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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Issues in Child Law (LAWS10160)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will examine contemporary issues in child law, namely: children┬┐s rights in Scotland and the UNCRC incorporation; the voice of the child; child protection in relation to online activity; the Children's Hearing System; and adoption and permanence orders. For each issue, students will be expected to carry out detailed reading and research in preparation for seminars. As the semester progresses, the issues will be drawn together to allow for wider consideration of how children's rights in Scotland have developed, and the how the status of children as rights holders now features as an enshrined principle in Scots law.
Course description Indicative teaching programme will consist of:

1. A general introduction and background to the issues that will be explored during the course.
2. The development of children's rights, the European influence and comparisons with other jurisdictions.
3. The status of children as rights holders and consequences of incorporation of the UNCRC into Scots law.
4. The importance of taking the views of children in decisions affecting them; the importance of developing a skillset for interviewing children as victims or witnesses in the criminal justice system.
5. The protection of children from online sexual abuse -- law and education.
6. The Children's Hearings System -- the principles, the process and the ways in which children are included at all stages.
7. The system of adoption and permanence in Scotland -- how the processes work, the involvement of children and the influence of the welfare principle on decisions.
8. Attachment Theory -- the importance of child-parent bonding, the consequences of a break in the bonding process for the developing child, and the effect into adulthood of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences).
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 Spaces on this course are allocated as part of the Law Honours Course Allocation process. Places are generally only available to students who must take Law courses. To request a space on this course, please email
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesThis course is only open to visiting students coming through a direct exchange with the School of Law (including Erasmus students on a Law-specific Exchange). Exchange students outside of Law and independent study abroad students are not eligible to enrol in this course, with no exceptions.

**Please note that 3rd year Law courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.**
Priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Law department, and it is highly unlikely that there will be additional spaces for general exchange students & independent study abroad students to enrol; we will look into this on a case-by-case basis in September/January. Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space.

These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.

Students must have passed Family Law Ordinary (LAWS08101) or an equivalent course at their home institution.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
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) The course work will consist of a time-limited take-home written assignment of 4000 words (100%).

Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Knowledge and Sources of Law: By the end of the course, students will have: a) an enhanced understanding of the historical background that paved the way for current attitudes to children and their legal status; b) an enhanced knowledge of current and future important issues in child law; c) an enhanced understanding of the relationship that exists between different issues in child law; d) an extensive knowledge of the development of legislation to address the growing needs of a society that increasingly recognises the need to prioritise the rights of children; e) an ability to research and critically comment on the government┬┐s attempts, through legislation and other means, to recognise the status of children in society.
  2. Subject-specific Skills: By the end of the course, students will have: a) developed the skills necessary to research, analyse and interpret source materials; b) developed the skills necessary to identify important current and future relevant issues that require further research and discussion; c) developed the skills necessary to analyse critically the sources and research materials and to develop opinions and views based on their analyses; d) developed the skills necessary to apply the knowledge gained to a range of legal questions and scenarios; e) developed the ability to identify areas of unmet need and present well-prepared arguments to address those needs.
  3. General Transferable Intellectual Skills: This course will provide students with the opportunity to: a) develop skills associated with research and investigation; b) develop skills that will enable them to present coherent arguments to support a range of viewpoints, as required; c) develop creative thinking skills; d) develop interpersonal verbal and written skills; e) develop the ability to work independently and within a small team.
  4. Key Personal Skills: This course will provide students with the opportunity to: a) develop and enhance oral and written skills to a high standard; b) develop their ability to prepare and lead class or group discussions and to keep within require time limits; c) develop an ability to listen and take on board the views and opinions of others; d) enhance their electronic research skills and abilities.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsIssues Child
Course organiserMrs Katy MacFarlane
Course secretaryMiss Lauren McCrory-Irving
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