Skip to main content

Unit information: Law and Governance for Mental and Social Well-Being 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 Law and Governance for Mental and Social Well-Being
Unit code LAWDM0132
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Judy Laing
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit aims to provide a firm knowledge and understanding of the relationships between mental health and mental capacity in the context of concerns for different modes of law and governance, and under the broad umbrella of social welfare. The unit approaches these questions through a range of practical, legal, and critical pathways, explaining the relevant legal frameworks, their application, and the basis of empirically-based and theoretically-led challenges to current mental health law and policy. Studies will be related to national and international governance instruments, including those based in human rights, and will incorporate perspectives including individual-based and population approaches, and address concerns about how social responsibility for mental health and well-being is and should be manifested.

Intended learning outcomes

The Unit aims to develop an understanding of Mental Health and Mental Capacity Law, considered in a broad social and legal context.

On completion of the Unit, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse critically the laws and policies regarding mental health and mental capacity
  2. Have a critical understanding of different means of evaluating and responding practically to problems concerning mental health and well-being
  3. Undertake independent research and critical analysis in relation to questions raised on the Unit
  4. Apply critically such knowledge and understanding within a discursive, critical essay
  5. Apply critically such knowledge and understanding through a research-led law reform project
  6. State and anlayse relevant law and other modes of regulation accurately
  7. Apply legal and political principles to practical questions concerning mental well-being

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Details

1 x summative assessment: 1x Law Reform Project (100%) with a specified word count

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.


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. LAWDM0132).