SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3L522668
Module Leader Lynn Sheridan
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Social Work
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Successful completion of Level 2

Summary of Content

This module builds upon and consolidates teaching from previous modules on law and ethics. It runs concurrently with the first Direct Practice Placement, and allows teaching to be tested against practice situations. This module will explore key aspects of the legal mandate of social workers, including accountability, discretion and the management and sharing of information. It will also explore the relationship between ethics and the law, and identify occasions where ethics and the law might not be compatible. Students will be given the opportunity to bring live material from placements and to explore legal and ethical dilemmas that they identify on placement. There will be a deepening of the understanding of the law as it relates to the use of case law and using, and differentiating between primary and secondary legislation. The module will also address the skills required for the application of the law to practice, in particular those related to report writing.


-284 1. Law, ethics and values in relation to practice 2. Social work practice and accountability 3. Discrimination and oppression in social work practice 4. Challenges of power and control 5. The legislative basis of partnership 6. Information sharing and data protection 7. Preparation and presentation of formal reports 8. Understanding the interface with the courts and legal process 9. The role of the social worker in respect of adult protection 10. Equality legislation

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students should be able to:1. Demonstrate a critical understanding and awareness of key legal and ethical concepts and principles.2. Demonstrate a critical understanding and awareness of the legal mandate of professional social work/ers3. Demonstrate a critical understanding and awareness of the role of the social worker within this legislative mandate4. Demonstrate a critical understanding and awareness of the complexities of ethics, values and decision making within the legal framework5. Demonstrate the capacity to critically apply legal concepts, principles, legislative instruments and ethics in practice contexts.6. Understand and evidence the capacity to prepare core social work reports for bodies such as courts and to support the function of for example, children's hearing, case conferences and so forth.7. Critically analyse and reflect upon their own developing accountability.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The core themes of the module will be covered in lectures, supplemented by directed reading, with significant use made of GCU Learn and other on-line resources relevant to research. As referred to above, seminars will draw heavily upon students' placement experience, and as appropriate at Level 3, students will be expected to take increasing responsibility for contributing to, and leading, seminars.

Indicative Reading

Braye, S. and Preston-Shoot, M., 2016. Practising Social Work Law. Macmillan International Higher Education. Calder, B., 2010. A Guide to the Adult Support and Protect (Scotland) Act 2007. Dundee University Press. -10 Carson, D. and Bain, A., 2008. Professional Risk and Working with People: Decision-Making in Health, Social Care and Criminal Justice. Jessica Kingsley, London. Clelland, A., (2008). Child Abuse, Protection and the Law. W. Green. Croall, H., Mooney, G. and Munro, M. eds., 2012. Criminal Justice in Scotland. Routledge. Croall, H., Mooney, G. and Munro, M. eds., 2015. Crime, Justice and Society in Scotland. Routledge. Davis, R. and Gordon, J. eds., 2010. Social Work and the Law in Scotland. Macmillan International Higher Education. Ferguson, H. and Norton, J., 2011. Child Protection Practice. Macmillan International Higher Education. Franks, R. and Cobbs, D., 2017. Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. Freeman. R., 2017. Human Rights: Key Concepts. Polity Press. Gordon, J. and Davis, R., 2018. The Legal Context for Social Work in Scotland. In Social Work in a Changing Scotland (pp. 38-46). Routledge. Guthrie, T., 2018. Social Work Law in Scotland. Bloomsbury Professional. Hothersall, S., 2013. Social Work with Children, Young People and their Families in Scotland. Learning Matters. Johns, R., 2015. Ethics and Law for Social Workers. Sage. Johns, R., 2017. Using the Law in Social Work. Learning Matters. -10 Kemshall, H., Wilkinson, B., Baker, K. 2013. Working with Risk. Polity Press. Larkin, R., Maglajlic, A. and Larkin, R. Social Work with Refugees, Assylum Seekers and Migrants. Jessica Kingsley. Lindon, J. and Webb, J., 2016. Safeguarding and Child Protection 5th Edition: Linking Theory and Practice. Hachette UK. Maclean, S. and Shiner, M., 2018. Social Care and the Law in Scotland. Kirwin Maclean Associates Ltd. McNeill, F. and Whyte, B., 2013. Reducing Reoffending: Social Work with Offenders in Scotland. Willan. Munro, E., 2011. The Munro Review of Child Protection: Final Report, A Child-Centred System (Vol. 8062). The Stationery Office. Norrie, K., 2013. Children's Hearings in Scotland. Patrick, H., 2016. Mental Health, Incapacity and the Law in Scotland. Bloomsbury Professional. Prestion-Shoot, M., 2019. Making Good Decisions: Law for Social Work Practice. Palgrave Macmillan. Reed, R.J. and Murdoch, J., 2016. Human Rights law in Scotland. Bloomsbury Publishing. Smith, N., 2016. Adult Protection and the Law in Scotland. Bloomsbury Publishing. -10 Taylor, B., 201., Professional Decision Making and Risk in Social Work. Learning Matters, Exeter.

Transferrable Skills

-720 1. Analytical skills in relation to practice -720 2. Problem solving skills 3. Communication and practical skills 4. Written and verbal skills -720 5. Use of evidence

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 144.00
Seminars (FT) 18.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Lectures (FT) 18.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 40% oral and visual presentation/examination