module specification

PC4012 - Safeguarding and Ethics (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Safeguarding and Ethics
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Critical review
Unseen Examination 40%   2hr unseen examination
Coursework 20%   Summary assessment overview
Running in 2020/21

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Friday Afternoon
Year (Spring and Summer) North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module will enable students to develop an appreciation and good level of understanding on the relationship between mental health, ethics, rights and safeguarding. This module will look at the science base behind legal and policy developments across a range of mental health problems. The module aims to increase students’ awareness of the ethical code and legal responsibilities involved in working with vulnerable groups in mental health, counselling child/adult safeguarding and has been developed in accordance with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) guidelines.  Essential topics including the legislation and documentation of ethics, policy issues and practise in healthcare and counselling practice will be explored in line with the BACP and BPS code of ethics and conduct (the BPS includes internet mediated considerations). The student will further be provided with opportunities to address a wide range of social policy topics and themes including evidence-based policy and practice.


Child/adult protection matters, racism and discrimination in the healthcare, judicial system and the social services; law and the brain; Mental Health Act (2007) ; Sexual Offences Act (2003); Misuse of Drugs Act (1971); Children’s Act (1989/2004); Social Care Act (2014); the Equality Act (2010); Mental Capacity Act (2005); Psychoactive Substances Act (2016); BACP code of ethics (2018); Data Protection Act/DPA (2018); EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); BPS code of ethics and practice/internet medicated (2009; 2013; 2017).

Learning Outcomes LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Delivery and discussion of the module syllabi will be via interactive lectures and tutorials. In addition to the weekly workshops which will provide a forum for the application of theory to practical problems, students are expected to work in groups to learn from each other and learn how to independently use other resources available, e.g. library, the internet, WebLearn and own organisation. The module will also have its own dedicated Web Learn site to enable staff and students to readily contact each other and offers an on-line support/learning.


Information and materials relating to the workshop will be circulated once the course has commenced.   The workshops will familiarize students with various aspect of the course.  All workshops will relate to lecture topics and may be tested in the examination.   Hence, each student is expected to do the prior reading, consult the recommended texts and be actively involved in the seminar activities and group discussion.

Students will gain core knowledge and understanding of the topics through lectures, but deeper understanding, evaluation and skill development will be promoted through directed study of recommended reading material, workshops, and online resources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:

1. Have an understanding of good working ethical counselling practice in accordance to the BACP and BPS
2. Have a critical awareness of the child/adult safeguarding procedures and the legislative framework relating to society.
3. Be familiar with major legislation and documentation regarding mental health, the social services, the NHS and the Judicial system
4. Be able to review the current mental health policy, practice and legislation in the context of care-coordination, evidence-based practise and user-involvement.
5. Be able to respect differences in plural society and cultural values of minority groups and those from varying socioeconomic backgrounds

Assessment strategy

1. A 400-word summary on what will be included in the critical review outlined in number 2 (2000-word assignment) (20%).

2. A critical review of current mental health policy, practice and legislation in the context of care-coordination, evidence-based practise and user-involvement (40% weighting, 2000 words)

3. A two-hour unseen examination (40% weighting)

The exam will consist of multiple choice questions targeting ethical and safeguarding matters based on clinical case presentations. It will be based loosely on the BACP ‘certificate of proficiency test’ and ‘SAFEcic’ safeguarding tests.


American Psychiatric Association., (AMA, 2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th Ed.  Arlington. American Psychiatric Publishing. Washington. Core reading.

BACP (2018). Ethical framework for the counselling professions (Core)

BACP (2018). The ethical framework presented in British Sign Language

BPS ( Aug,  2009) . Code of ethics and conduct . (Core)

British Psychological Society (2014). Code of Human Research Ethics.

British Psychological Society (2017). Ethics Guidelines for Internet Mediated  Research

Care Act (2014)  (Core).

Children’s Act (2004)  (Core).

Cole, M., (2015) Racism: A Critical Analysis. London, Pluto Press.

Data Protection Act (2018).(c

Every Child Matters (2003) Home Page:

Equality Act, (2010) Core reading.

Macpherson Report (1999/2009)- 10 years on Core reading.

Mental Capacity Act (2005).

Mental Health Act (2007). Core reading.

Psychoactive Substances Act (2016).

Sexual Offences Act (2003) Core reading.