LW7118 - Criminal Litigation

What will I learn on this module?

The Criminal Litigation module is delivered on the Bar Course and across the portfolio of Bar Courses at Northumbria University. Building on foundation knowledge from criminal law modules on your qualifying law degree, this module will familiarise you with current procedures relating to the following topics:

- Preliminaries to prosecution;
- Bail and remands;
- Pre-trial issues;
- Disclosure;
- Indictments;
- The roles of the Magistrates’, Crown and Appellate Courts;
- Youth Courts;
- Summary trial procedure;
- Preliminaries to trial in the Crown Court and jury trial procedure;
- Sentencing powers of the various courts;
- Appeal procedures.

On completion of this module, you will be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of criminal process as a whole, knowledge of how cases progress through the system and an understanding of, and an ability to apply, the main procedural and evidential rules relevant to criminal 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 sessions will be recorded via Panopto and made available to students via the eLP for the purposes of revision.

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

• Developed an ability to apply substantive knowledge of criminal procedure, evidence and sentencing to practical legal scenarios, developing problem-solving and other legal skills within an ethical framework.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Developed an ability to conduct rigorous and independent legal research in the area of criminal procedure, evidence and sentencing, selecting, using and applying the relevant material 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 criminal procedure 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 criminal litigation 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 address 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 exam, which will be set centrally by the Bar Standards Board. Feedback for the mock examination will be given via the e-learning portal.

Summative assessment: The module will be assessed by one closed book 3 hour assessment, centrally set and electronically marked by the Bar Standards Board. The examination comprises of 75 multiple choice questions, including single best answer questions. A broad range, and any part of the syllabus may be assessed.





Module abstract

Criminal 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.

The practical focus of the module leads to an understanding of how criminal proceedings develop from commencement to trial, and to an understanding of evidential rules and the sentencing powers of the criminal courts. It is assessed by way of a centralised assessment set and marked by the Bar Standards Board.

On completion of the module, you will be able to demonstrate a sound understanding of criminal process as a whole, how cases progress through the criminal justice system and an ability to apply procedural rules relevant to criminal matters in a practical manner.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full 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.


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