LW6012 - Family Law

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the range of laws, case law and practice developed in England and Wales to deal with matters arising from the breakdown of family relationships, including divorce, dissolution of a civil partnership, financial relief remedies, child maintenance, children, domestic abuse and cohabitees.
These areas will involve a range of activities including : reading, interpreting and applying statute and case law to practical scenarios, drafting court documents and developing writing skills in essay style questions.

How will I learn on this module?

Teaching will be delivered via a combination of:-
24x 1 hour large group lecture sessions
6 x 2 hour small group seminar- type sessions
Total = 36 hours face to face teaching.
Face to face teaching will be supplemented by posting the following on the eLP: Panopto recorded lectures, power point slides and lecture handouts, a set of revision notes and model question and answer for each area of family law covered.

In addition to teaching you will be expected to engage in tutor guided independent learning (TGIL) in your preparations for teaching sessions. You will be provided with reading lists and questions via eLP; you will prepare for teaching sessions by undertaking the recommended reading and question preparation in advance of the sessions. TGIL will take about 82 hours across the module.
Feedback on summative assessment will take the following forms:-
• Written feedback on your marked assessment paper
• Creation of an outline answer and general points to note document for your use.
• Opportunity to discuss your assessment performance with the tutor in feedback week.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The primary form of academic support on this module will be via teaching sessions. You will obtain ongoing and valuable feedback on your understanding and preparation from tutors across the 6 seminar sessions.
In addition to this academic support in sessions and the support outlined above you will obtain formative feedback on this module in the following ways:
• Short quizzes to test knowledge at the end of select lectures.
• Opportunity to answer a past assessment question with subsequent discussion & consideration of a model answer and points to note in a teaching session.
• Members of the module team are available to discuss module-related issues with students on an ad hoc basis.

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:
• A critical awareness of the current issues including ethical considerations and developments in family law in a practice context.
• A systematic and in depth knowledge and understanding of key aspects of family law, demonstrating detailed and coherent understanding.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• An ability to consolidate and apply knowledge and understanding to complex legal problems in order to find solutions.
• An ability to conduct self-directed research including accurate identification of issues , the retrieval and evaluation of relevant, current information from a range of sources

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
Instances of formative assessment on this module include:
• Testing knowledge and understanding in seminar sessions through problem based and essay style questions.
• Short quizzes to test knowledge and understanding at the end of select lectures.
• To answer a past assessment question with subsequent discussion & consideration of a model answer and points to note in a teaching session.

These activities substantially contribute to all 4 MLOs.

Summative assessment:
Will consist of a written assessment comprising of a mixture of problem based and essay style questions.
The essay style questions will concern current issues and developments in family law which will require previous self-directed research.
The problem style questions will require an understanding and application of family law to a complex legal problem.
Feedback will take the following forms:-
• Written feedback on your marked assessment paper
• Creation of an outline answer and general points to note document for your use.
• Opportunity to discuss your assessment performance with the tutor in feedback week.

Completing this assessment will lead to all 4 MLOs





Module abstract

Family law is a highly relevant, often controversial and continually developing area of law which we can all relate to. Recent developments such as the Marriage (Same Sex Couples ) Act 2013, the introduction of the single Family Court, the increasing significance of pre- nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements and the continual lack of rights of cohabitees on the breakdown of their relationship, make this an exciting and stimulating area of study.
The starting point on the family law module is to consider divorce and dissolution of a civil partnership and how these legal relationships can be brought to an end. It then looks at other relevant strands of family law that develop from this point including how the court deals with the division of the assets which have accrued during the relationship. What about assets which a spouse has brought into a marriage? Should these be given back? Should a spouse/ civil partner be given a greater share of the assets because they have earned more?
It covers children, in particular how a parent can obtain contact with their child where this is being refused, how the rights of the unmarried father are significantly reduced if they are not named on the birth certificate and how the court enforce orders in relation to children.
The family law module also looks at how victims of domestic abuse and forced marriage can be protected by obtaining a non-molestation order/forced marriage protection order , the procedure for obtaining an order and enforcement where the order is breached.
Finally this module considers the limited property rights of cohabitees after separation where they are not an owner of the family home and the possible remedies.
This module will overlap with other areas of law such as property law, criminal law and human rights.
The development of family law is largely driven by government policy but is also influenced by religion, culture and societal changes. There is a wealth of academic commentary, Law Commission Reports and government papers which makes this a stimulating and exciting area of research.

Course info

UCAS Code LL44

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Social Sciences

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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