Module Catalogue 2023/24

LAW1210 : Legal Institutions and Method

LAW1210 : Legal Institutions and Method

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Mrs Jennifer Wardle
  • Lecturer: Professor Bryan Clark, Dr Myriam Gicquello, Dr Kay Crosby, Dr Derek Whayman, Dr Ruth Houghton, Dr Bethany Simpson
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



The Legal Institutions and Method module has three inter-related principal aims:
(i) To provide an introduction to the legal system of England and Wales;
(ii) To help you develop and practice fundamental critical, transferable and legal skills for use in the
other subjects that you will study at Newcastle; and
(iii) To engage you in critical reflection about the law.

Outline Of Syllabus

The English Legal System module is structured around two main areas:

(i) Legal Sources of the English Legal System;
• An overview of legal institutions;
• The structure and functions of courts;
• Legislation and statutory interpretation;
• The theory and practice of judicial precedent;
• The European Convention on Human Rights with respect to precedent
and statutory interpretation;
• An introduction to equity and the common law;
• An introduction to the sources of international law and how they relate to the English Legal System

(ii) The civil and criminal justice systems;
• Trials and Appeals;
• Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding
•       the institutions and structures of the English Legal System;
•       the principal sources and key doctrines of English law;
•       wider political and social contexts of law.

The specific knowledge base will be extended to cover the following:
•       an overview of legal institutions in the English Legal System;
•       legislation, judicial precedent and statutory interpretation;
•       introduction to equity and the common law;
•       introduction to sources of international law and how they relate to the English Legal System;
•       introduction to the criminal and civil justice system

Intended Skill Outcomes

Subject specific skills:
1.       Ability to evaluate and deploy valid and cogent arguments on both sides of controversial issues.
2.       Ability to write and speak with care and precision.
3.       Ability to distinguish between legal and political sources, to retrieve accurate and relevant legal
and other sources in primary and secondary form both in paper and digital formats.
4.       Legal problem-solving. Ability to identify relevant issues, reason by applying relevant concepts,
principles and rules, identify evidence needed, make judgements and reach supported conclusions.
5.       Summarise and draw upon legal rules, principles and arguments from legislation, case-law and critical legal commentary.

Cognitive skills:
1.       Synthesis of materials from diverse legal and other sources.
2.       Interpret statutes against the constitutional background from which they emerge;
3.       Creatively use statutes and case-law within both oral and written legal argument;
4.       Demonstrate critical awareness of the principles and values underpinning law.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1001:00100:00Combination of own reading and revision of substantive module content
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00(FLEX – could be moved to synchronous or non-synchronous)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion671:0067:00Preparation and completion assessment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials40:302:00A combination of short recordings of lecture material and text.
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities80:152:00Multiple Choice Quizzes allow students to self-test understanding of factual module content
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00In-person seminars (FLEX: could be delivered as on-line ZOOM seminars)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Feedback on students' assessed work. (FLEX – could be moved on-line)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching methods have been adapted for delivery in the post-COVID environment and are based on the presumption that some in person lectures, seminars and in-person drop-in sessions shall be possible but that this shall need to be supplemented by on-line materials hosted on Canvas (alternative arrangements under ‘FLEX’ are included in case of the possibility of more limited possibilities for on Campus teaching).
Lectures (or an online version if required) provide an overview of the background and main principles, examples of reasoning methods, and an introduction to the main controversial issues. In-person lectures will be supported with structured online guidance and activities.
Lecture materials are recorded materials used to introduce or scaffold material covered during in-person or online lectures, or provide guidance on assessment components.
Seminars (small group teaching) provide the opportunity to develop oral, interpretation and evaluative skills. Discussion is structured to consider questions focusing on key principles and problem areas. Some seminars will use problem style questions, providing opportunities for group-based in-depth skills and knowledge development in relation to the application of the law to complex factual scenarios. Other seminars will focus discussion around debate propositions or essay style statements. These seminar components will provide formative practice opportunities ahead of the summative assessments. There will be four one-hour small group sessions during the semester. All seminars will be synchronous events (whether online or present-in-person).
Skills practice / quizzes will support the lecture materials by providing structured non-synchronous discussion. Each MCQ may be completed within 15 minutes. These MCQs will provide an instant check on understanding and will include feedback or guidance relevant to individual performances. These will contribute to formative activities ahead of the summative assessments.
Drop-in/Surgery sessions reflect the Law School assessment and feedback policy such that markers will offer the opportunity for one-to-one oral feedback on students' assessed work. The time given is indicative; more time may be scheduled if necessary, to meet the demand for individual feedback.
Independent study takes the form of directed study around lectures and seminars, as well as the research and writing of coursework. Students are also encouraged to undertake further self-directed research.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination14401A10024 Hour take-home paper. Answer 2 out of 5 questions.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1M1500 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative assessment provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a broad range of topics within the syllabus.
The formative assessment will provide the opportunity to test their knowledge and understanding of discrete topics and to practice their research and written skills and the cognitive skills of analysis, synthesis, critical judgment and evaluation.
In addition to the formative assessment, the structured online learning activities and small group teaching sessions have been designed to focus on the skills development necessary for the summative work.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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