Module code: LAW3129

Module Overview

The module covers the rules of criminal evidence in England and Wales. It focuses first on the general principles of admissibility and the role of evidence within the criminal justice system. Thereafter, it examines the admissibility and probative value of different forms of evidence, its role in the adversarial system and its influence on the jury. The module will cover theoretical rationales for admission/exclusion and analyse the relevant principles from statute and case law while taking into account the defendant’s right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

CLAPHAM Nick (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 122

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 6

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Theoretical perspectives on admission/exclusion of evidence.

  • Burden and standard of proof.

  • Right to silence and confession evidence.

  • Competence and compellability of witnesses including spouses and children.

  • Anonymity orders.

  • Hearsay evidence.

  • Identification evidence.

  • Character evidence.

  • Previous sexual history.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination TWO HOUR EXAM 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment address all the learning outcomes listed above.

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have understood key principles of evidence and are able to evaluate these from a theoretical perspective as well as appreciating the policy implications of the various rules of evidence. It will also allow students to demonstrate their ability to apply the law to a series of factual situations.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A two-hour unseen examination

Formative assessment and feedback

The formative assessment will take the form of a mock exam completed during a lecture. Students will receive written feedback on their formative assessment plus have an opportunity to discuss their performance in person. Students will also receive oral feedback in a feedback lecture.

Module aims

  • To provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding of the principles of criminal evidence in England and Wales.
  • To identify a theoretical rationale underpinning the admission/exclusion of evidence thus providing a framework within which the appropriateness and efficacy of the rules of evidence covered in this module can be evaluated.
  • To introduce the competing policy considerations that shape and influence the development of principles of criminal evidence, taking account of the interests of the defendant, the State and witnesses.
  • To equip students with the knowledge and skills to engage in critical evaluation of the current law and to understand how the relevant rules of evidence will operate in a range of practical situations.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principles and policies of the areas of criminal evidence covered KC
002 Show an critical awareness of the competing interests that exist within the criminal justice system and to evaluate different rules of evidence to determine the extent to which these interests are and should be balanced KC
003 Identify, apply and critically evaluate analyse relevant statutory provisions and case law ( KCPT
004 Carry out independent research and demonstrate core legal skills in research, writing, evaluation, analysis and synthesis PT
005 Critically evaluate the central principles, concepts and history of criminal evidence, and the relationship between them, with particular emphasis of the tensions which emerge KCT
006 Critically analyse and evaluate the content of key legal areas covered in the module, with a particular ability to analyse the content of the law in areas where there is tension or a lack of clarity KCT
007 Critically engage with and evaluate the sources of the law of evidence, and in particular engage in critical assessment of the impact of human rights provisions on the principles of criminal evidence covered and situation this analysis within an appropriate theoretical framework KCT
008 Critically engage in discussions regarding competing policy concerns and values which inform the law of criminal evidence and its development, and the relationship between them, in order to be able to propose and defend solutions KCPT
009 Critical engage in scholarly debate regarding the law of criminal evidence, critically analysing the major tendencies within legal scholarship and the relationship between them KCPT
010 Critically engage with and apply knowledge of the primary and secondary legal authorities to solve complex problems and answer complex essay questions which seek to resolve tensions in the competing goals and content of the law of criminal evidence CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

The lectures will provide students with an overview of each topic and set out the key legal principles and policy considerations. Students will be encouraged to consolidate and expand upon lectures through private study and by means of preparation for and engagement in tutorial discussion.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • One two-hour lecture each week for 11 weeks (22 hours)

  • Six one-hour tutorials each semester (6 hours)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW3129

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Criminology BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.