Module code: LAW3090

Module Overview

Healthcare delivery is one of the most socially and politically sensitive issues in economically advanced societies, and the controversies which arise when it is defective, and in increasing its effectiveness, are important issues for the law. This module addresses issues where law and medical practice interact which do not necessarily involve the same issues of purely ethical controversy and human rights as in the co-requisite module Medical Law & Ethics. The principal area will be clinical negligence liability and litigation, with the connected problems of causation and risk-warning. The other main area for examination will be the development of medical treatments through biomedical research and experimentation.

Module provider

School of Law

Module Leader

JAMES Timothy (Schl of Law)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 47

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 47

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

  • Clinical negligence

  • Clinical confidentiality

  • Biomedical research and experimentation

  • The body as property

  • Genetic information and the law

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 3,000 WORD WRITTEN COURSEWORK 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate: that they have achieved the module learning outcomes and, by association, developed employability skills, digital capabilities, sustainability awareness and resourcefulness and resilience in addition to the other stated module attributes.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • One 3000 word coursework assessment consisting of one problem question on clinical negligence and a range of questions of various types on other parts of the syllabus.

Formative assessment

Students will be given the opportunity to submit one problem question answer plan on the field of clinical negligence, and one answer plan for a question on another area.


Students will receive individual oral feedback on their formative submission. Informal formative assessment consisting of tutor and peer feedback is also conducted throughout the module during the tutorials and the interactive lecture sessions, when students have the opportunity to engage in presenting their solutions to problem tasks.

Module aims

  • Give an opportunity for students to apply their understanding of the tort of negligence (and related torts) to one complex area of potential liability, with characteristic complexities of factual and theoretical causation
  • Develop a critical understanding of the necessary issues in the establishment of liability for medical malpractice
  • Foster a critical understanding of the policy and professional issues raised by the development of new and improved medical treatments by the processes of scientific research in the context of modern healthcare systems
  • Critically assess the current law in the areas covered in this module

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate a detailed and structured knowledge and understanding of a body of substantive law relating to the issues of medical law and policy identified in the module syllabus. KC
002 Demonstrate skills of analysis and critical evaluation of actual and hypothetical factual situations relating to the interface between law, policy and litigation concerning patients. CPT
003 Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the social, philosophical, economic and political forces which influence the development of the law in this field, and the practical and theoretical limitations of law and theory in solving problems of this kind. KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: ensure that students achieve the stated module learning outcomes and develop competencies through their learning that will enhance the University’s core educational objectives of employability, digital capabilities, global and cultural intelligence, and resourcefulness and resilience.

The learning and teaching methodology is designed around large group lectures and small group tutorials.

The lectures will be of two hour duration, each of which will consist of an approximately one-hour didactic lecture on one of the major substantive elements of law and an approximately one-hour interactive exercise where students will work together on the analysis or application of substantive law, with the objective of developing their cognitive and practical skills, both generally and in relation to the subject matter of the module. 

The tutorials will concentrate on the application of students’ advanced problem solving skills to the specific issues raised by the subject matter of the module and the presentation of solutions supported with reasoned authority and critical analysis of the law. 

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW3090

Other information

The School of Law is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:


Employability: Students develop important transferable skills through learning opportunities provided by this module, and also important substantive knowledge of the processes which affect the development and application of the law in a socially and politically important and controversial area.

Digital Capabilities: This module fosters students’ critical understanding of the impact of technological development on both the creation and the delivery of advanced healthcare interventions.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: The module raises students’ awareness of global and cultural issues through the examination of different cultural expectations of the delivery of health care, and the potential and historic issues raised by the global nature of health care development, involving the use of research carried out on less developed communities for the benefit of more developed communities, and the concentration of research on the management of the diseases of the rich. 

Sustainability: This module challenges students to think about the costs and benefits of the development of advanced health care, and how we promote the wellbeing of present and future generations by the scientific and commercial process of treatment innovation.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: The module structure, methodology and assessment are designed to develop resourcefulness and resilience through active participation when working in groups and contributing to discussions on a range of potentially sensitive issues concerning the social, economic and political pressures on the satisfactory development and delivery of health care.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Law with International Relations LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law with Criminology LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Law and Technology Pathway) LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Philosophy, Politics and Law Pathway) LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Law (Law, Environment and Sustainability Pathway) LLB (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.