LW5006 - Human Rights and Law Reform

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn about some of the human rights that are protected by law in England and Wales. You will learn about the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the way in which the Human Rights Act 1998 has affected how human rights are protected. You will achieve detailed knowledge of the law relating to particular topics studied during the course. Topics will be based upon the substantive rights contained in the ECHR but can change to suit topical issues in any given year. For example topics could include some of the following:

• The Right to Life
• Liberty
• The Right to a Fair Trial
• Miscarriages of Justice
• Privacy
• Obscenity
• Freedom of Expression
• Freedom of Association and Assembly
• Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion
• Terrorism Offences
• Sexuality and the Law
• Prisoners’ rights

You will also gain an understanding of areas of law that may need reform and develop and justify your own opinion about what reforms are needed while being able to recognise other potential conclusions.

You will further develop your ability to identify gaps in your knowledge and to ask searching questions about human rights law along with the ability to carry out your own research in this area. Through reflecting on your learning, you will learn more about your own learning and enhance your ability to work independently and with others, a key employability skill. This will, among other benefits, help prepare you for working in the Student Law Office at Level 6.

How will I learn on this module?

This module is delivered by a blend of lectures and Problem-Based Learning sessions in workshops and studio hubs. The lectures in this module will provide background and contextual information, allowing you to then delve deeper into the law in your Problem-Based Learning sessions. In addition to the lectures, you will be directed and closely facilitated in your learning by a mixture of attendance at supervised studio sessions (group guided sessions in computer hub/collaborative working spaces) and small group (Workshops) as well as via an opportunity for independent reading and research and group tasks. The module is Tutor-guided and facilitated and your learning will take place through a combination of collaborative (team work with a small group of students) and wholly independent, self-directed, learning.

Supervised Studio Sessions
These sessions will take place in collaborative work spaces. You will be put into small groups and given a factual legal scenario (the ‘Problem’ in the Problem-Based Learning) which will form the basis of your learning. In your groups you will identify for yourselves (facilitated by the Tutor) what areas of law you need to research the question. You will then use these sessions, as well as your own time and with the other members of the group outside of taught sessions, to research the question. The tutor will guide and facilitate you through this process.

The small group sessions will be used for you to demonstrate and receive feedback on the learning you have achieved through the Supervised Studio Sessions and through your collaborative and independent learning, for a critical discussion of the law to take place between you and the Tutor, and for you to reflect upon your personal and professional learning journey in the module up to that point in time.

Collaborative and Independent Learning
You will be required to work collaboratively with others, and independently, to research areas of law to address the ‘problem’ you have been set. This will entail you working on your research skills to identify further reading material and legal sources which will lead to deeper knowledge and understanding of the topics.

Assessment of learning
Your learning will be assessed at the end of the Module via a written assignment. The ‘problems’ and tasks covered through the course of the module will act as preparation for the final assessment and you will receive formative feedback orally in Studio Sessions and Workshops on those tasks.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University will support you in learning and research with an excellent library and teaching facilities, access to on-line databases and resources and appropriate software.

This Module is designed and will be managed by the Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the Module. Material will be delivered to you in the timetabled sessions and through the eLP. The Module has a dedicated eLP site which includes workshop instruction briefs, and other relevant resources. This is in addition to the reading list.

The comprehensive online reading list includes books, articles, television and radio programmes. You will have regular contact with your Tutor. Should you have queries you may speak to your Tutor or e-mail them with your query. Support will include oral feedback from Tutors during the timetabled sessions. Your Tutor will also be available to answer queries by e mail or in person, provided an appointment has been arranged. You are encouraged to make contact with your Tutor if you encounter any difficulties relating to any aspect of the Module.

The Programme Administration and Student Liaison teams are responsible for the non-academic administration of the Module, such as receiving your completed assignment, returning your marked assignment and recording your marks.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding
At the end of the Module you will have:

• Apply and interpret substantive and procedural law of Human Rights in the wider context of a hypothetical or actual legal case or project.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities

At the end of the Module you will be able :
• To recognise ambiguity and uncertainty in Human Rights law and identify potential alternative conclusions and provide supporting reasons for them.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

At the end of the Module you will have:
• Developed intellectual independence by being able to ask and answer cogent questions about the law relating to human rights and the development of the law relating to human rights. You will also have identified gaps in your knowledge and acquired new knowledge.
• Developed independent thinking and curiosity.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will be provided by oral feedback in timetabled sessions on the formative tasks that are required for effective workshop participation.

Summative Assessment will be undertaken on an individual basis by way of assignment which constitutes 100% of the marks for this module.

Within your assignment you need to identify and explain the law, critically analyse it and suggest proposals for how that area of law should be reformed. There will be sessions at the end of the module which will be used to explain and explore the assessment for each particular year.

Assessment criteria are provided to enable you to understand what is expected of you and how you will be judged on your performance.

You will be provided with appropriate written feedback on your final assessment in accordance with the Law School’s Undergraduate feedback policy.





Module abstract

You will critically explore how certain topical human rights are protected in England and Wales, leading you to identify areas you believe are in need of reform. Rather than solely being ‘lectured’ about the state of the law, you will primarily find out about it for yourself by working with other students and independently on specific ‘problem scenarios’. You will learn not only what the current state of the law is, but be encouraged to think critically about how you think the law could be improved.

You will be studying a topical, dynamic and fascinating area of the law which impacts upon everyone’s lives and can protect vulnerable sections of society and minority groups. You will actively engage with how the law can be reformed, which is not something you will normally get to spend much time doing.
There may be an opportunity to present your work to a wider audience (for example those involved in enacting and/or reforming legislation).

Course info

UCAS Code M101

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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