LW5116 - Evidence for the Practitioner

What will I learn on this module?

There are certain areas of the law of evidence which practising lawyers encounter very frequently (indeed, a practising lawyer will encounter legal professional privilege on a daily basis). This focus of this module will be the practical application of those significant aspects of the law of evidence, including fundamentals such as the burden and standard of proof; legal professional privilege; hearsay (relating to civil and criminal cases); character evidence; and expert opinion evidence. We will also look at the evidential rules around questioning witnesses – an interesting exercise for any student, but of particular use for those who are thinking of a career in advocacy. Further, by engaging with the practical case studies that we will use in the workshops, you will also develop case analysis and fact management skills.

How will I learn on this module?

Aside from your own independent study (based upon reading to which you will be directed) you will be taught by way of 1 hour lectures (2 per week) and 6 x 2 hour workshops (i.e. one workshop per fortnight). In order to understand how to apply the law, we need to know what the law is: that will be the job of the lectures. The workshops (which will include classroom discussions and practical exercises) will help you to augment your understanding of those legal principles and will enable you to gain some experience of how they apply in practice. We will use highly realistic case studies (using the sort of documentation and materials that you can expect to encounter in practice) to perform exercises in case analysis; advising on evidence; and arguing about evidential points in mock courtroom exercises.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided by way of informative lectures and tutor-led discussions in workshops. You also have access to an abundance of online and paper-based library sources.

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:
• You will develop knowledge and understanding of the underlying concepts and key principles of the rules of evidence.
• You will apply and interpret the rules of evidence in the wider context of hypothetical legal problem scenarios.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will organise and communicate information to provide practical advice on evidential issues.
• You will be able to apply primary and secondary source material to address legal problems.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• You will demonstrate an awareness of the principles and ethics of the rules of evidence and their application to the legal system.

How will I be assessed?

You will receive formative feedback you’re your tutor and peers during workshop teaching sessions.

The summative assessment will be a piece of coursework (2000 words) in which you will analyse case materials with a view to discussing and formulating practical advice on the evidential issues contained therein. You will receive written feedback on your summative assessment.





Module abstract

Evidence is a much under-appreciated subject in the modern study of law. The rules of evidence are of fundamental importance to the practice of law. Most appeals against conviction feature some form of argument about the handling of evidence at trial. Advising clients on the strength of their case; preparing a matter for trial and conducting that matter at trial – all of these tasks require a sound understanding of the rules of evidence. However, evidence (as a subject) is often perceived as being rather dry and dusty: this is perhaps a reflection of the way in which the subject is usually taught. This module does delivery differently. This intensely practice-focused module will give you the experience of applying the rules of evidence using realistic case studies. By bringing the subject to life through our case studies, you will learn just how important the rules of evidence are to the conduct of everyday litigation. This module is ideal for those who are seeking to undertake the SQE or Bar Course.

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 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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