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Module SXL-2126:
Family and Welfare Law

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Marie Parker

Overall aims and purpose

Family and Welfare Law is an optional module in the LLB programme. The aim of this module is to enable students to state and apply the rules of English and Welsh family and welfare law dealt with in the course accurately and relevantly. Students will be required to develop a critical appreciation of the particular circumstances – political, social, and cultural – in which Family and Welfare law has developed. Students will be expected to make critical assessments of relevant scholarship, particularly in relation to public policy debates relating to fundamental matters pertaining to Family and Welfare law including the rights of cohabitants, divorce law, same-sex couples, and approaches to child protection. In this context, students will be expected to demonstrate a familiarity with a range of theoretical approaches, including feminist theory and differing perspectives on children’s rights. Students will be expected to compare and contrast Family and Welfare law accurately and relevantly with the equivalent areas of any other legal system where relevant, in particular other common law jurisdictions. Students will be expected, in this respect, to develop an understanding of the different approaches adopted in Scotland, as well as the impact of devolution on Family and Welfare law in Wales. Students will also be expected to develop an understanding of the actual and potential impact of human rights law on Family and Welfare law, including the jurisprudence relating to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and other relevant international instruments.

Course content

The module will allow the student to study modern English and Welsh family and welfare law, in particular the law relating to adult relationships and family property, the relationship between children and adults, the resolution of disputes concerning children, the protection of children and the law of adoption, legal responses to domestic violence, and the law relating to homelessness and the protection of elderly and vulnerable adults.

Assessment Criteria


An outstanding, possibly brilliant, answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in a clear, logical, critical argument with little room for improvement. An answer which demonstrates a complete mastery of the subject.


An answer which, while predominantly correct in its presentation of material, contains a significant level of error and is therefore not entirely reliable.


A comprehensive answer, containing all the material relevant to the question and no irrelevancy, all the material and references being accurate and correct, there being no inaccuracy or error, the whole presented in an argument which, while clear, logical and critical, leaves room for improvement in its construction and presentation. An answer which shows complete competence in the subject.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary debates in relation to English and Welsh family and welfare law.

  2. Show a practical understanding of relevant law relating to English and Welsh family and welfare law.

  3. Understand the impact of human rights law on English and Welsh family and welfare law.

  4. Apply knowledge of English and Welsh family and welfare law to actual or hypothetical factual scenarios.

  5. Find, identify and use relevant legal sources in relation to English and Welsh family and welfare law.

  6. Undertake independent legal research in relation to English and Welsh family and welfare law.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Written assignment 40
EXAM Final examination 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy


20 seminars, two hours per week over two semesters. Seminars will routinely require students to engage individually and in groups in acquiring, commenting upon and applying the principles and details of the subject under the guidance and instruction of the tutor.

Private study

The module requires students to undertake private study in order to prepare for seminars, complete an essay and to prepare for the examination.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Develop the ability to interpret legal rules and employ techniques of legal reasoning competently and efficiently in order to offer a range of solutions and conclusions to actual or hypothetical complex legal problems, all supported by relevant academic literature, jurisprudence and legislative research. Such solutions will be clearly communicated and presented
  • Develop the ability to analyse complex legal issues, set against the background of the political, social, economic or cultural contexts in which they may arise
  • Develop those skills which are necessary for scholarship and research in legal subjects, namely the ability to identify relevant primary and secondary legal sources and to retrieve accurate legal information using paper and electronic sources


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module