The Law of Evidence - LAWS5180

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 6 30 (15) Darren Weir checkmark-circle


The module aims to provide students with: an understanding of the adversarial trial structure and its impact on the content of the law of evidence, particularly in the context of the criminal trial; an understanding of forensic reasoning skills; a familiarisation with the content of some of the key evidential rules; encouragement to identify and debate current issues within the law of evidence with confidence, including the importance of due process and how it relates to notions of truth and fact finding; and the ability to apply the legal rules and principles within a critical framework.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 60
Private study hours: 240
Total study hours: 300


This module is only available to students in Stage 3. Optional to all single and joint honours undergraduate law courses – may not be taken by non-law students

Method of assessment

13.1 Main assessment methods

The module will be assessed by Coursework (40%) and exam (60%) OR, Coursework (40%) and Dissertation (60%)

Examination (3 hours) - 60% OR
Dissertation (6000 words) – 60%


Coursework - multiple choice test - 10%


Coursework - problem based assignment (3,000 words) - 30% **, OR
Coursework - moot – 30%, OR
Coursework - mock trial – 30%

(Moot/mock-trial are subject to availability – default coursework element will be the problem-based assignment)

** The problem based assignment is pass compulsory for students undertaking a dissertation.

13.2 Reassessment methods

Like-for-like, namely an exam, multiple choice test and the problem-based scenario coursework.

• If the moot or mock trial is failed in either assessment pattern (exam or dissertation), then the replacement for that element of assessment shall be a problem-based coursework assignment.
• If the dissertation is failed, then the replacement for it shall be the re-sit exam.

The problem-based coursework assignment will be pass compulsory on resit for any student that has otherwise passed their dissertation.

Indicative reading

• Anderson T. and Twining W., Analysis of Evidence (Weidenfeld, 2nd ed., 2005)
• Dennis I., The Law of Evidence (Sweet and Maxwell, 4th ed., 2013)
• Durston G., Evidence: Text and Materials (Oxford, 2nd ed., 2011)
• Huxley P., Blackstone's Statutes: Evidence, 14th edition (Oxford University Press: 2016).
• McEwan J., Evidence and the Adversarial Process (Hart, 2nd ed., 1998)
• Munday R., Evidence (Oxford, 9th ed. 2017)
• Roberts and Zuckerman, Criminal Evidence (Oxford, 2nd ed., 2010)
• Tapper C. (ed.), Cross on Evidence (LexisNexis, 11th ed., 2007)
• Uglow S., Evidence: Text and Materials (Sweet and Maxwell, 2nd ed., 2006)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the skills of forensic reasoning and how these are applied in the courtroom.
2. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the functions, principles and rules of evidence as used in English and Welsh Courts.
3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the relationship between the rules and principles of evidence and the European Convention on Human Rights.
4. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the main sources of literature on the law of evidence, from a range of disciplines.
5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of methods of forensic reasoning within the rules of evidence to be used in a given situation.
6. Critically assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the rules of evidence and procedure.
7. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the policy implications of procedural issues and law reform in this area.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Undertake guided and independent legal research by taking into account a variety of sources of information.
2. Demonstrate argumentation skills.
3. Engage critically with legal and non-legal sources.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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