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The University of Southampton

LAWS3086 Health Care Law

Module Overview

The Health Care Law module provides a foundational understanding of the relationships between health care, ethics, and law. It explores a range of complex and controversial questions, with a focus on fundamental legal and regulatory ideas, applied to specific areas of health care practice and policy.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• to develop knowledge and understanding of the main legal features of the regulatory techniques used in health care law to ‘police’ the relationship between patients and health services; • to develop knowledge and understanding of the main types of arguments used to justify legal regulation in the provision of health care and bioethics; • to develop the ability to critically evaluate the success of legal interventions in health care law and bioethics; • to offer an opportunity to develop independent research skills, including analysis and argumentation (communicated through both oral and written work), drawing on a range of disciplines as appropriate; • to acquire the ability to critically analyse selected areas of health care law and bioethics.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the interaction between patients and the health care system;
  • the socio-political emphasis behind the regulation of health care provision.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • critically appraise the law to promote health and secure healthcare, using appropriately selected specific examples to justify your assessment;
  • consider the relative merits of legal and other mechanisms for regulating health care;
  • examine the relationship between law, ethics and politics in the context of health care.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • clarify, inform and defend your views on selected issues in health care law and ethics;
  • examine and assess specific aspects of health care law in response to questions posed orally or in writing;
  • communicate your views orally, as part of a group, and in writing.


This module adopts a flexible approach to the regulation of health care that takes into account the learning needs of students and topical issues as they arise within the context of health care law. It explores key areas of health care law and bioethics relating to issues like, end of life decision-making, consent to treatment and confidentiality, amongst others. It also considers the impact of litigation on health services, patient choice, clinical freedom and judicial oversight within the boundaries of established theories of health care law.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching Methods include: • Lectures • Tutorials • Group work Learning Activities include: • Individual study and research • Accessing online resources and health care law literature • Preparing and participating in tutorial activities

Completion of assessment task35
Follow-up work5
Preparation for scheduled sessions70
Wider reading or practice12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Brazier, M & Cave, E (2011). Medicine, Patients and the Law. 

Jackson, E (2013). Medical Law Text and Materials. 

Mason, J K & Laurie, G T (2013). Law and Medical Ethics. 

Montgomery, J (2002). Health Care Law. 



Group presentation


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (5000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (5000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (5000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


A cost associated with this module is the purchase of one of the mandatory textbooks listed within the resources section. Students are advised to take a look at all the texts listed and decide which one best suits their method of learning Mandatory texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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