Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Mental Health Law

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS30471
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Law
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


      To introduce students to a range of philosophies and ideologies that underpin mental health legislation, past and present.

      To facilitate students’ understanding of law and policy on mental health issues in England and Wales.

      To encourage students to develop textual research skills.

 •         To encourage students to work collaboratively with fellow peers

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

      Understand the scope and application of English mental health law and its relevance to a range of academic disciplines and emerging policy initiatives.

      Examine the effectiveness of mental health law by reference to principles/philosophies from relevant disciplines (psychiatry, psychology, ethics, criminology, social policy).

      Articulate your knowledge in written and oral form.

      Make effective use of a range of paper and electronic legal research tools to support your learning and research.


Teaching and learning methods

30 hours of lectures, five hours of (fortnightly) seminars and 10 hours of (weekly) direction and feedback drop in sessions. Students will undertake a series of exercises in both lectures and seminars that will build on their knowledge of mental health and develop their general intellectual skills. In particular, we are keen to support students to develop their problem solving, communication, leadership and group-working skills.

We will use a range of teaching strategies to make this possible, building our analysis and discussion of mental health law around a series of scenarios. Students will be encouraged to work on these in the course of seminars, lectures and via Blackboard, where discussion boards and voicethreads will also be available. We will encourage students to act as researchers, gathering new information on mental health law. We also support the use of video resources, many of which are currently available on Blackboard and some of which will be aired in the lectures.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Recommended reading

An electronic book will be made available.

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Neil Allen Unit coordinator

Additional notes


This course is available to students in the University of Manchester, provided they have some prior experience of studying  law. For further details please contact kirsty.keywood@manchester.ac.uk

This course is available to study abroad students but they MUST have a legal background. In particular have knowledge of legal challenges against the state for inadequate care provision

Pre-requisites: Students who are not registered on the LL.B programmes must have some prior legal education that includes the basics of the English legal system, the Human Rights Act and judicial review..


see Law School undergraduate timetable page

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