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Unit information: Evidence in 2021/22

Unit name Evidence
Unit code LAWD20038
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mr. George
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

Having studied Criminal Law, you will have seen the importance of particular facts in determining the guilt or innocence of the accused. But what information about the case is the court allowed to hear? Who, for example, is allowed to give evidence in a criminal trial and are there any restrictions in what they are allowed to say? This subject is a vital component in any future advocate's training.

This unit will examine:

  • The adversarial system;
  • Competence and compellability of witnesses;
  • Burden and standard of proof;
  • Character evidence;
  • Hearsay evidence.

Intended Learning Outcomes

When presented with a set of facts you should be able to:

  • Identify the evidential issues arising from those facts;
  • Cite relevant case law and statutory authority;
  • Explain how that authority applies to the evidential issues raised by the facts, or how the facts may be distinguished;
  • Draw a reasoned conclusion as to how those issues may be resolved.
  • Present arguments for and against the proposition, citing relevant authorities and the views of other writers, and assessing the weight of their arguments;
  • Cite judicial and statutory authorities which support or rebut the proposition;
  • Examine any relevant reform proposals;
  • Draw a reasoned conclusion as to whether you agree or disagree with the proposition.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Information

1 x summative assessment: Timed Open Book Assessment with a specified word count (100%)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LAWD20038).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.