University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Legal Issues in Adult Relationships (LAWS10178)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the legal regulation of family life. What is a family and why does it matter? Is family life private life, or is there a justification for state intervention/ state intrusion? What role, if any, is there for a wider public interest in regulating private life?

The first section looks at issues affecting partners and considers why the state offers legal protection to some domestic relationships but not others, together with the scope for self regulation, through contract.

The second section moves on to consider the legal consequences of becoming parents, and the various methods by which persons can become parents: what impact, if any, does this have?

In each section, we will contrast the current legal practice with different theoretical perspectives, to question what aims the state is trying to achieve through its regulation and what aims it should aspire to.

The aims of the course are to introduce students to current issues in law and policy surrounding adult relationships; and to enable students to explore and analyse possible solutions to these issues.
Course description Indicative teaching programme

We will cover 7 topics, as follows:

1. What is an adult relationship? Contrasting intimate and non-intimate relationships, and the legal regulation (or non-regulation) of these;
2. Self-regulation of adult relationships ┐ the role of contract in domestic relations, and the interaction between self-regulation and state regulation;
3. Non-consensual relationships: forced marriage;

4. Identifying the parents: parentage versus parenting;
5. How many parents? Creating the family through new relationships, assisted conception, surrogacy, or adoption;
6. Holding parents to account: the rights of children and their impact on the rights of the parents as individuals;

Current Issues:
7. Our seventh topic will be chosen by students, based on current issues/ developments in this area.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Family Law (Ordinary) (LAWS08126) OR Family Law Ordinary (LAWS08101))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 1. Knowledge and Sources of Law:

    - Knowledge and critical understanding of the current law, principles and policy debates in relation to adult relationships and parenthood;
    - Knowledge of the relevant case law and legislation;
    - Knowledge of, and ability to monitor and keep up-to-date with, current legislative proposals, Scottish Law Commission proposals, and bills going through Parliament.

  2. Subject-specific Skills:

    Synthesising legal and social dimensions to understand the personal issues, and difficulties, faced by individuals in their domestic relationships.

  3. General Transferable Intellectual Skills:

    - To carry out research using case law and legislation;
    - To read and critique legal articles;
    - To read and critique law reform proposals;
    - To offer insights into current legal problems in this area;
    - IT skills in preparing and presenting work, where relevant
  4. Key Personal Skills:

    - Exercise autonomy in preparing for class;
    - Time management, through organising and prioritising reading and class preparation;
    - Workload management;
    - Formulate oral contributions in class;
    - Prepare comprehensive written work;
    - Take responsibility for contributing in class
  5. Subject-specific Legal and Ethical Values:

    - Awareness of and respect for different family and lifestyle choices
    - Understanding of individuals┐ rights and responsibilities in relation to domestic relationships

Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Gillian Black
Tel: (0131 6)50 9541
Course secretaryMrs Susan Leask
Tel: (0131 6)50 2344
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information