Law, Rights and Justice - SOCI9200

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 15 (7.5) Leanne Taylor checkmark-circle


The curriculum will address the need for social workers to have in depth knowledge and understanding of the law and its applications to social work practice. The history, context, and nature of English law and law making will be covered including natural law and positivist law and their intersection with ethics and philosophy. The 'legal framework' of English social work including legislation, quasi-legislation and social policy will be outlined as will the process - and political context - of policy-making and implementation. Primary, and secondary legislation, policy and guidance and the cases that together constitute ‘the law & policy’ relating to key service user groups will be outlined alongside understanding of the application of legislation and policy as it relates to social work activities, duties and decisions. Judicial interpretation relevant to social work, the role and nature of Courts and the legal profession, legal procedure and the nature of evidence will also be covered. Human Rights and equality law with a particular focus on justice and the promotion of equality in the areas of "race", gender and sexual orientation, disability and age will be addressed as will legal systems and frameworks relating to safeguarding, mental capacity & confidentiality.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total hours: 150


MA Social Work (compulsory module)

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Coursework - Essay, (2,500 words) - 60%
Coursework - Response to a legal problem, (1,500 words) - 40%

Both assessments must be passed in order to pass the module.

Reassessment methods:


Indicative reading

Bochel, H & Duncan, S (2007) Making Policy in Theory & Practice. Bristol: Policy Press
Braye, S. & Preston-Shoot, M. (2010) Practising Social Work Law 3rd edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Carr, H. and Goosey, H. (2017) Law for Social Workers 14th edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Cunningham J & Cunningham S (2012) Social Policy & Social Work: Sage
Hudson J & Lowe S (2009) (2nd ed) Understanding the Policy Process. Bristol: Policy Press
Greve B (2012) The Routledge Handbook of the Welfare State. Routledge

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Have developed critical understanding of legal rights and justice for service users and their families;
8.2 Have developed critical understanding of the statutory and common law provisions that govern social work in England and Wales and the
relationship between the citizen and the state;
8.3 Have developed critical understanding and knowledge of social policy and how it intersects with the law;
8.4 Appreciate and critically evaluate philosophical influences on the development and content of the law and statute;
8.5 Systematically acquire and critically evaluate knowledge and understanding of values and social ethics as they relate to the law and
8.6 Systematically acquire knowledge about and appreciate the application of key legal provision and policy for adults, children and the family;
8.7 Develop the knowledge and skills to analyse and synthesise information gathered for legal problem solving purposes;
8.8 Develop the skills to critically evaluate the role and impact of public law and policy on the rights of groups likely to come into contact with
social work services.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Show ability to interact with others in a group context and articulate and defend opinions based on critical reasoning, logic and evidence;
9.2 Demonstrate and ability to synthesise and integrate complex knowledge, theoretical perspectives and evidence from different schools and
disciplines of enquiry in order to construct an organised and coherent argument in writing;
9.3 Show skills commensurate with postgraduate study in presentation and debate, both verbal and written, and in the use of research and
empirical data;
9.4 Demonstrate capacity to gather and evaluate library and web-based resources (e-journals and other on-line resources) appropriate to
postgraduate study, make critical judgments about their merits, and use materials to construct a developed argument.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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