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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Criminal Procedures: MHO Role in Context (PGSP11586)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummarySpecific focus within the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 is given to working with people who have committed offences whilst mentally unwell, referred to as 'mentally disordered offenders'. The Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003 and Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 insert provisions into the Criminal Procedures (Scotland) Act 1995 for a person who has, or appears to have, a mental disorder to receive medical treatment at various stages of the criminal justice process (pre-trial, trial, post-trial and final disposal). MHOs have a range of statutory duties in working with mentally disordered offenders. This course will equip students with knowledge of the legislation and relevant policy matters and the MHO role and responsibilities therein. It will enable them to consider how to balance issues of risk and public protection with human rights related to self-determination and citizenship.

Course description Academic Description
o The course provides students with a critical and in-depth exploration of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 provisions inserted into the Criminal Procedures (Scotland) Act 1995 related to 'mentally disordered offenders'. It places emphasis on the range of duties and responsibilities of the MHO role and how this links with those of other professionals, the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland, the Scottish Court system and the Scottish Government. It takes a detailed look at each of the key statutory measures of compulsory care and treatment. The course is aimed at equipping students with the knowledge required to undertake the functions of the MHO role in this area of practice. The syllabus encourages students to engage with the lived experience of 'forensic' measures and to address the ethical and human rights issues that are integral to this work, including questions of risk, public protection, discrimination and oppression.

Outline Content
o The principles and provisions of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 as inserted into the Criminal Procedures (Scotland) Act 1995.
o The duties and responsibilities of the MHO, including their role in applying for compulsory measures and completing statutory reports.
o The roles of other professionals including advocacy
o The lived experience of being made subject to compulsory measures
o The role of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland, the Scottish Court system and the Scottish Government
o Policy related to mentally disordered offenders

Student Learning Experience
o The course is taught using a combination of class based and online learning. Students are encouraged to actively participate in this though small group work and a range of directed learning tasks. They are also required to engage in independent/self-directed study. These activities are designed to equip students with the knowledge required to complete a written assessment and to the meet the course's learning 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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  28
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course has one essay - the percentage weighting is 100%

It is a 'must pass' assessment.
Feedback Assignments will be returned with feedback within 15 working days of submission.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of mental disorder in relation to offending behaviour in the context of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 and the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.
  2. Demonstrate awareness of the MHO role and that of other professionals and relevant bodies.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of risk assessment and risk management and public protection.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and awareness of issues relating to equality, diversity and social work values.
Reading List
Criminal Procedures (Scotland) Act 1995. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

Patrick, H., Stavert, J., & Askews. (2016). Mental health, incapacity and the law in Scotland (2nd ed.). Haywards Heath, West Sussex: Bloomsbury Professional.

Scottish Government (2010) Memorandum of Procedure on Restricted Patients (MOP) Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

Thomson, L. and Cherry, J. (2014) Mental Health and Scots Law in Practice (2nd edn). Edinburgh: W. Green

Winstone, J. (2015) Mental Health, Crime and Criminal Justice : Responses and Reforms. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - The application of analytical, conceptual, critical and empirical methods to the study of professional MHO practice.
- Structuring and presenting critical analysis and argument.
- Independent learning.
- Problem formulation and solving
- Self-evaluation.
- Written communication skills.
- Oral and visual presentation skills.
- Time management.
- Working under pressure.
- Teamwork.
- Self-evaluation and assessment.
- Reflexivity.
- Self-care.
- Information retrieval and research skills.
- ITC skills as required by the SSSC.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Pearse McCusker
Tel: (0131 6)50 3927
Course secretaryMrs Beth Richardson-Mills
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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