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LAW3038 : Law and History

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Ian Ward
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 160 student places

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

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module has four interrelated aims:

(i) To provide students with an understanding of the historical influences upon the development of the laws of England;

(ii) To study this relation with respect to various aspects of the legal system, and to challenge this distinction and division with particular reference to the historical role of law as an instrument of governance;

(iii) To develop in students an interdisciplinary understanding of the relation of law and history, and of legal and historical method;

(iv) To develop associated theoretical, critical, communicative and research-based skills appropriate to a Stage 3 study in law and similar disciplines.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module is structured around five substantive topics, united by a focus upon the overarching theme of ‘Law and Governance’, which progress through the history of English law in a chronological and thematic order. They will be preceded an “Introduction to Law and History”, which introduces students to key concepts, institutions, sources and debates in relation to the past of the law.

The four substantive topics will each be centred around a particular year, in order to give a focus for the topics to be studied. The four central years will be 1613, 1765, 1887, and 1919.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00Two one-hour long Q&A sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:00Present-in-person Lectures
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials151:0015:00A combination of short recordings of lecture material and text published on Canvas each week.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:004 x 1-hour face to face seminars.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops41:004:004 x 1-hour face to face whole cohort workshops.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1107:00107:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching methods have been adapted for delivery on the post-COVID environment are based on presumption that some face to face lectures, seminars and in-person drop-in sessions shall be possible but that this shall be augmented 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). The delivery set out is multi-faceted and designed to engage and enthuse students and help them become active, independent and reflective learners. Particular focus is placed on giving students the guidance they need in order to develop the skills they need to do well on this module, which differs in important ways from the doctrinal and theoretical focus of much of the rest of their degree programme.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M1003,500 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment for this kind of course is well-suited to research-based essay assignments. It will comprise of a set question on an issue or area covered by the module’s taught curriculum, to be answered by one 3,500-word essay.

It is the most appropriate means by which to assess the development of communication, written and research skills, whilst also permitting students to illustrate the development of necessary subject-specific knowledge bases.

Reading Lists