LW3FAM-Family Law

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn and Spring
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2012/3

Module Convenor: Dr Therese Callus

Email: M.C.Callus@reading.ac.uk

This module aims to provide students with a working knowledge of the private law relating to the family and to family breakdown, including the law of family financial provision. It aims to give students the opportunity to develop their research skills and the habit of independent, critical thought, in particular by encouraging them to consider critically the continuing agenda of family law reform.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•explain how the law responds to situations involving marriage and other family partnerships, divorce, domestic violence, the care of children after family breakdown, and financial provision following family breakdown;

•apply the law by analysing and discussing concrete problem situations;

•appraise critically the law and policy in this field, and to explain and assess the various possibilities for reform;

•organise their material and communicate their arguments effectively in the context of this emotionally charged subject, in the written examination.

Additional outcomes:
Students will also be expected to demonstrate, in tutorials, the following skills:
•effective oral communication of legal argument;

•the ability to work as part of a team in the discussion and communication of legal argument.

Outline content:
•Trends in Family Law and Policy
•Formal partnerships: Marriage and Civil Partners; Informal partnerships: Cohabitation
•Divorce and separation
•Domestic violence
•Financial provision on the breakdown of relationships
•The basic principles of the Children Act 1989, and arrangements for children on the break-up of the family

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
All lectures will take place in the Autumn Term. All tutorials will be held in the Spring Term. The tutorials will include teamwork exercises. There will be one non-assessed essay.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 60 100 10
Total hours by term 80 110 10
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:

Method Percentage
Written exam 100

Other information on summative assessment:
One three-hour examination paper. Three questions to be answered from a selection of questions.

Formative assessment methods:
One non-assessed written assignment to be completed during the Autumn term.
Group presentations in Spring term seminars.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadine. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
    (Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)

    Length of examination:
    One three-hour examination paper. Three questions to be answered from a selection of questions.

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    See School Guide (Programme Assessment).

    Last updated: 7 May 2012

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