The Master of Bioethics is a one year advanced master's programme which is coordinated by the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law (CBMER) at KU Leuven.
Lectures, small-group discussions, case studies, and research activities characterise this programme, which is capped with a publishable research paper. Then, return to your workplace with a better understanding of today's ethical issues. Or perhaps your future is on an institutional review board, a clinical ethics committee, or within a government agency, regulatory body, or medical association. Then again, perhaps you'll take up a teaching or research career. Or you may pursue a career as a clinical ethicist at a hospital or health care facility.
The programme (60 ECTS) consists of a series of core bioethics courses, a research component and a series of electives.
Truncus communis of Core Bioethics Courses (22 ECTS)
A Research component (23 ECTS): a Seminar Interdisciplinary Research in Bioethics (5 ECTS) and a Master’s thesis Research Project (18 ECTS)
Elective specialisation courses (15 ECTS): In function of their background, expertise and research project, students can select from a number of courses that are offered at KU Leuven from the fields of Medicine, Theology, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Anthropology and Psychology. These elective courses allow for the development of more personal trajectories.
The program aims at dealing with the most important traditions in bioethics together with major contemporary movements, as well as the conceptual, methodological and practical issues in different areas of bioethics. The programme wants to pay specifically attention to European traditions in philosophy, theology and ethics.
Further the program supports the students in developing academic and professional competences needed to conduct research in bioethics independently. They are encouraged to participate in the scientific debate in the domain of bioethics. It intends to support students in critically analysing the literature, writing scientific articles and submitting papers to (inter)national conferences and journals. The program also intends to prepare the students to integrate their theoretical knowledge with requisite attitudes and skills, in order to be able to apply these in a professional and clinical context. The students will be able to participate in clinical ethics committees (CECs) and research ethics committees (RECs), to deal autonomously with complex ethical problems in the field of health care and/or research, to analyse these problems and to reflect on them, and to discuss ethical issues within a cross-cultural context.
Finally the program stimulates the students to develop a critical attitude towards ethical problems and the scientific bioethical literature. It stimulates student to adapt a life-long learning attitude that is essential when one is professionally active in health care. Students are stimulated to develop openness towards different positions and teaches them to work in a multidisciplinary way. The program intends to increase moral sensibility and to develop a continuous awareness for ethical issues in clinical practice.
Graduates are presented with a diverse spectrum of professional possibilities.
At least one in three of the students thas has graduated from the programme have gone on to work on a research project or undertake a doctoral degree.
Many graduates return to their workplace with a better understanding of the ethical issues involved there. Some serve on institutional review boards or clinical ethics committees or find positions at government agencies, regulatory bodies and medical associations.
Others are employed as professors at universities or researchers at independent research institutes. Some graduates pursue careers as clinical ethicists at hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Advances in biomedicine, neuroscience, and public health raise some of the most difficult ethical and societal questions today. The Bioethics & Society course allows you to study these questions drawing on concepts, theories, and methods from philosophy and the social sciences. This will enable you to understand how bioethics influences the world, and how you can make an impact in the world.
The course is taught in the heart of London, with immediate access to King’s hospitals and laboratories, and close to government, health policy think-tanks, patient advocacy groups, medical and scientific societies, and the private health sector. We offer a unique ‘real-world’ approach to bioethics, allowing students to understand the social and political contexts in which bioethical controversies arise and proposed solutions are developed. In the course of their studies, students are equipped with essential knowledge and skills to make a contribution to resolving bioethical problems. In addition, internship opportunities enable students to gather practical insights and to build professional networks.
The course is ideal for health professionals, graduates of a relevant discipline, policy makers and shapers, and anyone wishing to develop a more rigorous understanding of the ethical and societal issues in biomedicine, neuroscience, and health policy today. Our Masters degree lays the foundation for future careers; for example, in government, national and international NGOs, teaching, or research in bioethics or social sciences. The course will also enhance existing careers in clinical practice, biomedical research, public health, and health policy.
We will teach you through a combination of lectures and seminars, and you will typically have 15 hours of this per module. We also expect you to undertake 135 hours of independent study for each module. For your 12,000 word dissertation, we will provide three 2-hour workshops and six half-hour supervisory sessions to complement your 591 hours of independent study.
The department assesses students on a combination of essays, written examinations, oral presentations and the dissertation. The nature of assessment varies by module.
Graduates from this course have gone onto the following destinations:
This programme explores the links between the humanities and medicine from a humanities point of view. Among the questions it considers are: What can the humanities contribute to healthcare? How do they differ from the sciences? And what can they tell us about illness?
The Medical Humanities are a growing field of scholarship that produces powerful, innovative analyses of today’s healthcare issues. You will study the fundamentals of the field and develop analytical and critical skills that will enable you to address questions such as:
You will leave us with a deep understanding of how a variety of humanities disciplines conceive of health and illness and of the contributions these can make to healthcare. The disciplines we cover include Philosophy, Literature, Film, Psychiatry, Art History and Nursing, leading to skills in the visual, bioethical, literary, historical and philosophical analyses of healthcare.
Based on our previous Literature & Medicine MA, this MSc allows you to choose from a broader range of modules, interact with a wider range of students, and gain a firm grounding in the medical humanities by following common required modules. Your fellow students will come from a wide variety of academic and health backgrounds, from biosciences such as medicine, nursing, psychology and from health law, social work and humanities such as philosophy, film and literary studies.
The MSc in Medical Humanities incorporates the previous King's MA Literature and Medicine programmes. The course allows students to choose a broader range of modules within their degree, interact with a wider range of students, and gain a firm footing in the medical humanities by following common core modules. Students will come from a wide variety of academic and health backgrounds: biosciences such as medicine, nursing, psychology; from health law and social work and humanities trainings in philosophy, film and/or literary studies. They will develop further skills in visual, bioethical, literary, historical and philosophical analyses of health care.
If you are a full-tme student, we will give you five to nine hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars, and we will expect you to undertake 34 hours of self-study. .
If you are a part-time student, we will give you three to five hours of teaching each week through lectures and seminars in your first year and two to four hours in your second year, and we will expect you to undertake 23 hours of self-study in your first year and 11 in your second year.
You will write your dissertation in your summer, for which we will give you four hours of supervision.
Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
We will normally assess you through coursework. Typically, 20-credit modules will be assessed through a 4,000-word essay and 40-credit modules through two 4,000-word essays. Your dissertation will be a 15,000-word essay.
Further academic study in medicine and/or the humanities, if you are hoping to study on a Medical Humanities PhD programme or a career in journalism or bioethics.