Transnational Organised Illegal Networks

Module summary

Module code: LAW1251
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Law and Criminology
Module Coordinator(s): Louise Hewitt / Olga Martin-Ortega


Pre and co requisites

Criminal law


This course will stimulate student’s interests in major international challenges and the way international law and policy addresses them. It will identify organised criminal networks in the context of international law and transnational policy to show the extent of the complexity of international security cooperation between states.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1 9) Demonstrate a critical understanding of the relationship between international law and serious and organised crime committed by international criminal networks

2 Critically examine the complex dynamics of international security cooperation to fight international organised crime and the reluctance of states to restrict their sovereign rights in the context of this cooperation
3 Articulate complex arguments regarding current international organised crime and the surrounding legal and policy issues
4 Explain and evaluate the transnational responses to international organised crime
5 Demonstrate the ability to carry out independent research project on one of the taught topics from the module making use of all relevant sources of law and electronic legal databases
6 Be able to create a presentation and successfully deliver it

Indicative content

• Transnational illegal networks in context
• International Organised crime as an object of international law
• Key elements of international state cooperation
• International organised crime and the legal and policy frameworks: financing of terrorism; arms trade; migrant smuggling and human trafficking; sexual and labour exploitation; money loundering and corruption

Teaching and learning activity

This module will be taught in two parts. The first term will contain the taught element of the module, consisting of two hours workshops and drop-in sessions. The workshops will explore each of the topics in depth, through discussions, blended learning and lectures. During the drop-in sessions, students will benefit from external speakers and interactive sessions including video screening and podcast listening and discursive exercises.
During the second term students will work on a research project on one of the international organised crimes that has been the object of study. They will be presenting their work to their peers in order to defend their ideas and obtain feedback on them.
A number of workshops will support their research skills and their content analysis, as well as presentation skills. They will also have regular meetings with both tutors for feedback on their work.


Method of Summative Assessment: Presentation.
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4&6.
Grading Mode: Numeric.
Weighting: 30%.
Pass Mark: 40%.
Word Length: n/a.
Outline Details: The presentation is designed to give students an opportunity to publicly communicate their work based on their research and get feedback from fellow students; present and defend their ideas and be able to react to questions and challenges from others

Method of Summative Assessment: Research Project.
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4&5.
Grading Mode: Numeric.
Weighting: 70%.
Pass Mark: 40%.
Word Length: 5000 words.
Outline Details: The research project is designed to give students the opportunity to carry out research on a topic of their choice. Students have to demonstrate the ability to: -formulate and develop a research question;
-carry out a literature review on the topic of their choice;
-write a clear, logical and reasoned project with a clear argument;
-make use of relevant scholarship and literature and
-use accurate referencing.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
There will be a formative assessment following the study of each of the international crimes listed in the indicative content. For this assessment students will have to complete a mixture of activities including writing a short essay (800 words) on their understanding of the key elements of each of the crimes and the international legal framework of combating them, debating an issue arising from a topic, a presentation on their understanding of the key elements of each of the crimes and the international legal framework of combating them, and quizzes using interactive software such as Mentimeter.

Students are required to pass all elements of summative assessment in order to pass the course.