HA4003 - English and European Legal Systems

What will I learn on this module?

This foundational module aims to provide you with a sound practical understanding of the English and European Union legal systems, including their origins, institutions, processes and actors. All key sources of English and European Union law are explained and you will be trained in their retrieval and analysis. Particular attention is given to the techniques of interpreting statutes and legal cases – both domestic and European Sources Union and an understanding of how to use legal sources to substantiate legal arguments. You will have an opportunity to undertake independent research into elements of the English and European Legal Systems.

This module covers the following topics:
• The basic principles of English law, English Legal System and European Union law and the mutual interaction between these legal systems;
• The role of law making bodies such as Parliament and the European Union Institutions;
• The role of the judiciary (UK and Court of Justice of the European Union);
• Statutory interpretation and judicial precedent;
• The preliminary rulings procedure
• The acquisition of legal research skills such as locating legal sources, reflective practice, effective communication and presentation and legal research.

How will I learn on this module?

You will study ‘English and European Legal Systems’ in one 12-week semester. You will learn through large group sessions, via Panopto lectures (available in advance), workshops, seminars and tutor-guided independent learning.

The module will be supported by two Panopto lectures each week. In the lectures the module lecturer will present an outline of the main topics and the main issues that should be considered and debated. Lectures will be followed by small group sessions (seminars and workshops), lasting 3 hours, once per fortnight. In these sessions the tutor will facilitate learning and you will be expected, in smaller groups under the guidance of your tutor, to discuss the issues that were raised in the lecture. You will be required to apply legal knowledge and critical thinking to practical scenarios and you will obtain feedback on your knowledge and understanding. You will be expected to prepare in advance for both Panopto lectures and small group sessions by undertaking directed reading of textbooks, legal cases, academic articles and other materials – details of which are provided on the eLP.

The module will also be supported by a dedicated e-Learning (eLP) site which will include guided reading using electronic reading lists, webcasts of lectures, self-evaluative tasks as well as opportunities to engage with your tutor and fellow students.
You will be provided with detailed feedback on your formative and summative assignment for this module and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme.
Importantly, you will also learn at work, through reflecting on your experiences and applying your knowledge to your practice in the workplace. The seminars, workshops and lectures will introduce you to theories and concepts and allow you to discuss with the tutors and your peers how these relate to your own work based experiences and practice.

You will be building a portfolio of evidence that illustrates your development as a solicitor throughout the first year of the programme. This portfolio will enable you to demonstrate how you have applied your learning from across all first stage modules into your workplace practice.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University is well-placed to support you in learning and research with an excellent library and teaching facilities, access to on-line legal databases and resources and appropriate software.

This module is designed and will be managed by your designated Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. The module tutor will lead the Panopto lectures. You will be taught by a seminar tutor, who delivers the small group sessions. Should you have queries you may approach your seminar tutor or e-mail your query to have your query answered on-line or to make an appointment for a face to face meeting.

All relevant materials and instructions will be accessible on-line through the module eLP site, maintained by your Module Tutor, who will also provide updates on issues of current legal significance. Extensive use is made of the eLP at module level to facilitate discussions between you and your Module Tutor, to provide materials such as PowerPoint slides used in large group sessions; the module handbook (which will contain exercises to be used in the small group sessions); advice on assessment, supported by sample questions and answers; and Panopto recordings and to make announcements and to highlight recent developments in the law.

Academic support is also available through summative and formative feedback on assignments and a module handbook detailing delivery structure and any University requirements. At programme level you will be supported by the Programme Leader who will provide pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole.

As above, your module is also supported by an e-learning portal, which houses all the module learning materials, workshop resources, interactive activities, assessment details and various other support facilities which are provided by the University. In addition, in order to assist you in developing knowledge, you will have access to the University’s library facilities, including extensive electronic resources, eBooks and electronic academic journal articles.
Support will also include opportunities to gain feedback from your Guidance Tutor. The Programme Leader can be contacted in addition to your Guidance Tutor in respect of any problems.

The Programme Administration Team and Student Progress Team are responsible for the non-academic administration of the module, such as receiving your completed assignment, returning your marked assignment and recording your marks. They and the module tutor will contact you throughout the duration of your module with important dates and other issues.

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?

At the end of the module you will have:

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Developed knowledge and understanding of the structure and operation of the English and European Union legal systems, including the main principles, legal rules and values that form the basis of English Law and European Union law and how these legal systems interact with each other.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Developed an ability to read and understand legal terminology and identify the legal principle or principles in judicial decisions;

• Developed an ability to organise and assimilate legal material and express a reasoned personal view about that material.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Gained a critical awareness of the ethical and social implications of acting as a practising lawyer or other professional person and that you are able to conform to the relevant codes of conduct.

• Show that you are willing to receive and act upon constructive feedback in order to improve your skills.

• Gained awareness and ability to lean via the workplace and apply that learning in practice.

How will I be assessed?

Please reference impact on end point assessment where applicable. Reference to PSRB competences may also apply.

Assessment is integral to the student learning experience and the assessment strategy for this module enables you to demonstrate your ability to analyse, integrate and apply your learning to various contexts, through a range of tasks. This strategy will not only appropriately test the module aims but has also been designed to offer a challenging and stimulating learning experience. The assessment strategy has also been designed to ensure that you are given the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to communicate succinctly, to engage in analysis of legal issues and to use both written and oral modes of communication to present and defend your ideas.

Formative assessment will be achieved by self-test questions in module materials, group discussion, informal peer assessment and assessed and non-assessed exercises. Answers to self-test questions will be provided on the module eLP and your tutor will give oral and written feedback to you as required.
You will be provided with appropriate written or oral feedback (as appropriate), and, as part of your reflective development, such feedback can be utilised in the preparation of subsequent module assessments on the programme.

Summative Assessment will be undertaken on an individual basis by way of a piece of 2,000 word piece of coursework worth 100% of the marks for this module.

The coursework will require you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of key principles of English and European Legal systems, (including knowledge and understanding that you have obtained via tutor directed independent learning and independent learning. The coursework will be a 2,000 word essay or answer to a problem based question which will involve you demonstrating your knowledge in an accurate, coherent and structured answer which makes use of correct legal terminology.
Summative feedback will be available in written form on scripts, via the eLP as notes for guidance and orally from module/seminar tutors.

Assessment Criteria and Grade-Related Criteria will be made available to you to support you in completing assessments. Grade-Related Descriptors are descriptions of the level of skills, knowledge and/or attributes that you need to demonstrate in order achieve a certain grade or mark in an assessment, providing a mechanism by which the quality of an assessment can be measured and placed within the overall set of marks.





Module abstract

This module aims to provide you with a good knowledge and understanding of the nature of law, the English Legal System and European Law and the mutual interaction between these legal systems. The module also gives you an introduction to the basic legal skills that you will develop further in other modules throughout the degree. The focus is on specific exercises to support exploration and use of the library resources that are available, both in paper copy and electronically through the legal databases, and on understanding practices of legal citation. You will start to develop the skills necessary for pursuing legal studies at undergraduate level, as well as vocational skills. You will be introduced to the skills required for legal research on English and European systems, the basics of legal and academic research and writing and oral skills.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 6 Years Part Time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

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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