Module code: LAW2091

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

HAMILTON M Dr (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 5

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework FINAL 3000 WORD COURSEWORK 80
Practical based assessment GROUP/INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION 20

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

This module is interdisciplinary in nature, tracing the private and public conceptualisations of domestic violence through changing political, economic, and legal cultures. Domestic violence has until recently been a largely neglected area of criminal justice research and policy. Yet the last few decades have witnessed significant changes in the attention that politicians and criminal justice officials give toward modifying existing legal structures and crafting new policies designed to address the unique nature of domestic violence offending and victimisation. The module covers victimisation and perpetration, laws and policies, and criminal justice responses regarding domestic violence. Domestic violence in the United Kingdom is a focus, yet comparative contexts across the globe are considered as well.

Module aims

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Understanding domestic violence

Types and intents
Gendered nature
Contextualising abusive relationships

Theoretical explanations for perpetration and victimisation in domestic violence

Power and control
Cycle of violence
Connection between sports and domestic violence
Battered women’s syndrome
Trauma response

Laws and policies regarding domestic violence

Historical development
Specialised family violence statutes
Influence of committee reports
New coercive control statute

Multi-agency responses

Policing domestic violence

Arrest policies
Domestic violence disclosure scheme
Investigating technology use in stalking

Civil protective orders

Prosecuting domestic violence crimes

Charging decisions
Victims’ rights
Vulnerable victims and witnesses
Evidentiary issues

Courts and sentencing

Specialised courts
Domestic violence advisers
Expert witnesses

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to introduce topics and contextualise their importance to criminal justice practices. Case studies as well as the results of empirical research on topics of interest are critically assessed. Each week’s materials are not to be read in isolation, but are designed to build on the cumulative knowledge students should gain as the module moves forward. Students are asked to consider, with a nuanced and critical analysis, why certain conduct regarding domestic violence has been criminalised or not and why. We consider the moral and policy considerations that legislators face in deciding to criminalise behaviors and the punishments that they tie to unlawful acts. The recently enacted English law on coercive control is a particular focus.

The learning and teaching methods include:

An emphasis on interactive class discussion and debate.
Encouragement in spotting relevant social, policy, and legal issues.
Assigned readings and lecture material are integrated with class exercises.
Forms of media (film, audio, and print) highlighting issues relevant to the course content will be incorporated.
The class presentations are designed to encourage students to structure material and to effectively present ideas and arguments orally, as public speaking is a common practice in a legal career.
Students will be encouraged to ask respectful questions of interest during the group/individual presentations given by other students.
The summative coursework is designed to allow students to demonstrate learning from the written materials, class discussions, and exercises.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills as critical thinkers and oral communicators, while additionally showing their mastery of the course material and their engagement with relevant literature.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Group/Individual class presentation; and
Final essay at the end of the module

Formative assessment

Seminars involve group activities. Students will receive ongoing individual feedback during seminars and oral feedback on group activities.

Students will be encouraged to discuss their planned group or individual presentation to get feedback from the course convenor prior to their scheduled presentations.

Students will be afforded the opportunity to gain written feedback via a formative assessment (1,500 word coursework) that will not count toward the final grade but may improve the students’ summative assessments.


Will be given orally on the class presentation.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.