LW4007 - Introduction to Mental HealthLaw

What will I learn on this module?

‘Introduction to Mental Health Law’ aims to help you develop your knowledge and understanding of the legal system of England and Wales and the sources of English law. You will also be assisted to develop your knowledge of the common law and statutory framework for the voluntary and compulsory care of those with mental disorders, and to develop your understanding of the relevance of human rights law to those with mental disorders. Through the use of practical scenarios and exploration of case judgements you will develop your ability to interpret primary sources of law, and to apply legal principles to real life problems.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be provided with a module workbook and a case summary pack. These materials will provide you with an overview of the relevant provisions of the law, guidance and policy and include detailed guidance on the activities you should undertake as part of your independent studies, which will include self-evaluative tasks.

There are two study days for this module. You are strongly encouraged to attend these study days, at which your tutor will provide you with guidance on the law and its application and when you will also have the opportunity to discuss the current law and to consider how it applies in practice, with your tutor and fellow students.

In addition you will have access to a module elearning site, from which you will also be able to access the module materials and the module’s electronic reading list. You will also be expected to use the university’s library databases to access key legal source materials, including case law. To assist you in using these online resources your tutor will provide you a brief introduction to these materials and how to use them at your first study day.

You will therefore be exposed to a variety of research-informed experiences during the module; research-led learning (when, in teaching you, your tutor draws on their knowledge and experience of mental health law); research-tutored learning (when your tutor asks you to discuss current knowledge) and research-orientated learning (when you learn how to locate, use and cite legal sources).

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will have a module tutor who is responsible for delivery of this module. Your module tutor will provide you with a detailed workbook and case book. You will meet with and be able to discuss any queries that you may have with your module tutor at the study days. You may also communicate with your Module Tutor by e-mail or telephone and are encouraged to contact your Module Tutor if you encounter any difficulties relating to any aspect of the module. You will also be provided with access to a module elearning site, from which you will be able to access key module materials.

A designated administrator is responsible for the non-academic administration of the module. They will contact you throughout the duration of your module with details about enrolment, arrangements for attendance at study days, assignment process etc. Their contact details are provided in the programme handbook. If you have concerns about issues that may affect your ability to complete the module satisfactorily you should not hesitate to contact your Programme Leader, who will provide pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole.

In addition as a distance learning student at Northumbria you will be able to access a range of on-line legal databases and resources which you will find useful for your studies, and through the SCONUL scheme may also utilise resources at other institutions.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• You will understand how law is made, where legal sources can be located and understand the key principles relating to the use and authority of different legal sources

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will be able to locate and summarise a specified case
• You will be able to apply your knowledge of mental health law to provide advice in the context of practice-based scenarios

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• You will be able to demonstrate the initiative, personal responsibility, and self-direction necessary to manage your time and resources in order to complete your researched assignment

How will I be assessed?

You will be required to submit a piece of coursework (maximum 2500 words) comprised of two parts each worth 50% of the marks. In the first part you must access a case using the library databases and complete a case summary of maximum 1250 words. For the second part of the coursework you must advise a mental health trust in relation to a series of scenario-based questions which are designed to test students’ knowledge and understanding of mental disorders and methods of delivery of mental health care and treatment in England and Wales, the domestic legal system and mental health law of England and Wales

The coursework is designed to assess all of the module learning outcomes.





Module abstract

The ‘Introduction to Mental Health Law’ module will help you develop your knowledge and understanding of the law and legal system of England and Wales, and particularly your understanding of the common law and statutory framework for the voluntary and compulsory care of those with mental disorders.

On this distance learning module you will be provided with a detailed workbook and will have the opportunity to attend two study days. The module aims, through discussion, self-test questions and practical tasks to develop your ability to interpret primary sources of law, and to apply legal principles to real life problems. Your tutor will draw upon their knowledge and expertise in mental health law to teach you, and to encourage you to discuss the law. You will be supported to develop your own ability to undertake research in mental health law.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 9 months Distance Learning, including 8 taught half days all online

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start January 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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