Module code: LAW3129

Module Overview

The module explores a practical context for the criminal law concepts introduced in Year 1. It also provides a means for students to consider the practical application of the Human Rights Act (and ECHR) introduced in Public Law 1 at Level 4 (in particular the right to a fair trial).

Specifically, the module covers the rules of criminal evidence in the jurisdiction of England and Wales. It examines these in the context of a Not Guilty trial in the Crown Court.

It begins by considering the general principles (including theoretical rationales) of admissibility and exclusion of evidence and then each week examines these in light of a particular area of regulation using the applicable statutes, case law and academic opinion.

It will be of general interest for the majority of law students but will be particularly valuable for those seeking employment as solicitors and barristers as the matters learned here will stand them in good stead for similar modules when preparing for the Solicitors Qualifying Exam and Bar exams.

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: 67

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 7

Guided Learning: 32

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • The philosophy and rationale for the law of evidence

  • The context of the Crown Court trial

  • Right to Silence

  • Confession Evidence

  • Improperly Obtained Evidence

  • Identification

  • Hearsay

  • Character Evidence.

  • Opinion

  • Previous Sexual History

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Online 4 HOUR ONLINE EXAM 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the stated module learning outcomes and develop competencies through their learning that will enhance the University’s core educational objectives of employability, digital capabilities, global and cultural intelligence, and resourcefulness and resilience. The strategy will include a number of opportunities for individual and group feedback that will stimulate improvements in their understanding of the module topics and the skills necessary to achieve the best results in the summative assessment.

  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

An exam which will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate and analyse the issues arising within one or more of the topics covered during the module.

  Formative assessment

An exam equal to half of the summative assessment which will require to

demonstrate an awareness of evidential issues and to provide an opportunity for feedback thereon.


        Is provided in three ways:

  1. On script and general feedback for formative.

  2. General feedback lecture based upon formative performance of cohort.

  3. One-to-one, face-to-face feedback (optional).

Module aims

  • To provide a foundational knowledge and understanding of the principles of criminal evidence in England and Wales.
  • To introduce and examine theoretical rationales for the admission/exclusion of evidence thereby providing a framework within which the appropriateness and efficacy of the rules of evidence can be evaluated.
  • To introduce and examine the competing legal and policy considerations that shape the rules of evidence within each topic studied.
  • To equip students with the knowledge and skills to engage in the critical evaluation of the operation of the relevant law in the specific situations studied.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the general theories and principles underpinning the laws of evidence. K
002 Demonstrate a critical awareness of the competing interests with the criminal justice system generally and specifically within each topic studied. KC
003 Apply and critically analyse the application of the relevant statutes and case law to the topics studied KCPT
004 Conduct independent legal research (including the use of legal databases) and demonstrate core legal skills (oral and written) during teaching and assessment. KCPT
005 Demonstrate a critical awareness of the implications of the human right to a fair trial for the laws of evidence KCPT

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:

Stimulate students to achieve the learning outcomes of the module and provide a practical context at Level 6 for them to apply knowledge (such as criminal law and human rights) and skills that they have learned previously during their programme.

Teaching will be supported by the University’s VLE, SurreyLearn, and will employ a mix of two-hour lectures and one-hour tutorials.

Lectures will use an imaginative mix of art, music, video, role play, scenarios, questions, and didactic delivery to communicate the key information.

The first lecture will cover the general principles involved in the subject and the context of a Crown Court trial. Thereafter, each week the lecture will explore the specific issues involved in a single topic. It will begin with a debate upon the facts of a key legal case to situate the topic and provide an early opportunity for students to identify and question the core issues that the law is grappling with. Thereafter, the second half of the lecture will take a critical look at the solutions that the law has come up with to deal with the tensions/issues previously identified. Providing groups remain below 100 there will be sufficient time and space for effective student participation within this format.

There will also be a feedback lecture to respond to the formative assessment and two revision lectures in preparation for the summative assessment.

The tutorials will mirror the lecture topics and require students to undertake set readings, answer set questions and participate in the debate stimulated by the readings and questions. The questions will stimulate the students to think critically and in debate challenge the law’s answer to the problems/issues involved. Students will need to be resourceful in the gathering of evidence and resilient to the challenges of legal debate. Research will require students to use the digital capabilities required for the use of practice databases such as Westlaw and Lexis Nexus – these are the same databases they are likely to use once employed.

An online discussion forum will be available for questions and discussion when teaching is not taking place.

The thought processes, arguments and delivery of the arguments employed on this module are similar to those in legal practice and will therefore enhance student employability.

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

Other information

Employability: The module examines a practical area of law and one that is studied as part of further courses required to qualify as a solicitor or barrister. It equips students with the knowledge and skills required in further education and which can eventually be used in practice for those that go on to qualify as criminal lawyers.

Digital Capabilities: Students will engage with the module via the virtual learning environment (SurreyLearn). They will also be required to find tutorial resources and undertake further research using the external legal databases such as Westlaw and LexisNexus.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Students will be encouraged to be active participants in the learning and teaching events and will have ample opportunity to participate in questioning and debating the issues involved. Students will be encouraged to spend a good deal of time reflecting upon the material, the scenarios and the issues/tensions involved. The formative assessment is designed to provide an opportunity for feedback and reflection and will enable improvements to be made for the summative exam.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Law and Technology Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Philosophy, Politics and Law Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Law, Environment and Sustainability Pathway) LLB (Hons) 1 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 2025/6 academic year.