LAW07024 2017 Social Science Law

General Details

Full Title
Social Science Law
Transcript Title
Law 2
N/A %
Subject Area
LAW - Law
SOCS - Social Sciences
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2017 - Full Academic Year 2017-18
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Deirdre McCaffrey
Programme Membership
SG_WSOCI_H08 201600 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Care Practice SG_HEARL_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HSOCI_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Care Practice SG_HEARL_H08 201800 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HSOCI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Sciences in Social Care Practice

This module is intended to further familiarise students with key aspects of law relating to the social sciences. Specific issues regularly encountered as a practitioner are identified with students being challenged to acquire the ability to not just know "what are the rules of law" but "how do I make use of the rules".

Fundamental rights as they relate to the family will be examined in this module. The module will provide students with an opportunity to explore the regulation of marital, co-habitation and other non-traditional family relationships which have become increasingly prominent in legal discourse, such as that between grandparents and grandchildren and between step-parents and step children.
Knowledge of regulation of the early years sector will be built in respect to ECCE students.

The module engages with the child protection regulatory framework covering the wide ambit of duties imposed on the State in relation to the child both in the home and if removed from the home. The civil and criminal code is explored in the context of domestic violence thus facilitating critical analysis of dual safeguards operating within the judicial system.

The nature of equality and legal efforts to combat discrimination in the workplace will be evaluated. The module will introduce students to key concepts in mental health law and capacity legislation – particularly in those areas most frequently encountered in the social care practice sphere.

The module continues to create an awareness of the significance of fundamental/human rights as set out in international law and the reflection of these norms within the domestic legal framework.

This module maps to the CORU Standards of Proficiency below:

Domain1: Professional Autonomy and Accountability

Domain 2: Communication, Collaborative Practice and Teamworking

Domain 3: Safety & Quality

Domain 4: Professional Development

Domain 5: Professional Knowledge and Skills




Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Examine the key legal principles and provisions underlying child protection, particularly the legal relationship between the State and parents (Domain1.1, 1.5, 1.13, 5.1)  


Evaluate statutory provisions and related case law pertaining to domestic violence in the context of both civil and criminal law (Domain 1.1, 1.9, 5.1)


Describe the nature of criminal law and identify how it treats the child offender (Domain 5.1)


Evaluate and reflect on the way in which employment equality law and mental health law operate to ameliorate discriminatory practices. 


Assess the role of international and domestic law in the articulation, identification and protection of human/fundamental rights (Domain 1.5, 1.8, 1.9, 5.3) 


Interpret the provisions of the Constitution and statutory law in the context of the myriad of family units prevalent in Irish society and demonstrate an understanding of the relavant legal concepts of guardianship, custody and access by their application to factual scenarios (Domain 1.1, 5.1, 5.2)


Explore regulation of the early years sector froma registered provide perspective  

Teaching and Learning Strategies

3 seminars per week - (class divided in to two groups)  theory and practical strategies  

Module Assessment Strategies

Continuous assessment e.g.a research / applied based assignment  (oral exam or / multiple choice exam) 50%

Final exam 50%


This modules assessment allows for assessment of CORU Standards of Proficiency as follows:

Continuous assessment  (Domain 1.1, 1.5, 1.8, 1.12, 1.13, 1.14, 2.6, 3.7, 3.13, 5.1, 5.3, 5.7, 5.14) 

Exam (Domain 1.1, 1.5, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 1.12, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3)

Repeat Assessments

Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat exam. It may be necessary to reassess a coursework element.   

Indicative Syllabus

Indicative Syllabus 

1.The law of the family and child

  • Constitutional family rights - Art 41 and 42
  • Marriage/civil partnership and breakdown; ancillary orders
  • Adoption Guardianship, custody and access


2. Child Protection - The Child Care Act, 1991 as amended

  • Child Care Act: duty of State to protect children in the home and removal
  • Regulation of alternative care for children
  • Additional legislative measures to protect children


3. Domestic Violence

  • development of domestic violence legislation in Ireland
  • provisions of domestic violence legislation - injunctive relief available and enforcement
  • the criminal code and domestic violence


4.Criminal Law

  • elements of criminal law - actus rea and mens rea
  • criminal offences: murder; non- fatal offences; drug offences; exploitation offences
  • Youth Justice: an introduction

5. Equality: disability: mental health

  • United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD)
    • Employment Equality Acts – prohibition of discrimination in the workplace
    • Mental Health Act, 2001; Mental Capacity (Decision-Making) Act, 2014

6. Human/Fundamental rights

  • International: UN Conventions and European Convention on Human Rights
  • Role of Ombudsman for children in protecting children rights
  • Constitution: express and implied rights


* This is a comprehensive module with diverse components across the social science sphere - it will not be possible to deliver all elements in similar detail, therefore an element of selection will be necessary on a year to year basis.  



Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 assignment / oral exam Continuous Assessment Assessment 50 % Week 4 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Ongoing Exam - formal Final Exam Closed Book Exam 50 % End of Term 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Seminar Tiered Classroom seminar 3 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Hamilton C. (2011) Irish Social Work and Social Care Law Dublin: Gill and Macmillan

Nestor J. (2011) Introduction to Family law Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 4th ed

Nestor J. (2009) Law of Child Care Dublin Blackhall Publishing 2nd ed
Shannon G. (2010) Child Law Dublin: Thomson Roundhall 2nd ed
Kilkelly U (2008) Children's Rights in Ireland Law Policy & Practice Dublin: Thomson Roundhall

Bracken T. (2016) The Modern Family Relationships and the Law Dublin: Clarus Press

Shannon G. (2016) Children and Family Relationships Law in Ireland P& P Dublin: Clarus Press

Coulter C. (2012) Family law in Practice A Study of Cases in the Circuit Court Dublin:
Kennedy & Maguire Irish Family Law Handbook Dublin: Tottel Publishing 3rd ed
Purdy A. (2015) Equality Law in the Workplace Dublin: Bloomsbury Professional
Hanly C. (2013) Criminal law Dublin: Tottel Publishing
McPartland E. (2013) Best Interests of the Child Dublin: Gill and Macmillan
Ryan F. (2008) Constitutional Law Dublin: Thomson Round Hall 2nd ed
Hogan and Whyte (2003) The Irish Constitution Dublin: Tottel Publishing 4th ed
O’ Brien Z. and Prangnell M. (2015) Childhood Social, Legal Health Studies Dublin Gill Education



URL Resources   

westlaw database accessed through library website 

Other Resources

Bunreacht na hEireann 

Acts of the Oireachtas and Statutory Instruments - various

United Nation Convention on Rights of Child 

United Nation Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities  

Reports by Law Reform Commission and Ombudsman for Children   

Additional Information

half day circuit court visit is mandatory

Learning outcomes will vary depending on assignment topic