SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MML522779
Module Leader Heather Lynch
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Social Work
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to enable students to develop a critical understanding of the Scottish Legal System and the Statutes in Force that relate to social work practice. They will develop a critical awareness of the processes of law making and implementation. The primary focus of the module is to enable students to develop an understanding of the legislation relevant to social work practice in order that they are able to utilise this understanding in a critically aware manner within their subsequent practice placements. Students are encouraged to explore the relationship between the law and justice, focusing on the potential for discrimination within the legal process. The module begins by contextualising the law within the wider social policy context before moving on to examine particular aspects of the statutory framework in detail. The module will also explore equality and human rights issues.


1. Functions of law in society: administrative, professional and general law 2. Relationship between social policy and the legal framework 3. Law relevant to social work practice within Children and Families, Community Care, Criminal Justice and Mental Health 4. Roles and responsibilities within the legal framework 5. Awareness of Equality and Human Rights Legislation 6. Application and constraints on the use of legislation within differing settings

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, students should be able to:1. Have a critical understanding of the principles and concepts of the legislative system2. Have a critical understanding of the process by which legislation and social policy decisions are implemented within Organisations.3. Develop a critical understanding of the Scottish Legal System, its procedures and personnel4. Develop a critical awareness of the main aspects of legislation that are relevant to social work practice5. Have a critical understanding of how discrimination and oppression may be affected by organisational structures and legislation6. Develop a critical awareness of the main aspects of the links between UK, Scottish and European human rights legislation that are relevant to social work practice

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module is taught using a variety of methods including lectures, seminars and group tasks. Students will also work together to produce a series of group presentations based on case materials. Their learning will be further consolidated through the use of Digital Media Tools. It is not the intention of this module to develop or encourage rote learning but rather that students should begin to learn how to work effectively with the legislation to secure the rights of service users. Given the range and scope of this module, students are required to be self-motivating and to develop their understanding of the taught material by utilising the extended reading suggested

Indicative Reading

Baillie, D. Cameron, K. Cull, LA. Roche, J. & West, J. (2003), Social Work Law in Scotland , Palgrave, Basingstoke Blakemore, K. & Griggs, E. (2007), Social Policy, an introduction , Open University Press Berkshire Butler, I. & Drakeford, M. (2005) Scandal, Social Policy and Social Welfare , Policy Press, Bristol Dalrymple, J. & Burke, B. (2006), Anti-Oppressive Practice, Social Care and the Law , Open University, Milton Keynes Davis, R. & Gordon, J. (2010), Social Work and the Law in Scotland , Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. Gibbons Wood, L. (2008), Social Work Law in Scotland , W. Green, Edinburgh

Transferrable Skills

Within this module, students are encouraged to use and develop a range of skills that will be of value to them both as students and as social workers: Problem solving skills Communication skills Teamwork Written and verbal skills Skills in utilising resources

Module Structure

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

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 50% Written assignment (3500 words)