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Study information

Criminal Evidence

Module titleCriminal Evidence
Module codeLAW3213
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Stephanie Dropuljic (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The module is directed towards critical analysis of selected rules of evidence, of particular relevance to criminal trials. It aims to provide you 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. It also aims to familiarise you with the content of some of the key exclusionary rules; to encourage you to identify and debate current issues within the law of evidence with confidence; and to apply the legal rules and principles within a critical framework.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aims of the module are:

  • To provide you with a structure to enable you to critically examine rules of criminal evidence in England and Wales.
  • To enable you to understand a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of criminal evidence law and to make judgements about the ethical issues and values involved.
  • To instil an appreciation of the variety of issues raised by the study of criminal evidence law, and the complexity of those issues particularly in respect of the extent to which they may interrelate.
  • To develop your ability to understand both the variety of principles applicable to criminal evidence law, and to be able to critically assess both existing rules and proposals for change, having regard to existing knowledge and research findings.

To provide you with a variety of opportunities to fulfil the above aims, and to demonstrate knowledge of relevant theoretical approaches, principles and laws and the ability to apply them to particular aspects of criminal evidence law.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the selected rules of evidence
  • 2. Critically evaluate the selected rules of evidence effectively and independently, both as they exist and in relation to proposals for reform

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Demonstrate ability to apply legal knowledge to a problem / case study and to suggest a conclusion supported by relevant arguments
  • 4. Demonstrate ability to integrate and assess information from primary and secondary legal sources using appropriate interpretative techniques

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Conduct appropriate research in relation to specific evidence law issues
  • 6. Produce a structured, coherent and concise argument, using communication methods appropriate to the discipline

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Prosecution and defence disclosure
  • Summary justice
  • Jury trial
  • Burdens and standards of proof
  • Hearsay
  • Barriers to participation in the criminal justice system
  • Character evidence
  • Corroboration
  • The use of witness testimony
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Relevancy of previous sexual history evidence

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities2211 x 2 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities4.53 x 1.5 hour workshops
Guided Independent Study59Individual reading and lecture preparation
Guided Independent Study17Workshop preparation
Guided Independent Study47.5Assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Problem question 1,250 words1-6Written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Problem question1002,500 words1-6Written feedback and discussion on individual request

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Problem questionProblem question (2,500 words)1-6August/September re-assessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • P McKeown and A Keane, The Modern Law of Evidence (14th edition (OUP 2022)
  • Roberts and Zuckerman’s Criminal Evidence (3rd edition, OUP 2022)


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

Key words search

Criminal Process, Evidence

Credit value15
Module ECTS


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date