Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Mental Health and Disability: International Law and Policy MED5266

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Health and Wellbeing
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course will explore how mental health and disability legislation varies between high-income versus low and middle-income countries. The course will also critically discuss how international law influences mental health and disability policies across different settings. 


10 weeks in Semester 2

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





40% Essay (1500 words)



40% Proposal for the development of a campaign (1200 words)




20% Oral presentation (5 minutes/5 slides)

Course Aims

This course aims to introduce students to Global Mental Health Policies, Plans and Legislation. The course also aims to examine the legal rights afforded to the mental health of individuals across the world. Finally, this course aims to explore ways of minimising stigma and discrimination.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Critically compare Mental Health Legislation, Mental Health Policy and Mental Health Plans in different countries with a focus on high-income versus low and middle-income countries.


■ Define stigma and evaluate the role of culture in its development and maintenance


■ Critically evaluate anti-stigma interventions within a Global context


■ Critically discuss how stigma, discrimination and social exclusion of patients and families across cultural settings are potential barriers to ensuring equitable healthcare.


■ Discuss a range of ethical and professional challenges associated with the provision of mental healthcare in low- and middle-income countries.


■ Assess the importance of consulting with a range of stake holders (particularly service users) about the development and delivery of mental health services and develop potential strategies to do so.


■ Assess the importance of a Human Rights Approach to the development of Mental Health Policies, Plans and Legislation within a Global Context.


N.B. The italicised ILOs are based on the Grand Challenges for Global Mental Health identified in a July 2011 issue of Nature.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits