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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Mental Health Law (LAWS10205)

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
SummaryIt is only in recent years that talking freely and openly about mental health issues and what it is to experience mental health conditions have become more acceptable in mainstream society. This course is highly relevant in today's world and recognises the importance of expanding and developing knowledge and understanding of mental health issues and the application of mental health law. The main aim of the course is to examine the development of mental health law and how it is applied to related conditions that arise throughout the spectrum of life, beginning with diagnosis of conditions through early years, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and senior years. As well as examining specific legislation, the course (to a lesser extent) will focus on: changing societal attitudes to mental health and the growing recognition that mental health is as important as physical health; an in-depth investigation into the well-documented increase in the incidence of diagnosed mental health conditions in teenagers and its possible link to the global increase in the use of social media; and the ways in which society can maintain the positive momentum that has gathered over recent years. It should be noted that the basis of this course lies in the law and legislation; it does not seek to focus on medical diagnosis or treatment for mental health conditions.
Course description This course offers students, who may have no knowledge of mental health law, a worthwhile opportunity to build up knowledge, understanding and expertise in this area of growing interest and importance. By the end of the course, students will have gained a high level of critical understanding of the subject area and will competently be able to apply their knowledge to scenarios that may arise at any point throughout the human lifespan.

The course will be structured in such a way that it will track the chronological development of the human lifespan, focussing on important issues such as legal definitions of mental incapacity, the giving of informed consent by children and adults, emergency detention and short-term detention in hospital, consequences for education and employment, and power of attorney. Throughout the course, reference will be made to current mental health statutes and their applicability.

Students will be expected to prepare for and take part in each seminar by completing the necessary reading and research. This course will make use whole class discussions as well as small group discussions of case studies. These will help to give students a sense of personal involvement in the outcomes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework, consisting of a group case study (25%) and a time-limited take-home written assignment (75%).
Feedback Feedback will be given throughout the course. During each seminar, the seminar leader will give immediate verbal feedback on all aspects of the students┐ participation.

Immediate verbal feedback will also be given for the formative assignments, which will consist of students being assigned to pairs and giving a 10 minute presentation at the start of a designated seminar on the methodology they adopted in their preparation for the seminar.

For the 25% summative assignment, verbal feedback will be given directly after the presentation and written feedback will be given to students once the presentation has been fully assessed.

For the 75% summative assignment, individual written feedback will be given on the return of the scripts. One-to-one feedback will be available on request.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Recognise the growing need for knowledge and understanding of the law relating to mental health and the move towards dispelling the stigmas attached to associated conditions.
  2. Apply knowledge and understanding of the law to case studies, and to acquire the skills and confidence necessary to critically analyse and comment upon current law as well as academic research and opinion.
  3. Develop the cognitive skills necessary to benefit from the course materials and to address the complex course tasks.
  4. Communicate effectively in relation to the subject matter of the course and develop excellent written and verbal skills throughout the course.
  5. Work in a variety of different settings, namely on his or her own and using initiative, in small groups and in larger class discussions.
Reading List
It is intended that students will be required to read key books, articles and cases, but also to use online resources to enhance learning.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students will have a wide knowledge of the law relating to mental health conditions throughout life and will recognise that mental health is not confined to one age group or one sector in society and can occur at any age and stage in life. This will equip them to take part in and promote the development of the current growing societal conversation. For those students who choose a career in law, this course will give them a greater understanding of, what is at present, an underdeveloped area of law.

By taking part in whole class and small group discussions, students will develop the confidence to identify issues, critically analyse possible outcomes and apply relevant law
KeywordsMental Health; Law; Mentahl Health Conditions; Law and Legislation
Course organiserMrs Kathleen MacFarlane
Course secretaryMs Olivia Hayes
Tel: (0131 6)50 9588
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