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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LAW3055 Disability Law

20 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr Amanda Keeling

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Law has a key role to play in constructing a society in which disabled people (who make up approximately 15% of the UK's population) are able to live, flourish and contribute on an equal basis with others. This innovative module adopts a socio-legal approach. It introduces students to theoretical perspectives (particularly those which have political significance such as the social model of disability). It aims to encourage students to reflect critically on law's potential to be 'enabling' - in the sense of facilitating full inclusion and equality for people who have (or have labels of) physical, sensory, cognitive, emotional or other 'impairments'. Integral to this is sensitivity to law's potential to be 'disabling' – in the sense of generating barriers to inclusion. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provides important underpinnings for the module, but the focus of the module is law in the UK (particularly England and Wales). Selected elements of this law will be considered and critiqued in light of the CRPD, the social model of disability and other theoretical perspectives. Analysis and debate will be enriched by the participation throughout the module of people who work in disabled people's organisations and human rights organisations focusing on disability. Prior legal knowledge is not required – non-law students with an interest in disability politics and social justice are encouraged to join us.


The objectives of this module are:
- to introduce students to the idea of critiquing law from a disability perspective;
- to outline, and bring together, some of the key domains of law which focus primarily on disabled people;
- to reflect critically on the role of law in the lives of disabled people, including on issues of access to justice;
- to deepen awareness amongst students of the work of disabled people's and human rights organisations;
- to demonstrate skills to reflect on their own learning practice, to identify strengths and weaknesses, and to engage in a process of active experimentation with their learning and engagement’
- to strengthen collaboration between the Law School and the disability community.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module students will be able to:
- evaluate the role of law in creating barriers for the full participation, autonomy and inclusion of disabled people in society;
- explain and critique the nature and scope of key areas of law as they apply to disabled people;
- consider how legal reform can be used to achieve real change on the ground;
- explain and evaluate the role of disabled people's organisations, and civil society in general, in enhancing the effectiveness of law to achieve social change.


Terminology and normative frameworks ('disability', 'impairment', 'law', social model of disability, human rights (including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities); disability critique of selected elements of 'mainstream' law (i.e. law not primarily concerned with disability such as tort, crime, contract); equality and non-discrimination law – objectives, basic concepts, critique/reform; social care and welfare law – objectives, basic concepts and critique/reform; mental health and mental capacity law – basic concepts, critique/reform; access to justice and the justice system.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning51.005.00
Private study hours176.50
Total Contact hours23.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

The online learning element is broken down into 15 minute tasks, there will be 20 x 15 minute tasks overall. The lectures include panel sessions.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

A formative assessment opportunity will be provided.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,500-word essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

1,000 word reflective writing assessment to be taken in 200 word instalments on a fortnightly basis. Students must attempt both components of assessment. The reflective writing is marked on a pass/fail basis. To be awarded a pass students must achieve a pass mark for this component and achieve a mark of above 40% in the essay. Where a student receives a fail mark for either assessment component they will not be awarded the credits for the module and must resit the failed assessment(s) to achieve these credits.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 18/07/2023 14:06:34


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