The School of Law offers a new Masters Degree Programme for social, legal, police, healthcare and other professionals working with adults. The course is specially designed so that it may be taken by those who are in full-time employment.
The central aims of the course are to update and enhance knowledge of relevant law and research literature and to provide an opportunity for experienced practitioners to further develop and critically reflect upon their skills, as applied to safeguarding adults in a variety of settings.
It aims to promote anti-discriminatory practice, inter-agency understanding and interdisciplinary working. The course also aims to develop research and analytical skills and to provide a foundation for pursuing further study at doctoral level.
It is an interdisciplinary course comprising contributions from law, policy, practice and health. As part of the School of Law, the Centre for Professional Ethics (PEAK) will make an essential contribution to the course. Safeguarding adults work engages with a multitude of ethical dilemmas and understanding of key concepts such as ‘autonomy’ from a legal and ethical perspective are an essential theoretical underpinning to understanding of safeguarding and for competent professional practice
The aims of this programme are to introduce key principles of interdisciplinary, socio-legal research methods and scholarship, facilitate the development of higher-level critical analysis, and develop the students’ capacity for original thinking in relation to the complex issues arising in socio-legal scholarship. More specifically, the programme aims to:
- Develop a practical and theoretical understanding of safeguarding adults
- Develop a critical awareness of the social and political contexts in which law and practice is located
- Develop a critical perspective in the assessment and evaluation of research, law scholarship, policy and practice in adult safeguarding
- Develop critical and analytical skills in order to interrogate practical legal problems and to justify decisions
- Develop the ability to work independently in a coherent, focused and productive way.
- Encourage interdisciplinarity via the student experience - inter professional student groups, learning and teaching provided by a range of academics, professionals and policy makers.
The programme is structured in a way that allows students to maintain full-time employment whilst studying, with teaching for each module taking place over an intensive 3-day period.
Students may choose to study from one to five modules per year and may complete the entire programme in one year or up to five years, depending on their preference and external commitments.
To achieve the MA students will study four taught modules followed by a dissertation module. As an alternative, it is possible to exit the course with a Postgraduate Certificate (on satisfactory completion of 2 taught modules) or a Postgraduate Diploma (on satisfactory completion of 4 taught modules). A student must complete all four taught modules before proceeding to the dissertation module.
These modules provide a foundation for the understanding of and critical engagement with safeguarding. They also introduce students to the research skills and critical analysis necessary for the successful completion of a Masters programme, with a particular focus on interdisciplinary socio-legal research methods.
Teaching & Assessment
Assessment is based on coursework and a dissertation. There are no exams. Assessment of each taught module is by written assignment of about 5,000 words each. A choice of essay titles is provided for each block. In the research year the emphasis is on independent research – there is a research methods assignment of 2,000 words formatively assessed and a dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words. The pass mark for all assessments is 50%. The modules are taught through 20 hours of contact time, delivered as an intensive three-day block of teaching.
During the module, students will take part in tutor-led seminars and discussions, small group exercises, and case studies. Each module is accompanied by extensive independent study and throughout the course students are encouraged and required to undertake independent reading to both supplement and consolidate the classes and to broaden individual knowledge and understanding of the subject.
All students receive initial guidance on how to identify, locate and use materials available in libraries and elsewhere (including electronic sources). Guidelines are provided for the production of coursework assignments and dissertations and these are reinforced by seminars and individual supervision, which focus specifically on essay planning and writing, and research methodology. Detailed written and, if requested, oral feedback is provided on all course work. There is also time set aside during each module and outside the modules for students to consult individually with teaching staff and receive guidance and feedback on assessment and module performance.
While away from Keele, between teaching blocks, students will benefit from directed reading, additional resources posted on the KLE together with a KLE based discussion page for ‘virtual’ interaction between students.
Modules across the programme will include recommended core and supplemental texts. Costs will vary depending on the particular text (Law textbooks vary between £20-40).
Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this post graduate programme.