LW6009 - Sentencing and Punishment

What will I learn on this module?

• In this module you will develop a critical understanding of both the theoretical and practical elements of sentencing. You will acquire the knowledge and understanding of the following:

• Theories of punishment – different rationales for punishment such as retribution, deterrence and rehabilitation.

• Custodial sentences – including the legal framework, current practice and the realities of prison life.

• Non-custodial sentences – including the legal framework for fines and community sentences

• A careful examination of the structure and rationale of sentencing guidelines
• assessing the seriousness of an offence
• mitigating and aggravating factors
• Youth justice

You will also be expected to acquire and exercise the following skills during the course of this module:

• The ability to identify and analyse relevant legal issues in practical and complicated scenarios
• The ability to undertake in-depth research
• The ability to undertake detailed study of relevant sources of information, including journal articles, cases and other research materials

No prior knowledge of sentencing theory or law is required. An awareness of criminal procedure is useful but not essential. This module complements other subjects in the first year of your programme, and will also provide you with a thorough understanding of the theoretical and practical issues surrounding this area of law.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will utilise lectures and seminars to develop your practical thinking on the areas mentioned above. The lectures will cover the basic theoretical and legal frameworks of the topics outlined above. Seminars will provide an opportunity to discuss sentencing and punishment in the context of real-life cases and hypothetical scenarios, as well as issues faced by practitioners, thereby consolidating your understanding and emphasising the practical implications of the law. You will be assessed by a written piece of coursework (100% of the final mark), which will take place in the Semester 2 assessment period.

The members of staff who teach on this module have significant research and practice experience in this area. As such, they will provide academic support where necessary. All lectures will be recorded and made available to students to aid in learning and understanding.

The module will make use of the eLearning Portal where lecture materials, podcasts, recordings, and other learning support will be made available. The module site will also direct you to supplementary resources which you are encouraged to explore in addition to the material covered in lectures.

The module will make use of an online reading list. The reading list will provide you with links to key texts and information on their availability in the university library.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The members of staff who teach on this module have significant research and practice experience in this area. As such, they will provide academic support where necessary. All lectures will be recorded and made available to students to aid in learning and understanding.

The module will make use of the eLearning Portal where lecture materials, podcasts, recordings, and other learning support will be made available. The module site will also direct you to supplementary resources which you are encouraged to explore in addition to the material covered in lectures.

The module will make use of an online reading list. The reading list will provide you with links to key texts and information on their availability in the university library.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Students will develop knowledge of the theories of punishment and the practice of sentencing.


Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• Students will develop an understanding of theories of punishment and the practical elements of sentencing and be able to apply them in a specific factual context.

• Students will be able to demonstrate thorough understanding of sentencing legislation and procedure and apply this to a given factual scenario.


Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• Students will demonstrate a critical awareness of how sentencing operates in the criminal courts in England and Wales.
• Students will increase their global/cultural awareness through exploring alternative approaches to sentencing in other jurisdictions.

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment

Students will be given regular feedback throughout the module in seminars. Formative assessment will be achieved via group discussion, informal peer assessment and assessed and non-assessed work.

Summative Assessment

Students will be assessed by means of a 2,500-word piece of written coursework critically evaluating sentencing law issues. This will constitute 100% of the marks for this module. The assignment aims to encourage a deep and critical approach to learning, developing an ability to think widely about the issues presented within the module and to explore these in line with directed and independent learning. Students will be provided with appropriate written or oral feedback (as appropriate), and, as part of reflective development, such feedback can be utilized in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

This module will provide a thorough structural analysis of the law of sentencing in England and Wales, and explore a range of issues relating to theories of punishment and sentencing practice. You will explore different rationales for punishment, such as retribution, deterrence and rehabilitation, to consider why we punish. The current legal framework (mainly: the Sentencing Act 2020) will be explored and systematically studied, including custodial sentences, fines and community penalties..

Research underpins the module and the assessment process. The teaching team are research active in this area and will therefore structure teaching around their research. This will ensure that the module is research led. The module’s blend of theory and practice will enhance critical thinking and analytical skills, alongside development of an in-depth understanding of a complex area of law. These are skills which are highly desirable to employers.

Course info

UCAS Code M101

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.

 

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