module specification

SW7047 - Professional Law for Social Work (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Professional Law for Social Work
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 10
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
215 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
40 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Unseen Examination 33% 50 Component 1
Unseen Examination 33% 50 Component 2
Unseen Examination 34% 50 Component 3
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module provides opportunities for students to:
• Identify and critically analyse the main statutes, regulations and guidance relevant to social work.
• Analyse case-law relevant to social work and critically evaluate the law as it applies to children and families and vulnerable adults.
• Demonstrate a critical understanding of the law within the context of anti-discriminatory practice


• Legal and policy frameworks LO1
• Applying legislation to practice LO2
• Reviewing case law LO3
• Tensions between guidance, policy and case-law in relation to interventions LO2


     Core areas to include:
 Children & Family law
 Care Act 2014
 Mental Health law
 Law relevant to domestic violence
 Equality & Human Rights
 Disability

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Weekly sessions will be interactive with a balance of direct input and student led seminars.
Students will be provided with questions related to aspects of the law and leading cases to be covered weekly. They will be directed to relevant reading in order to research answers to these questions, applying them to social work practice and values. Their guided independent study will provide time for reflective Learning and writing the PDP.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will:

1. Understand the legal frameworks within which social workers practise.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of the legal rights of service users and how they might be upheld in practice.
3. Evaluate critically the relevant legislation and legal obligations available to social workers, and options for intervention on behalf of service users in a range of practice settings.

Assessment strategy

There will be 3-hour unseen open book examination which will require students to apply their knowledge of statute and case-law to set case studies.  The exam will consist of 3 equally-weighted components, each of which must be passed.


Brammer, A. (2015) Social Work Law (4th Edition) London, Longman Pearson
Carr, H. & Goosey, D  (2017) Law for Social Workers (14th edition) Oxford : Oxford University Press
Braye S, & Preston-Shoot (2016) Practising Social Work Law, Palgrave Macmillan
Brown, R. (2016) The approved mental health professional's guide to mental health law (4th ed.) Exeter: Learning Matters 
E- sources include legal databases (particularly Lexis)

Lexis Library:

SCIE (2009) E:Learning Law & Social Work