ACCESS TO JUSTICE - 2025/6

Module code: LAW3137

Module Overview

This module builds on students’ knowledge gained at levels 4 and 5 concerning the rule of law. The module content and assessment strategy provide students with a theoretical understanding of social justice and welfare issues in the UK, while acknowledging that access to justice is central for the rule of law to operate effectively. It assesses the inadequacies of the legal system resulting from cuts to legal aid and local authority funding to the advice sector. The module examines the challenges of making legal services and the justice system more accessible, including an analysis of the wider social and economic issues impacting on sustainable development.

Students will evaluate best practice across the legal and justice sectors, the role of lawyers, and ways in which access to justice can be enhanced. Students will have the opportunity to focus their studies on either environmental related or access to law and rights justice dimensions.

The module enhances employability since it contains a clinical legal and policy education element. Streetlaw students design interactive presentations to raise awareness amongst non-lawyers of legal issues.

ELF Students develop legal policy proposals to address current selected environmental issues.

Students develop policy and/or legal writing skills, from levels 4 and 5 to achieve a deeper level of critical thinking and independent learning.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

WILLIAMS Elizabeth (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: 98

Seminar Hours: 20

Practical/Performance Hours: 12

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes:

 


  • Introduction to access to justice,environmental and social policy and the rule of law

  • Concept and methodology of reflective practice throught Streetlaw or Environmental Legal Policy Clinic.

  • History of legal aid, local authority funding and limitations of access to justice

  • Access to Justice and Sustainable Development

  • Social and environmental justice and legal education

  • Legal empowerment, pro bono and the provision of legal services

  • Technology applicable to the access to justice sector

  • Technology, innovation, barriers and benefits, including regulatory concerns (data protection)

  • Reforms and the future of access to justice


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Reflective Essay 30
Coursework Topic Essay 70

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

  The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:


  • Knowledge and understanding of topics covered in seminars

  • Understanding of key access to justice issues and evaluation of complex theoretical perspectives

  • Critical engagement and reasoned analysis

  • Evaluation and synthesis of the wider social/moral/ethical context

  • Analytical ability to draw appropriate conclusions, based upon analysis of the issues raised by the questions.

  • Critical engagement in scholarly debate

  • Ability to critically reflect and evaluate

  • Ability to link theory to practice



The assessment method addresses all learning outcomes listed above, demonstrating achievement of learning. The assessment of learning empowers students to self-regulate and critically evaluate.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • Students undertake 2 X summative assessments –


    • 1000 Word Reflective Streetlaw Essay

    • 2000 Word Essay





Formative assessment


  • Students undertake 2 x formative assessments –

  • 1000 word essay

  • + 500 word Streetlaw reflection.



Feedback



  • To help develop resourcefulness and resilience, students assume responsibility to improve their learning and will receive weekly feedback on their progress which is reflected in seminar contributions and individual performance in Streetlaw or ELF legal policy clinic and reflective practice. Written feedback and verbal feedback will be provided on formative assessments building upon feedback at levels 4 and 5.



‘The assessment method for each module has been selected to test a variety of key skills, competences and outcomes as required by QAA. As such, assessment method cannot be changed. Reasonable adjustment may be made on application subject to ALS approval AND only where such adjustment still allows for the required skills, key competences and outcomes to be assessed at an equivalent level.’

Module aims

  • To provide an overview of social, environmental and welfare issues in the UK
  • Examine the nature of access to justice in its broadest sense
  • Identify the barriers and limitations to access to justice
  • Understand and appreciate that access to justice is central to the rule of law
  • Evaluate the wider issues relating to access to justice and the impact on sustainable development
  • Encourage the consideration of substantive law within the broader economic, social environmental and political context
  • Examine procedural issues contributing to the economic, environmental and social inequality in access to justice
  • Critically assess whether technology can be harnessed to improve access to justice

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Assess the provision of community legal services in the UK and, during seminar discussions, identify the fundamentals of the access to justice sector from a practical and theoretical viewpoint KCPT
002 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of interrelated concepts, social policy, access to justice and the rule of law and critically evaluate the professional and ethical issues involved in the workings of the justice system when preparing and completing formative and summative assessments KCPT
003 Analyse the wider social,environmental and economic issues relating to access to justice and understand the impact on sustainable development KCPT
004 Understand the benefits and barriers to technology adoption and application in the justice and legal sector and evaluate innovative ways in which access to justice can be improved and equally available to all KCPT
005 Critically assess reform proposals and recommendations related to access to justice and communicate legal arguments, both orally and in writing KCPT
006 Demonstrate independent research and study skills, co-ordination, collaboration, and effective team-work through active participation in seminars and ELF legal policy casework or Streetlaw 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:

 


  • Follow a problem-based learning methodology.

  • It is delivered through interactive Seminars, with a clinical related element, in the form of an experiential, community-based project, Streetlaw or topic specific environmental legal policy project working with ELF partners.

  • External practitioner guest speakers contribute towards discussions that take place during the seminars.



 

The learning and teaching methods typically comprises:

 

 

During and in advance of seminars, students carry out research to come prepared to answer and discuss seminar questions using guided materials.

 

Working in teams, students actively engage in the research, design and preparation of their Streetlaw workshops which will be delivered to school students on a range of legal topics or research and drafting of legal policy analysis to be delivered to ELF partners on a range of environmental topics.

 

Students gain important transferable skills, enhancing employability, such as teamwork, communication, organisation, presentation, collaboration, digital literacy and research skills.

 

 

These sessions are delivered in collaboration with the Library and learning resources team to demonstrate the practical elements of legal skills and research. 

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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW3137

Other information

The School of Law is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

 

Employability: The knowledge, understanding, qualities and skills that are developed throughout this module provides students with the opportunity to develop important transferable skills required for future employment and professional identity, such as teamwork, presentation skills, communication, cooperation, time-management skills.

 

Digital Capabilities: Digital literacy skills and digital innovation, are developed through participation in the clinical elements of this module’s research, design, presentations and interactive workshops, adopting the use of online learning and teaching platforms, such as Slido and Kahoot. Students conduct research and examine whether technology is critical to improving access to justice.

 

Global and Cultural Capabilities: This module allows students to gain global and cultural awareness when making a comparative analysis with other countries and cultures in considering how to achieve sustainable development. Students consider substantive law within the broader economic, environmental, social and political context and the impact on inclusive growth and citizen well-being. The methodology, problem-based learning, provides learning opportunities that use real-world issues and problems to increase knowledge and understanding.

 

Sustainability: This module challenges students to think about why access to justice matters and consider how to we can achieve sustainable development in relation to equal access to justice for all and critically assesses international sustainable development goals and what access to justice has to do with health, employment, housing, overcoming poverty and education. Students examine the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in relation to Goal 16, Access to Justice for All, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.

 

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Law students will develop resourcefulness and resilience through academic opportunities and the student-centred methodology adopted in this module, i.e. problem based learning. Students will actively participate during interactive seminars and assume responsibility to improve their learning, and, working in small groups, the context is organized around scenarios to develop a high level of analytical skills. The module structure, content, methodology and assessment, encourages students to think critically and to carry out research to address complex issues. This develops students’ approach to a deeper level of understanding and independent learning. The critical self-reflection assessment is designed with a view to students demonstrating a deep level of critical self-reflection of one’s own work and the skills and qualities acquired.

 

 

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Professional Legal Practice (SQE Pathway) LLM 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
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 (Law and Technology Pathway) LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Philosophy, Politics and Law Pathway) LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Law, Environment and Sustainability Pathway) LLB (Hons) 2 Compulsory 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.