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Unit information: Introduction to Medical Law in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

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
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)

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

Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one
School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Unit Information

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.

Your learning on this unit

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.

How you will learn

Teaching will be through a mixture of in-person tutorials and seminars, and asynchronous online delivery. Synchronous online delivery will also be available where appropriate.

How you will be assessed

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.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SSCM30002).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.