significance of a range of primary and secondary legal materials, academic research and commentary.
  • Explain key concepts and theoretical approaches in Criminology.

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Apply knowledge of legal rules and principles to propose solutions to doctrinal problems of varying complexity
  • Evaluate the doctrinal coherence and significance of a body of statutes and/or case law
  • Evaluate the success and/or shortcomings of an area of law in relation to policy perspectives and wider social/contextual issues and identify areas where law reform might be needed
  • Evaluate law reform proposals in a way which demonstrates sound understanding of current legal problems, sensitivity to law’s social, cultural and political context and awareness of international legal obligations
  • Relate a piece of academic writing or research to a contemporary legal debate and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses with reference to other supportive materials
  • Use official publications, academic research and commentaries presented in a variety of formats in the construction of an argument relevant to a contemporary legal debate
  • Discriminate between primary and secondary materials, with reference to their authority, relevance and objectivity
  • Through independent research, identify appropriate primary and secondary legal sources, research and commentary and apply them in written work or an oral presentation
  • Evaluate the principles that underlie criminal justice policy and crime control strategies

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Locate a variety of primary and secondary materials in both paper and electronic format
  • Identify and access up-to-date legislation and case law on a legal issue
  • Use appropriate databases to find academic research and commentary of relevance to a topic for the purposes of supplementing reading lists and taught materials
  • Produce written work, in a variety of formats, which is accurately informed, coherently written and structured, and appropriately referenced in accordance with OSCOLA guidance
  • Give a clear, confident and informed oral presentation or oral response to a question on a taught or independently researched legal topic in a manner that would be appropriate for a professional environment.
  • With support, propose appropriate discussion questions for a tutorial or seminar group study of a topic and manage a short group discussion of those questions
  • Evaluate and critically appraise criminological research

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Effectively communicate information and ideas, both orally and in writing, at a level which demonstrates accurate and clear use of the English language
  • Prepare and give an oral presentation and provide clear and accurate supporting materials in an appropriate format.
  • Take responsibility for structuring, managing and reporting, orally and/or in writing, a small research project
  • Contribute constructively and reliably to a group task
  • Effectively manage time and conduct self-directed study in the context of a structured timetable, prescribed learning activities and task deadlines
  • Reflect on their own learning, identify gaps in their knowledge and plan strategies for closing those gaps
  • Make use of both oral and written feedback, including feedback obtained through tutor assessment, self assessment and peer assessment
  • Use subject specific electronic sources and Virtual Learning Environments
  • Use electronic methods for research and demonstrate general competency in IT skills when preparing and presenting written material

As students progress through the three years of the degree the depth and breadth of their studies will increase. Our overall objective is to encourage students to become independent learners, with a commitment to continuing learning and development.



Other information

Cardiff Law School Pro Bono Unit – Law in the Real World

We are committed to extending extracurricular opportunities to our students, helping to enhance their CVs in a competitive graduate job market. We work in partnership with lawyers, charities and voluntary organisations to give students the opportunity to practise and extend their skills.

Pro Bono is the term that lawyers use for free legal advice. We run several Pro Bono schemes and provide advice to members of the community on different legal issues.

Innocence Project

Our Innocence Project works with long-term prisoners maintaining their innocence of serious crimes such as murder, serious assault and sexual offences. The aim is to prevent miscarriages of justice in which an individual could have been wrongfully convicted.

In 2014, ours was the first Innocence Project in the UK to have a conviction overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Students work under the supervision of qualified barristers, investigating the cases and submitting them to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

NHS Continuing Healthcare Scheme

Under this scheme, we address the issue of NHS Continuing Health Care funding. This is an increasing problem nationwide which affects a vulnerable section of the community, predominantly those suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Such individuals may find themselves in nursing homes, paying their fees privately, where arguably they are entitled to have the cost of their care met in full by the NHS.

Students are trained in this niche area of law, and are allocated work in 'firms' of six students. They are supervised by legal professionals from Hugh James solicitors in Cardiff, and work involves client interviews, letter writing, and research.

Welsh Rugby Union Project

Working in partnership with the Welsh Rugby Union, students provide a free legal advice service to Welsh rugby clubs below the Principality Premiership. Legal issues faced by clubs include employment of staff, maintenance of the grounds, health and safety and much more.

The scheme is supported and underwritten by Hugh James solicitors, and Civitas barristers' chambers. Students also work collaboratively to produce information leaflets covering legal issues that clubs face.

Hafal Appropriate Adult Scheme

Hafal is Wales' leading mental health charity. Hafal train students to work as 'Appropriate Adults', to support vulnerable adults being interviewed at a police station having been arrested. Once trained, students volunteer to be on a rota to be called into police stations across South Wales.

The Personal Support Unit

The Personal Support Unit (PSU) supports litigants in person, witnesses, victims, their family members and supporters. It provides free, confidential, independent, non-legal support to clients, to help them through the court process. The PSU trains students to assist litigants at the Civil Justice Centre in Cardiff.

The School of Social Sciences

The School of Social Sciences has a dedicated Placements Manager who can offer advice on available work placements, internships, work experience and opportunities to enhance your CV and broaden your horizons. Support with job applications and interview techniques is also available.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

Cardiff School of Law and Politics

In 2015/16, 97% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Students who have chosen to work immediately following their degree have obtained roles as negotiators, paralegals, remortgage handlers and lawyers with law firms such as Hugh James Solicitors, Admiral Law, Eversheds LLP and NHS Wales Legal and Risk Services.

A law degree doesn’t restrict graduates to careers within the legal profession. Each year a number of law graduates enter professions as diverse as finance, sales and marketing, digital communications and recruitment.

School of Social Sciences

In 2015/16, 96% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Turning theory into practical application and providing experience of the working world are important facets of preparing our graduates for life outside of education.

We encourage our students to think about life beyond University from day one, offering modules and support to give you a competitive advantage on graduating.




In your second year you will have the opportunity to apply for a work placement which will be carried out in the third year of your LLB Law degree. The full-time, salaried placements will be open to you via a competitive application process which aims to replicate the graduate recruitment processes you will encounter after leaving university. During your placement, you will undertake legal practice as paralegals, and will be performing graduate level roles. You will develop both key practitioner skills such as case management, legal research and legal writing in addition to generic employability skills such as time management, team working and commercial awareness. Placements will be located in Cardiff and will count for 10% of degree classification.

Studying in Welsh

Up to 67% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.


Next Undergraduate Open Day

Spring 2020




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How to apply