LW1SOC-Law & Society

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Not open to students on any LLB degree
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Mrs Amanda Millmore

Email: a.t.l.millmore@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This exciting and challenging course offers students a chance to consider the ‘big picture’ of how the law has developed, and its role in every facet of society. Students will learn that the law is not just a matter of arcane rules and procedure, rather it often reflects a nation wrestling with its conscience. From the abolition of the slave trade, to the recent Supreme Court decision on joint enterprise, the law changes and develops at a rapid pace. This course will also consider the new challenges in the law posed by the rising use of social media, and how the law has impacted upon the changing role of women in society.


Students will have the opportunity to develop their presentation and research skills and to work in small groups as part of their assessment. The course will be engaging, challenging and encourage student participation through a range of hands-on activities.


To provide students with an introduction to the foundations of English law and a deeper understanding of current themes in the law (including human rights, criminal law, women and the law, law and morality and social media in the law). To provide an opportunity to practice working and presenting within groups, a key employability skill.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • Identify the sources and administrative structure of English law and the role of human rights law;

  • Describe the operation of the criminal justice system and analyse current issues in criminal law;

  • Evaluate current issues facing women and the law;

  • Analyse current issues in relation to law and morality;

  • Describe and analyse the impact of social media in the legal system, its use evidentially, procedurally and as a source of the cause of action;

  • Identify some fundamental legal rules and apply these rules in considering legal issues;

  • Formulate and evaluate simple legal arguments;

Additional outcomes:

During the seminars students will be expected to be active participants. Each seminar will have a focus activity which the students will need to prepare for in advance and often involve some form of presentation.

  • Students will develop research skills and technology skills in preparing for and completing these exercises.

  • Students will improve their presentation, communication and debating skills.

  • Students will be required to work in groups, so will improve their teamwork skills.

Outline content:

  • The English legal system & Introduction to Human Rights: historical development of the English legal system, Court structure, case law and legislation and the doctrine of precedent, understanding the history of the ECHR and protected rights, the Human Rights Act 1998.

  • Social Media and the Law: the impact of social media as evidence in criminal and civil Court proceedings, the use of social media procedurally, social media as a source of the cause of action.

  • Law and Morality: the influence of morality, ethics and religion on the law.

  • Women and the Law: how the law has impacted upon the changing role of women in society.

  • Current issues in Criminal Law: brief introduction to procedure, types of offences and the criminal Court system, sentencing process and procedure, current themes in criminal law.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

We will offer a mix of lectures and seminars covering the 5 main themes, with 10 hours of lectures (5 x 2 hours), alternating each week with seminars (5 x 2 hours) during the term. The final 3 hours will be in the following term (so in the spring term) for assessed group presentations on one of the 5 themes.

There will be a focus activity (eg. debate, presentation, poster) which the students will need to prepare in advance and bring to the seminar to present to the group. We will be encouraging questions and peer review from the observing students. There is an expectation of whole-class participation, which is reflected in the summative assessment, which allocates marks for participation in and preparation for seminars.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 10
Practicals classes and workshops 3
Guided independent study 77
Total hours by term 97.00 3.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Oral assessment and presentation 30
Practical skills assessment 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

1.5 hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Students will gain peer feedback as well as oral feedback from teaching staff during the seminars which will assist them with their essay and group presentation planning. We may offer online resources, including flipped learning videos and multiple choice quizzes via Blackboard to assist in the students’ understanding of the subject.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:

    As for the first attempt, but during the summer re-take period. Students must re-take either the assessed essay or group presentation (which may be adapted to an individual presentation for re-assessment purposes) where they have a mark below 40 in either. Marks for an element of 40 or over will usually be carried forward to calculation of the re-take mark; but students may opt to re-take that element to try to improve the mark for it without prejudice to their existing mark for it.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 8 May 2018


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