LW7119 - Civil Litigation

What will I learn on this module?

The Civil Litigation module is delivered on the Bar Course and across the portfolio of Bar Courses at Northumbria University. Modern civil litigation requires knowledge of the detailed and technical Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and rules of civil evidence. However, it is equally important that the modern practitioner also possesses a thorough knowledge of the various methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and, crucially, the interplay between “conventional” litigation and ADR.

To meet these requirements, this module will provide you with thorough knowledge and understanding of those parts of the CPR, civil evidence and ADR which you are set out in the BSB’s syllabus document for this module. This is likely to include:

- The various forms of ADR (negotiation; mediation; arbitration; and conciliation) and how they operate;
- When, in the course of civil dispute, to use ADR and selecting the most appropriate method of ADR;
- The implications of ADR in relation to matters such as costs and enforcement;
- The importance of the Pre-Action Protocols;
- The Overriding Objective of the CPR;
- Interim applications (e.g. summary judgment; setting aside default judgment) and interim remedies ( e.g. injunctions; interim payments);
- The rules surrounding disclosure;
- Civil evidence (including witness evidence; hearsay and legal professional privilege);
- Costs;
- Appeals.

On completion of this module you will be able to demonstrate a sound understanding and knowledge of the progress of civil litigation and dispute resolution from initial considerations through to trial and on to appeals and an ability to apply, the main procedural and evidential rules relevant to civil matters.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through a combination of large and small group sessions and directed learning. You will also be expected to engage in some independent learning to consolidate your learning and prepare for group sessions, including investigation of factual and legal issues and providing practical legal advice.

The large group sessions will be delivered to the entire module cohort and will be used to introduce you to the major principles of each topic. These principles will be placed in context by considering them against relevant factual scenarios. During these sessions, procedural points will be explained and demonstrated in a transactional context and you will be encouraged to consider the module from a practical perspective.

The small group sessions will expand on the material covered in the large group sessions with emphasis on the use of practical scenarios as the basis for relevant skills based and interactive sessions that apply that material to a scenario. During these sessions you will develop problem-solving and other legal skills, develop teamwork and both collective and individual presentation skills and implement your knowledge in a practical way to solve legal problems.

You will be given directed learning which will both expand on the materials provided in the large group session and cover additional specific topics. This will be supported by formative self-test and multiple choice questions.

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. You will also be provided with your own individual copy of the core texts required for learning on this module.

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 in conjunction with the Bar Standards Board; 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?

Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the module you will have:

• Developed a sound understanding of civil practice and procedure as a whole, how cases progress through the court system and a knowledge and understanding of, and an ability to apply, the main evidential rules to civil matters.

• Demonstrated an understanding of a range of methods of dispute resolution in and outside of the court process, and an ability to identify the stage at which it is appropriate to engage in a particular dispute resolution process within an ethical framework.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Developed an ability to conduct rigorous and independent legal research in the area of civil procedure, dispute resolution & evidence, selecting, using and applying the relevant material and knowledge of procedure, evidence and dispute resolution to identify issues, construct rational arguments and present accurate legal information clearly, coherently and substantiated by authority.

• Developed an ability to reflect on and critically evaluate the operation of civil procedure, dispute resolution and evidence in a practical context and identified solutions to a range of legal, practical and ethical problems.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Gained a critical awareness of the legal and ethical issues surrounding civil litigation, evidence and dispute resolution in practice and reflected on how those issues are best managed in practice, and how your knowledge can be implemented in a practical way to solve clients’ legal problems.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment: You will be expected to engage with 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 also have the opportunity to sit a mock multiple-choice exams, which will be set centrally by the Bar Standards Board. Feedback for the mock examinations will be given via the e-learning portal.

Summative assessment: The module will be assessed by two examinations according to BSB specifications. The first examination is a 3 hour closed book assessment. The second examination is a 3 hour permitted materials assessment. Both examinations include MCQs and are centrally set and electronically marked by the Bar Standards Board. A broad range, and any part of the syllabus may be assessed.





Module abstract

Civil Litigation is a year-long module on the Bar Course and is delivered across the portfolio of bar programmes at Northumbria University. It builds on knowledge of the key concepts and principles of criminal law learned during the academic stage of your undergraduate law degree, Graduate Diploma in Law / Common Professional Examination, and will enable you to develop an understanding of how this knowledge can be applied in practice.

From the earliest stage in their career, a barrister practising in civil work requires a thorough knowledge of the detailed and (often) technical Civil Procedure Rules, together with the rules of evidence that apply to civil cases. Moreover, a practitioner must not merely know the rules; they must also clearly understand how those rules might apply to the infinitely varied cases that they might undertake. However, in modern civil litigation, knowledge of the rules of ‘conventional’ litigation is insufficient. The Civil Procedure Rules place a premium upon settlement of disputes without recourse to litigation and so a barrister must also possess a detailed knowledge and understanding of the various methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

It follows that a barrister must understand the interplay between ADR and litigation in order that they can advise their client appropriately as to which steps to take and when. This module will equip you with the knowledge and understanding of ADR, civil procedure and civil evidence that you will need to provide that advice and to enable you to conduct effective civil litigation and/or ADR.

On completion of this module you will be able to demonstrate a sound understanding and knowledge of the progress of civil litigation and dispute resolution from initial considerations through to trial and on to appeals and an ability to apply, the main procedural and evidential rules relevant to civil matters.

Course info

Credits 20

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 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.


Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy