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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

HECS5292M Social Work Law 1

15 creditsClass Size: 30

If you are applying for a stand-alone Masters level module please note you must meet either the general University entry criteria or the specific module pre-requisite for this level of study.

Module manager: Iain Moody

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Entry criteria for MA programme

Module replaces

HECS5161M Social Work Law 1

This module is not approved as an Elective


- To develop a critical understanding of the relationship between the legislature, judiciary and the executive in England and Wales
- To explore how legislation and guidance can advance or constrain people's rights and recognise how the law may be used to protect or advance their rights and entitlements.
- To explore and apply the profession's ethical principles and legislation, taking into account of these in making decisions.
- To begin to identify concerns about practice and procedures and with support, begin to find appropriate means of challenge and recourse for professionals and service users.
- To develop a critical and reflective knowledge of the application of the range of orders available to the courts when making decisions in relation to individual adult and child service users.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module students will;
1. Have a critical approach to the role of the legislature in creating new law and its relationship with government and society.
2. Have a detailed understanding of case law precedent and its implications for social work practice and decision making.
3. Be able to critically appraise the judiciary and the role it plays in society.
4. Have a detailed knowledge and understanding of the legal framework of England and Wales as it applies to social work practice, including, principles, structures, values and processes including international perspectives.
5. Have an analytic and reflective understanding of the application of anti-oppressive practice in social work including how to negotiate the rights, duties and responsibilities of the state and service users and carers when implementing legal interventions.
6. Be able to analyse legislation pertaining to rights and discrimination.

Skills outcomes
2.2, 2.3, 2.7
5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4
6.1, 6.2
8.4, 8.8
9.1, 9.3
13.1, 13.2, 13, 13.4
14.5, 14.6, 14.7

Professionalism 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.7
Values & ethics 2.1, 2.2
Diversity 3.1, 3.2
Rights etc 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4
Knowledge 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5
Reflection & analysis 6.2, 6.4, 6.5
Intervention & skills 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.10, 7.12, 7.13
Context/Organisation 8.1, 8.2, 8.4, 8.6


- An in-depth and critical examination of the role of the legislature and how laws and are created and implemented.
- A critical exploration of the court structure, judiciary and legal processes in England and Wales including:
i.Criminal and Civil law
ii.Private and Public Law
- Exploration of the relationship between the disciplines of law and social work.
- Court visit: students to attend observe and critically reflect on the experience of court for themselves and the service users observed.
- Data protection, confidentiality and freedom of information
- The law relating to rights and discrimination including, race, sex, age, sexuality and disability. Equality of opportunity at work and the resolution of disputes.
- A critical exploration of the implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 on social work practice and domestic law.
- A detailed overview of the different avenues for redress for service users to challenge social work practice including the Human Rights acts 1989.
- An introduction to the Children Act 1989, orders and investigatory procedures s.17 s.37 s.47. Significant harm and thresholds Common Assessment Framework, Initial and Core Assessments
- An introduction to legislation pertaining to Adults including the NHSCCA Act - s.47 investigations use of s.51. 'No Secrets'.
- An introduction to Mental Health Legislation which will include the Mental Health Act 1983, 2007, Mental Capacity Act 2005
- An introduction to Youth Justice Legislation in the context of society's view of adolescents and youth crime.
- International perspectives in social work legislation - comparative values, ethics and provision in social work legislation

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment10.255.00
Independent online learning hours30.00
Private study hours84.75
Total Contact hours35.25
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

On line exercises to reinforce classroom learning
On line discussion and sharing of research for case studies
Reading to complete group task and essay

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminars will provide formative evidence of student progress
On line exercises will provide self assessment and outline gaps in student knowledge

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Oral PresentationAnalysis of court visit15.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)15.00

The verbal individual presentation will be the student's reflective account of the court visit incorporating relevant social work theory and considering issues such as rights responsibilities and duties. Students will present for 8mins with questions from the class of 4 minutes. Students will be given guidance and support in preparing for this. Court visits will be organised by the tutor in cooperation with the court service. Students will have the option of organising their own court visit. A 2 hour exam at the end of the module will assess the student in relation to the learning outcomes.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Exam with advance information on questions2 hr 85.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)85.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:37:17


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