module specification

PY7171 - Law, Ethics and Policy in Mental Health (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Law, Ethics and Policy in Mental Health
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 400
200 hours Placement / study abroad
152 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   3000 Extended Case Report
Unseen Examination 50%   2 hour Unseen Examination *FC*
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module allows students to explore the relationship between key aspects of the law, rights and code of professionals’ ethics within mental health. This module will look at the science base behind legal and policy developments across a range of mental health problems.

Module aims

To critically examine mental health policy across a number of settings.
To criticall evaluate law and ethics within mental health
To have a detailed and critical understanding of how science informs policy and legislation.


The Relationship between ethics, rights, social policy and protection; An overview of national legislations and legal view, and the role of health care professionals; The role of evidence based research in the development of policy; The impact of cultural differences in mental health and the deployment of legislation; The use of the mental health act and the concept of agency.

Learning and teaching

Twelve 3 hour class based sessions with lectures workshops and regular journal club sessions Students will also be required to carry out independent learning, generally in the form of background reading.
The module provides students with the opportunity for early assessment and feedback.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should:
1. Have a critical  awareness of the child protection procedures and the legislative framework relating to society.
2. Become familiar with major legislation and documentation on mental health
3. To critically review the current mental health policy, practice and legislation in the  context of service provision.
4. Have detailed knowledge of all legal, ethical codes concerning the wellbeing of patients
5. Have a detailed understanding of the influence of science on policy development

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed in two ways:
(1) a 3000 word extended case report (50%).
(2) 2 hours unseen examination to test students' basic comprehension covering the core topics of the module. Students will be required to select two questions from a choice of six, written in essay format (50%).


Barlow, D and Durand, VM (2005). Abnormal psychology: An integrated Approach. Thomson and Wadsworth.
Bull, R (2001). Children and the Law. Blackwell Publishers.
Buthcer, J; Mineka, S and Hooley, J (2006). Abnormal psychology. 13th ed. Pearson.
Daniels, D and Jenkins, P (2000). Therapy with children: Children’s Rights, confidentiality and the law. Sage
Department of health (1999) Mental health ct (1983) Code of practice: guidance on the visiting of psychiatric patients by children. HSC 1999/22:LAC (99) 32.
Department of health (1999). Convention on the Rights of the Child: Second report to the UN Committee on the rights of the child by United Kingdom: London: HMSO
Department of health (2000) Reforming the Mental health Act (part1: the new legal framework, part II: High risk patients. London: The Stationary Office.
Goldstein, A (2001) Addiction: From Biology to Drug Policy. OUP.
Henningfield et al (2007) Addiction Treatment: Science  and Policy for the twenty first century. John Hopkins University Press.
McKeganey, N (2010) Controversies in Drugs Polciy and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan