module specification

LL5050 - Medical Law (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Medical Law
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   3000 word coursework
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Tuesday Morning

Module summary

A general introduction and overview of the framework of accountability for medical accidents and an examination of the different factors that shape such accountability i.e. legal, moral, ethical, scientific, and philosophical  issues.

Module aims

• To enable student to acquire knowledge and critical understanding of the legislative and common law provisions that regulate medical negligence and malpractice.
• To develop and encourage students’ abilities in the selection and evaluation of legal information which is applied to hypothetical problem scenarios
• To enhance students’ analytical and research skills by requiring students to undertake self directed research assessed by coursework.
• To encourage an understanding of the policy context in which medical negligence and malpractice law has developed.
• To provide a supportive environment in order for students to enhance their oral skills.
• To encourage classroom co-operation and working in teams.


Medical negligence, consent to treatment, medical litigation, the complaints’ mechanism, confidentiality, medical ethics, dispute resolution

Learning and teaching

This module is taught by lectures, seminars, group discussions and presentations with the focus being on student centred learning. Students are required to read from specified chapters in the textbooks, articles in law journals, and prepare case reports from a case list.  There is a progression through the syllabus and the students are given the opportunity to examine the historical development in parts of this area of law. There is ample scope for student discussions on theoretical/philosophical issues as well as problem solving. All students will be given the opportunity to make at least two presentations during the course of the semester.

Students are encouraged to actively use the on-line resources researching both the available law databases and the materials on the module specific Blackboard pages wherein they can find recent changes in the law. [or links to such material] This is a small part of the overall virtual learning environment (VLE) which also contains the appropriate handbooks, lecture notes, powerpoint slides, weblinks, past assessments, assessment criteria and discussion groups. Blended learning is thus an important element in the delivery of this module and is actively encouraged.

Students are given the opportunity for formative assessment in week 6/7 which will then be promptly marked and returned enabling collective and individual feedback.

Knowledge of the topics covered in the module will enhance students’ employability should they wish to specialise in this area of law either within the legal professions or in the healthcare sector.

Students’ responsibilities are to attend all lectures and seminars, research and prepare for the seminars, actively participate in class discussions and undertake both the formative and summative assessments.

Learning outcomes

On successful  completion students will:
• Demonstrate an awareness and critical understanding of the main principles of the law relating to medical negligence, informed consent and dispute resolution.
• Identify, select and comment on a range of judicial and legislative approaches to the law relating to medical negligence and malpractice.
• Effectively seek, handle and interpret information from a variety of legal academic sources.
• Be aware of the impact of policy on the development of medical negligence and malpractice law.
• Demonstrate an ability to use research skills appropriately and to apply legal knowledge to problem scenarios and essay questions in a clear and effective manner.
• Develop competent oral skills

Assessment strategy

One piece of word-processed coursework with a maximum limit of 3,000 words. A choice of questions will be provided relating to issues of contemporary concern in the medical negligence and malpractice arena.  All questions will provide scope for detailed research and require critical evaluation of the law and/or the legal process.


Medical Law and Ethics, Pattinson   Sweet and Maxwell
Cases and Materials on Medical Law, Staunch, Wheat, Tingle  Routledge
Journal of Medical Ethics, BMJ Publishing Group