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Cardiff University: Social Care Law

Institution Cardiff University
Department School of Law and Politics
Telephone +44 (0)29 2087 4455
Study type Taught


A comprehensive programme that will develop your understanding of core elements of adult and child social care law, policy and practice in England and Wales.

Our LLM Social Care Law programme focuses on social care law, policy and practice in England and Wales in the international context of human rights. Despite the fundamental importance of the law in these fields, master’s programmes have often neglected its study. Our programme is unique in providing opportunities to learn from legal specialists in human rights, disability and capacity issues, children’s rights and the respective duties and responsibilities of families and the State.

Social care law affects virtually every person in the UK at some time in their lives. The size of the social care industry and workforce is larger than that of the NHS, and touches upon some of the most important and fundamental aspects of life for hundreds of thousands of citizens. The system’s demands remain an enormous challenge for policy makers.

Social care law as it relates to children and adults has seen increasing litigation in recent decades and is a burgeoning field of scholarship. It is also relevant to professional development, enabling practitioners to engage with and apply the legal principles in their casework. Although legislation was comprehensively reformed in 2014, this has not resolved the outstanding ideological and economic tensions.

This programme explores the international principles underlying the law, such as independent living, dignity and autonomy rights; the history of the post-war consensus, neo-liberalism and the rollback of the welfare state; the tensions between concepts of family privacy and state intervention; and the meaning of informed consent to treatment. We offer a range of modules, for example: Social Care Rights; International Disability Human Rights Law; The Child and the State - Law and Policy; and Consent to Medical Treatment.

Our students have included academics, lawyers, social workers, workers with voluntary organisations, carers, and civil servants.


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