LW7074 - Family Practice

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What will I learn on this module?

Family Practice is an option delivered during the second term of the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). It is designed to reflect the nature of family cases encountered during pupillage.

The aim of this module is to provide students with an appreciation of the legal and practical issues which form the foundation of family practice, with particular emphasis and dealing with financial consequences on the breakdown of relationships. The legal skills of negotiating, drafting and practical research are developed in a family law context. Students should develop a knowledge and understanding of the substantive law, practice and procedure for ancillary relief applications, in relation to children, occupation orders and non- molestation orders. Occupation and ownership of property, maintenance for children and the position of the unmarried father will also be examined.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through both large group, small group sessions and directed learning. You will also be expected to conduct a significant amount of independent learning.

The large group sessions will be delivered to the whole group of students choosing the option and will be as interactive as possible.

The small group sessions will provide the students with up-to-date material covering key aspects of family law that a barrister is likely to become professionally involved with. The module will use practical scenarios as the basis for relevant skills-based activities. For example, some of the sessions will include the opportunity to participate in relevant role-play and present submissions. Other sessions will require problem solving skills to identify key issues, plan strategies for taking problems forward and drafting aspects of the necessary documentation to do so. Where appropriate to the subject area students will be required to analyse and critique relevant legal material.

You will be given directed learning which will both expand on the materials provided in the sessions and cover specific topics not dealt with in those sessions. This will be supported by formative assessment during sessions. You will also be expected to carry out independent learning to both expand on the materials covered in the sessions and directed learning and to prepare for the tasks in the sessions. Examples of independent learning will include locating and reading relevant legal source material.

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 will be managed by your designated Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. All relevant materials and instructions will be accessible on-line through the module eLP site, maintained by your Module Tutor, and will give guidance on legal skills, assessment and provide self-study materials. You may communicate with your Module Tutor by email or telephone and are encouraged to make contact if you encounter any difficulties relating to any aspect of the module.

Academic support is also available through feedback on set and multiple choice questions undertaken through the eLP and in the small group sessions. You will have the opportunity to formally sit a mock exam and feedback on the mock exam will be given in a large group session. At a programme level you will be supported by the Programme Leader and your Guidance Tutor who will provide pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole.

The Programme Administration and Student Progress teams are responsible for the non-academic administration of the module; they will contact you throughout the duration of your module with details about the centralised assessment, 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 this module you will have:
Knowledge & Understanding:
• Developed knowledge and understanding of the appropriate laws, procedures and ethical considerations involved in routine family transactions, e.g. divorce and ancillary matters such as finance and property, children and domestic violence.
• Developed and ability to identify and implement the client's instructions, recognising the inevitable conflicts in this sensitive area, and ensuring compliance with the professional practice rules relating to instruction giving, levels of service, expectations and time-scales.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• demonstrated the ability to give sound, practical written advice on matters raised in legal instructions and advise on any practical steps to be taken, including further inquiries or investigations necessary.

• demonstrated the capacity to review all relevant documents for divorce proceedings, proceedings under the Family Law Act 1996 and the Children Act 1989. Be able to form and present cogent submissions for applications in the main areas of family law.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• displayed a professional and responsible approach to the course, staff and other students, and to observe professional conduct and the guidance contained in the Family Law Protocol the Code of Practice in order to prevent exploitation of clients and preserve the integrity of the profession, maintaining the public’s trust and ensuring continuance of the provision of service.

• acted in a fashion which demonstrates awareness of diversity, and is non-discriminatory

How will I be assessed?

The module has an oral which is not marked anonymously.

Summative assessment is one formal time-constrained examination consisting of an oral presentation plus a written a skeleton argument and draft order

Formative assessment is provided during the scheduled teaching sessions, during which full feedback is given on the range of skills practiced.


Feedback will provided throughout the small group session programme. For each skill that is performed, the students will be required to complete a self-assessment sheet that will help to reinforce the tutor feedback. This will enable the student to reap the full reward of the experiential learning that takes place during the session.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

Family practice is an option delivered during the second term of the Bar Professional Training Course. It is designed to reflect the nature of family cases encountered during pupillage. The aim of this module is to provide students with an appreciation of the legal practical issues which form the foundation of family practice with particular emphasis on dealing with financial consequences on the breakdown of relationships and in relation to children. The legal skills of negotiating, drafting and practical research are further developed in a family law context. The module is delivered by a combination of large group sessions, small group sessions, directed and independent learning. The module is assessed by way of a piece of written work and an advocacy exercise.

What will I learn on this module?

Family Practice is an option delivered during the second term of the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). It is designed to reflect the nature of family cases encountered during pupillage.

The aim of this module is to provide students with an appreciation of the legal and practical issues which form the foundation of family practice, with particular emphasis and dealing with financial consequences on the breakdown of relationships. The legal skills of negotiating, drafting and practical research are developed in a family law context. Students should develop a knowledge and understanding of the substantive law, practice and procedure for ancillary relief applications, in relation to children, occupation orders and non- molestation orders. Occupation and ownership of property, maintenance for children and the position of the unmarried father will also be examined.

Course info

Credits 12

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time
1 other options available

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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