Coventry University provides immersive learning as 3 faculties combine in mock criminal law case

Coventry University students from the faculties of Business and Law, Health and Life Sciences and Arts and Humanities studied together in a fully immersive learning experience using its state-of-the-art facilities.

The exercise was designed to deliver and develop practical, industry-focused skills and centred around a case of domestic violence scripted by law students – beginning with drama students acting out a scenario in one of the university’s simulated homes, which nursing and paramedic students use to train and prepare for real world challenges.

Paramedic students then arrived at the scene of the incident to assess and treat the casualty, before the suspect was charged, prompting a mock court case.

Law students then represented the defendant and prosecution respectively in Coventry University’s Moot Room – a full replica of a law court designed to prepare trainee lawyers for their transition into the profession. Journalism students reported on the case from the public gallery and approached the couple involved for interviews after the court proceedings.

Alan East, Associate Head of School (Student Experience) in Coventry University’s Faculty of Business and Law, spearheaded the project to enable and facilitate a truly unique collaboration.

He said: “Providing our students with hands-on, industry-relevant experience is crucial to their development in all of their respective professions, so the opportunity to utilise our diverse faculties and cutting-edge facilities to enable a collaboration like this was a no-brainer.

“We were delighted to see our talented students showcase their skills in front of one another and put them into practice in a competitive yet supportive environment. This is a fine example of how our faculties can work together to enrich the educational experience we can offer and to maximise students’ opportunities to fine-tune their skills and knowledge.”

There are hopes the project can continue as the mock law case develops, allowing students to delve into a complex, unpredictable scenario and understand how their professions and roles could impact on similar real-world situations. The ultimate aim is to help students to develop a diverse range of versatile skills they can apply in the workplace.

Law student Paige Evans was the prosecuting lawyer in the court case, and says she found the experience invaluable.

She said: “It was a really engaging and challenging learning experience. We were put in positions and situations where we really had to think on our feet which is of course great preparation for the real world and it felt like a really hands-on and industry-focused way of practicing and honing our skills. It was also great to collaborate with students from other faculties and courses, such as the drama students who we as lawyers were representing in court – they played a brilliant role and really added to the realism of the scenario.”

Theatre and Professional Practice student Megan Hine played a starring role in the trial as the defendant.

She said: “I feel so grateful and lucky that we were given the opportunity to get involved in such a unique project. Because of forward-thinking, creative initiatives like this I actually feel really confident and positive ahead of graduating as I feel I’ve been set up really well for the industry I want to go into. Acting is all about being adaptable and learning to develop a deeper understanding of roles you might play, and I feel as though this project has been so helpful in that respect.”

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