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The law and social work in Scotland

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This course examines the legal frameworks that shape and regulate social work decision making in Scotland. It considers how social work can make use of the law in a positive way and examines the value of law from the perspectives of service users, carers and professionals. The course deals with a range of legal issues related to social care and social work practice, including children in need and safeguarding children, criminal and youth justice, community care, housing, and the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on practice. It also examines the dilemmas encountered in practice of working in an ethical way.

Modules at Level 2 assume that you are suitably prepared for study at this level. If you want to take a single module to satisfy your career development needs or pursue particular interests, you don’t need to start at Level 1 but you do need to have adequately prepared yourself for OU study in some other way. Check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service to make sure that you are sufficiently prepared.

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1015.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1015.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1865.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1015.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1015.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1015.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2017.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

The policy issues raised by social care and social work practice can be controversial. They include the pressure on local authority resources that limits provision of community care services; the abuse scandals that surface regularly in relation to children, older people and those with learning difficulties; and controversy over professional decision making and interventions in family life. This course examines the role of law in regulating the complex range of tasks and issues raised by modern social care and social work practice.

The course will develop your knowledge and understanding of the law in relation to social care and social work practice. It will:

  • give you an understanding of the legislative base of social work practice in Scotland in relation to particular client groups
  • enable you to broaden your understanding of issues and dilemmas that social-work law raises for social workers
  • give you information about the law relating to working with children and adults in various situations, including child care and protection, criminal and youth justice, community care, mental health, housing, welfare rights, asylum and immigration
  • heighten your awareness of the processes of decision making that are associated with the legal powers, responsibilities and duties of social workers and their employers
  • explore how the legal framework can be used to challenge discrimination and oppression.

Entry

This is an Open University Level 2 course equivalent to SCQF level 9; our Level 1 course An introduction to health and social care (K101) offers ideal preparation for study in this field at this level.  

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Preparatory work

You will receive guidance of how to get started online in your first course mailing. This will provide you with information on using your computer for OU study and working with the Computing Guide. For example, it explains how to access and use your website and online discussion forums. If you have time before the course starts, you can work through this and explore all the online services available to you.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Course books, other printed materials and audio CDs. You will have access to a website through which teaching and library resources are available including online law resources which are integral to this course. Electronic versions of most of the printed study materials are provided on the website.

You will need

A CD player.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2007 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.6 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Materials to buy

Set books

  • Davis, R & Gordon, J (eds) Social Work and the Law in Scotland (2nd edn), Palgrave Macmillan £23.99 - ISBN 9780230276314

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools that you are encouraged to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course. 

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Professional recognition

This course is one of a set of modules that together constitute an approved programme that leads to the BA (Hons) in Social Work (Scotland) degree endorsed by the Scottish Social Services Council.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in February 2015. We expect it to be available again in October 2015. We then expect it to be available once a year, in October.

Students also studied

Students who studied this course also studied at some time:

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code K207
Credits 60
OU Level 2
SCQF level 9
FHEQ level 5
Course work includes:
5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
Examination
No residential school

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