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Unit information: Introduction to Medical Law in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Introduction to Medical Law
Unit code SSCM30002
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Huxtable
Open unit status Not open

None, other than those pre-requisites for undertaking study on the programme.



School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit introduces the key features of medical law, in particular its legal underpinnings. Students are introduced to legal studies and some of the background issues and themes in medical law, in particular those areas of the law which form the basis for medical law. Students are also introduced to the relationship between medical law and bioethics. The sessions are designed to provide students with a basic grounding in medical law, in advance of (and during) the Medical Law unit run by the Law School.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit a student should:

  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge of the legal themes and issues studied;
  • Be able to undertake legal research and thereby locate legal sources;
  • Be able to express the legal concepts and principles studied accurately;
  • Be able to apply the legal concepts and principles studied;
  • Be able to critique the legal concepts and principles studied;
  • Have an appreciation of the links between medical law and bioethics.

Teaching Information

Students receive short online lectures followed by online (e.g. audio-visual) student-led tutorials.

Assessment Information

Summative assessment comprises a written assignment of 4000 words, chosen from a selection of essay and problem-style questions (these latter are a familiar method of assessment in Law). Formative assessment comprises: preparation of seminar exercises; participation in seminar activities, including group-work and oral presentations; a written assignment of 2000 words.

Reading and References

  • Brazier, M. and Cave, E. (2011) Medicine, Patients and the Law (5th Edition), Penguin, London
  • Herring, J. (2010) Medical Law and Ethics (3rd Edition), Oxford University Press, Oxford
  • Jackson, E. (2013) Medical Law: Text, Cases and Materials (3rd Edition), Oxford University Press, Oxford