Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit examines the interaction of the legal system with issues relating to health care, medical research and medical technology. It explores the impact of social, economic, ethical and political influences on the law, and in particular how the law incorporates and responds to these influences. The unit is concerned with how society regulates sensitive and controversial issues associated health care and medical science, and examines how the law interacts with other regulatory methods in relation to these issues. It examines the legal understanding of human bodies, rights and duties associated with health care treatment, and decision-making associated with reproduction and dying.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Law and Society; Humanities in Health and Medicine; Criminology; Criminology and Criminal Justice major sequences
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of specific concepts associated with health care and the law; (2) apply selected and critical theories to real and hypothetical situations arising in medial science and health care; (3) demonstrate an appreciation of the interaction of legal regulatory frameworks with social, ethical, economic, political and cultural influences on issues in health care; (4) demonstrate an understanding of the different forms of legal regulation and the process of legal change in connection with issues in health care and medical science; and (5) apply skills of critical analysis, written communication and interactive discussion in connection with the topics covered in the unit.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) law reform assignment; and (3) an examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Aidan Ricciardo
Unit rules
Successful completion of
any one LAWS1104 Introduction to Law
or LAWX1104 Introduction to Law
or LAWS1110 Crime and Society
or LAWS1111 Law, Conflict and Change
or LAWS1112 Adulting: Law for Everyday Lives
or LAWS1120 Australian Legal Principles and Institutions
or ANHB1101 Human Biology I: Becoming Human
or ANHX1101 Human Biology 1 (Becoming Human)
or IMED1001 Form and Function
or PUBH1101 Health and Illness in Human Populations
Contact hours
3 hours per week
Students may also take this unit if they have acquired the equivalent skills in other Level 1 units.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.