LW6026 - Legal History

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module, through the study of certain selected themes, you will develop a critical awareness of the role of law in society. You will be able to see in an historical context how social conditions are reflected in common law and legislation, and how law affects societal relations. The module explores the interplay between law and society, but includes detailed consideration of selected statutory material and cases.

Subject areas can include:

• Crime and the criminal law in the medieval period: crime and medieval society; public order; law enforcement; punishment; outlaws.
• Crime and the criminal law 1550 – 1700: the role of the criminal law in maintaining the norms of behaviour in a period of economic, social and political tension. Specific topics include witchcraft, homicide, judicial and community punishment.
• Treason: development of substantive law and evidential requirements. Trials considered concentrate on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, such as Sir Thomas More, Anthony Babington, Charles I or Lord Russell.
• Women and the law: women as victims and perpetrators of criminal offences; changing treatment of female criminality by the secular and the church courts; impact of marriage on women’s legal status.
• Development of the legal professions: origins of the various types of legal practice; Inns of Court; legal education.
• Development of the courts: functions of the courts; role of the justices; development of judicial costume.
• Constitutional development: 1066 to Magna Carta; during the Tudor period; the Stuarts and the struggle between the Crown, the Common Law and Parliament.

How will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutor guided independent learning and student independent learning.

Use of Large Group Sessions:
The large group lectures are intended to introduce you to the key topics of legal history. You will also be expected to undertake independent learning in consolidation of the lecture programme.

Use of Small Group Sessions:
The small group seminar discussions will develop your analytical abilities. Sessions will cover a range of activities. Seminars will also require you to demonstrate your ability to locate and make effective use of legal source materials. You will be expected to engage in independent and, at times, directed learning in consolidation of work done in preparation for and during seminars. You will also learn how to effectively organise and communicate information orally.

Independent learning:
This is an important aspect of the module which will centre on you identifying further reading and research to provide deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the chosen topics of legal history.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University supports 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. Material will be delivered to you by lecture and through the eLP. The eLP site will contain the following resources: lecture notes; Powerpoint slides; the module handbook, which contains seminar exercises; advice on assessment. The comprehensive online reading list includes books, articles, television and radio programmes. As well as contact with the lecturer you will also be taught by your seminar tutor. Should you have queries you may approach the lecturer or your seminar tutor or e-mail your query to either member of staff. You may communicate with your Module Tutor by e-mail 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 to you through summative and formative feedback on assignments.

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:

At the end of the module you will have:
• Become able to recognise and apply some of the current theories and critical scholarship at the forefront of specialist subjects within the area of legal history

• Developed a systematic and in depth knowledge and understanding of key aspects of the area of legal history and be able to demonstrate detailed and coherent understanding in that area

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

At the end of the module you will have:
• Developed your abilities to conduct self –directed research including accurately identifying issues which require researching, retrieving and evaluating accurate, current and relevant information from a range of appropriate sources including primary sources

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment
You will deliver an oral presentation on your chosen research area, on which you will receive individual feedback from seminar tutors and peer feedback from students in the seminar group, based upon agreed assessment criteria.

Summative assessment
This will be undertaken on an individual basis by way of written coursework which constitutes 100% of the marks for this module. This assignment aims to encourage a deep and critical approach to learning, developing an ability to think widely about the issues presented within the module and to explore these with directed and independent learning.

Assessment criteria are provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance.

Feedback will be given in accordance with the Law Schools’ Undergraduate Feedback policy currently in force.
You will receive feedback on the formative assessment, as detailed above. Summative feedback will be available in written form on scripts and orally from module tutors. In addition, there will opportunities for feedback to your questions in seminars.





Module abstract

This module includes the history of English law, the legal profession, the courts and legal institutions, judges and lawyers, legal literature and records, legal portraiture and costume, and specific crimes such as witchcraft and treason; in short, it looks at the history of the characteristics of the unique English common law and legal system.

You will enjoy a large degree of choice in this module: each student chooses their own assessment topic from a range of possible options; with help and advice from your tutors, you will then devise and independently research your own coursework question. You will be assessed by this researched assignment (100%), which will consolidate your understanding of legal history, and develop your skills of critical analysis. You will critically engage with research outputs as part of your research-rich learning, drawing from Northumbria’s extensive on-line databases and library facilities.

Course info

UCAS Code M101

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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