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Masters Degrees (Bioethics And Law)

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The LL.M. is directed at well-qualified graduates in law and related disciplines. It seeks to promote critical analysis of, and reflection on, different aspects of national, European and international law. Read more
The LL.M. is directed at well-qualified graduates in law and related disciplines. It seeks to promote critical analysis of, and reflection on, different aspects of national, European and international law. This programme is delivered over one academic year. Students are examined in six modules and complete a research dissertation of up to 25,000 words over the academic year on an approved theme. The modules offered might typically include the following: Advanced Comparative Law: European Legal Systems, Advanced European Union Law, Advanced Lawyering Techniques, African Human Rights Law, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Chinese Legal System in Comparative Perspective, Comparative Civil Rights, Comparative Constitutional Law and Theory, Comparative Product Liability: Common Law, EU and US Perspectives, Copyright and Innovation, Online, Corporate Governance, Corporate, White-Collar and Regulatory Crime, Corruption Law, Creative Works and Intellectual Property, Employment Litigation, EU Aviation Law, EU Banking and Securities Law, EU Competition Law, EU Consumer Law, EU Copyright, Patents and Design Law, EU External Relations Law, EU Financial Services Law, EU Trademark Law, European Human Rights Law, Freedom of Expression and Intellectual Property Law, Online, Globalisation and the Law, Intellectual Property Law and Sport, International and Comparative analysis of Unfair Competition and Trade Mark Law, International Aviation Law, International Criminal Evidence, International Criminal Law, International Economic Law, International Dispute Resolution, International Humanitarian Law, International and European Tax Law, International Trade Law, Islamic Law, Judicial Activism, Human Rights and Indian Constitution, Judicial Review and Human Rights: Theory and Practice, Law and Bioethics, Law on the Seizure of Criminal Assets, Principles of Corporate Insolvency and Rescue, Principles of Delaware Corporate Law, Public Law of the European Union, Theoretical and Comparative Criminal Law, Transitional Justice. The Law School reserves the right to vary the above list and, in particular, the right to withdraw and add courses. Note that timetabling considerations may also restrict choice. Further information on the precise modules available in a given year is available on the LLM website.

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The LL.M. is directed at well-qualified graduates in law and related disciplines. It seeks to promote critical analysis of, and reflection on, different aspects of national, European and international law. Read more
The LL.M. is directed at well-qualified graduates in law and related disciplines. It seeks to promote critical analysis of, and reflection on, different aspects of national, European and international law. This programme is delivered over one academic year. Students are examined in six modules and complete a research dissertation of up to 25,000 words over the academic year on an approved theme relating to some aspect of International and/or European business law.
The modules offered might typically include the following:

Advanced Comparative Law: European Legal Systems, Advanced European Union Law, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Chinese Legal System in Comparative Perspective, Comparative Product Liability: Common Law, EU and US Perspectives, Copyright and Innovation, Online, Corporate Governance, Corporate, White-Collar and Regulatory Crime, Corruption Law, Creative Works and Intellectual Property, Employment Litigation, EU Aviation Law, EU Banking and Securities Law, EU Competition Law, EU Consumer Law, EU Copyright, Patents and Design Law, EU External Relations Law, EU Financial Services Law, EU Trademark Law, Globalisation and Law, Intellectual Property Law and Sport, International Aviation Law, International Dispute Resolution, International Economic Law, International and European Tax Law, International Trade Law, Islamic Law, Law and Bioethics, Principles of Corporate Insolvency and Rescue, Principles of Delaware Corporate Law, Public Law of the EU.

The Law School reserves the right to vary the above list and, in particular, the right to withdraw and add courses. Note that timetabling considerations may also restrict choice. Further information on the precise modules available in a given year is available on the LLM website.

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The Birkbeck School of Law has an excellent reputation. Its body of research students has grown dramatically over the last few years, and competition for places is high. Read more
The Birkbeck School of Law has an excellent reputation. Its body of research students has grown dramatically over the last few years, and competition for places is high. Our research community now comprises people from around the globe, researching in diverse legal areas and with different methodologies. We encourage and assist researchers to publish articles. Many of our graduates have become professional academics after, and even during, their studies here.

MPhil/PhD students benefit from the supervision of internationally renowned experts and secondary supervisors, classes in legal theory and research and presentation skills, seminars and extensive library facilities. Moreover, we offer financial assistance for conference attendance where appropriate, a comprehensive programme of independent monitoring of each student's yearly progress, and postgraduate student representation on the School board. In addition, our present body of researchers constitutes a vibrant community that organises, with the support of the School, a series of workshops, reading groups and a work-in-progress group, as well as frequent social events.

We encourage applications for research in the areas listed below, but it is important to stress that we can only offer supervision in areas where members of the School are actively working.

Areas of research interest include: legal theory; public law; language and law; law and literature; law and film; law and development; gender, sexuality and law; socio-legal studies; environmental law; company law; legal history; medical law and ethics; criminology; European law; intellectual property; insurance law; media law; law and bioethics; constitutional theory and national identity; human rights; criminal justice; feminist legal theory; post-colonial theory; legal aesthetics; law and political economy; race and law; child law; access to justice; international economic law; international refugee law; law and multinational corporations.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Research students in the School of Law are an important part of our research culture. We have succeeded in recruiting very high-quality research students and the number of UK and overseas PhD students has increased fivefold since 2001. This reflects the School's growing reputation as a training ground for early-career academics working from critical and socio-legal perspectives.
The PhD programme is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK's leading research council addressing economic and social concerns. The PhD is tailored to students' needs and can include generic modules from our postgraduate Master's programmes such as Research Frameworks and Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods. In-house seminars, the Bloomsbury Postgraduate Skills Network and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Interdisciplinary Research Training Network also provide additional training. Students have received awards from the AHRC, British Academy, Overseas Research Students Awards, ESRC, Natural Environment Research Council and internal Birkbeck and Law School Studentships.
Reading groups are encouraged, focusing on particular writers such as Agamben, Foucault and Deleuze as well as issues such as critical international law, feminist theory, Latin American culture and politics and Continental philosophy. There is an informal doctoral 'work-in-progress group' open to staff and research students, allowing the latter to develop their presentation skills and invite general comment on projects. There are a number of other events designed to support research students. Additionally, an annual postgraduate conference is held to showcase current doctoral research. The upgrade viva examination, whereby students progress from MPhil to PhD registration, gives students experience of a more formal arena in which they have to defend their work to academic staff.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

We are among the top 10 law schools in the UK and in the top 3 in London in the Times Higher Education 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) rankings, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.

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The LL.M. is directed at well-qualified graduates in law and related disciplines. It seeks to promote critical analysis of, and reflection on, different aspects of national, European and international law. Read more
The LL.M. is directed at well-qualified graduates in law and related disciplines. It seeks to promote critical analysis of, and reflection on, different aspects of national, European and international law. This programme is delivered over one academic year. Students are examined in six modules and complete a research dissertation of up to 25,000 words over the academic year on an approved theme relating to some aspect of International and/or European intellectual property law. The modules offered might typically include the following: Advanced European Union Law, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Chinese Legal System in Comparative Perspective, Comparative Product Liability, Common Law, EU and US Perspective, Copyright and Innovation, Online, Corportate Governance, Creative Works and Intellectual Property, EU Competition Law, EU Consumer Law, EU Copyright, Patents and Design Law, EU Trademark Law, Freedom of Expression and Intellectual Property, Online, Intellectual Property Law and Sport, International and Comparative Trade Mark, and Unfair Competition Law, International Dispute Resolution, International Economic Law, International and European Tax Law, International Trade Law, Law and Bioethics, Principles of Corporate Insolvency and Rescue. The Law School reserves the right to vary the above list and, in particular, the right to withdraw and add courses. Note that timetabling considerations may also restrict choice. Further information on the precise modules available in a given year is available on the LLM website.

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Individuals and institutions in healthcare are increasingly called to account for their decisions. Bioethics is relevant to all our lives. Read more
Individuals and institutions in healthcare are increasingly called to account for their decisions.

Bioethics is relevant to all our lives. Even if we never work in healthcare it touches us when we are most vulnerable - when we or those we care for are unwell.

Whether assisted dying, stem cell therapies or three-parent IVF, bioethics is also often in the news and having a greater understanding of the issues involved can enable more in-depth public engagement.

Reflection on the ethical principles that underlie medical and allied practice is an important part of continuing career development for healthcare professionals. Almost every day, it seems some new ethical dilemma appears in the news; whether to do with stem cell research, assisted suicide, resource allocation, nanotechnologies, human cloning or health and climate change.

Why St Mary's?

It is often said, "bioethics is moral philosophy done badly".

At St Mary's our multidisciplinary team of ethics experts with backgrounds in law, medicine, philosophy and theology ensure that every student has a chance to gain a thorough understanding of the grounding of ethical principles and their application.

The success of our students - in completing PhDs, getting papers published and advancing their careers in biomedical ethics and related fields - bears out the effectiveness of this approach.

Course Content

All modules for this degree can be found on our website:
https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses-london/bioethics-and-medical-law

Career Prospects

Our students find the course not only interesting in itself, but also a unique distinguishing asset when applying for jobs in medicine, nursing and allied health care professions as well as in education and law.

The study of a contemporary and universally relevant subject such as medical ethics and law is an excellent preparation for any profession that requires graduates with high levels of human understanding, critical skills and knowledge of current affairs.

Institutions are increasingly being called to account for their decisions and procedures, and reflection on the ethical principles that underlie practice is an important part of continuing professional development for healthcare professionals. An MA in Bioethics and Medical Law is therefore a very flexible and useful qualification to have.

The MA also provides strong foundation for those wishing to pursue further postgraduate research at PhD level. Previous MA graduates have gone on to study for doctorates at St Mary’s and other universities in the UK and internationally. Several past students are currently on the national bioethics bodies for their home countries.

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What is the Master of Bioethics all about?. The Master of Bioethics is a one year advanced master's programme which is coordinated by the . Read more

What is the Master of Bioethics all about?

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.

Structure

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)

  • Ethics and Law in Biomedical Research
  • Public Health Ethics and Ethics in Health Policy
  • Ethical Issues in End-of-life Care
  • The Foundations of Bioethics and Principles of Clinical Ethics
  • Human Genetics, Ethics and Policy
  • Law and Healthcare

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.

Objectives

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.

Career Options

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.



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The LLM Healthcare Ethics and Law aims to provide the highest quality of training in health care ethics and health care law in a flexible and interdisciplinary way, catering to the practical needs of health care and legal professionals and those in related fields. . Read more

The LLM Healthcare Ethics and Law aims to provide the highest quality of training in health care ethics and health care law in a flexible and interdisciplinary way, catering to the practical needs of health care and legal professionals and those in related fields. 

You will gain an expert knowledge and understanding of bioethical and medico-legal theories, and the skills needed to apply them to real world scenarios in a diverse range of contexts.

You will study a wide variety of ethical and legal subjects including autonomy, consent, refusal of treatment, confidentiality, the moral status of the foetus, resource allocation, genetic testing, HIV testing, medical malpractice, clinical negligence, organ and tissue transplantation, fertility treatment, genetic manipulation, research ethics, stem cell research and euthanasia. 

Aims

The LLM Healthcare Ethics and Law aims to

  • provide the highest quality of training in healthcare ethics and health care law with an interdisciplinary approach;
  • provide an emphasis on the application of moral and legal theory to real world scenarios, thus catering to the practical needs of healthcare and legal professionals;
  • offer students the opportunity to gain a comprehensive knowledge and firm understanding of ethical and medico-legal theories;
  • offer students the opportunity to gain the skills needed to apply theory to real world scenarios in a diverse range of contexts;
  • develop ethical and medico legal knowledge and research skills for the writing of a Masters-level dissertation

Teaching and learning

You will be provided with a comprehensive set of course materials at the beginning of each course unit. These interactive specially designed materials provide an introduction to the issues and skills central to each unit and direct you to other study components such as further reading.

Each unit is supported by a virtual learning environment where you can access all course materials, online reading lists, podcasts, and the University's extensive online library. You are encouraged to use the VLE to discuss issues raised in the course materials with your course tutor and fellow students. Tutors are also available to provide one to one support by face to face meeting, telephone, skype and e-mail. In addition to this you will have access to a wide range of online resources to support your learning via the library website.

An optional study day is held each year giving you an opportunity to meet with tutors and colleagues on campus. All students studying by distance learning are welcome to attend the regular research seminars that take place on campus during term time.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment of all taught course units (to a total of 120 credits) is by assessed coursework in the form of essays of 4,000 words per 15 credit course unit and up to 7,000 words for the three 30 credit Core course units.

In addition, LL.M students must submit a supervised 12,000 to 15,000 word dissertation by independent research (60 credits).  As a part-time student, you will undertake a dissertation in the summer months of year two. Please note that you can also extend your registration for extra 3 months to submit a dissertation in December of your second year, instead of September (you will be advised of the exact date on the second year of the course).

Those students who do not achieve success in the LL.M may be considered for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma. The award of the LL.M is classified according to Pass/Merit/Distinction. 

Course unit details

Students will be required to complete 180 credits: 120 credits comprised of taught course units (each of 15 or 30 credits value), and an independent research element of the course worth 60 credits by way of a Masters dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words. The dissertation should be predominantly law-based.

On the  distance learning  course students complete 60 credits of taught course units in the first year and 60 credits in the second year, together with the dissertation. Students must choose the two `law' options to qualify for the degree of LLM.

The Core course units for the  distance learning   course  are :

  • Philosophical Bioethics (30 credits)
  • Medico-Legal Problems (30 credits)
  • International Issues in Healthcare Ethics and Law (30 credits)

Students must choose optional course units to a total value of 30 credits from the following list:

Law-based

  • Medicine, Law & Society (15 credits)
  • Mental Health Law & Policy (15 credits)

Ethics-based

  • Research Ethics (15 credits)
  • Ethics & Genetics (15 credits)

Details of all current course units available in the School of Law can be found on the  Faculty of Humanities website .

Scholarships and bursaries

The School is offering a number of awards for students applying for masters study. To find out more please visit our  Master's funding opportunity search page .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

Successful graduates of the LLM are able to progress within a wide variety of roles in medical, legal and ethical fields.

Graduates from previous years have, for example, proceeded to specialise in medico-legal practice and academic careers, and the degrees have enhanced the careers of health care professionals.



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The LLM Healthcare Ethics and Law aims to provide the highest quality of training in healthcare ethics and healthcare law in a flexible and interdisciplinary way. Read more

The LLM Healthcare Ethics and Law aims to provide the highest quality of training in healthcare ethics and healthcare law in a flexible and interdisciplinary way.

There is an emphasis on the application of bioethical and legal theory to real world scenarios, thus catering to the practical needs of healthcare and legal professionals and those in related fields.

You will study a wide variety of ethical and legal subjects including autonomy, consent, refusal of treatment, confidentiality, the moral status of the foetus, resource allocation, genetic testing, HIV testing, medical malpractice, clinical negligence, organ and tissue transplantation, fertility treatment, genetic manipulation, research ethics, stem cell research and euthanasia. 

Aims

This course will allow you develop an expert knowledge and understanding of bioethical and medico-legal theories, and the skills needed to apply them to real world scenarios in a diverse range of contexts.

You will also develop the ethical and medico-legal knowledge and research skills required for writing a master's level dissertation, and will be well prepared for further research if you so desire.

Teaching and learning

Campus based course

Teaching tends to defy the traditional boundaries associated with lectures and seminars. Generally, each class in a course unit has a duration of 2 or 3 hours per week, and is split roughly equally between a formal, didactic period and a structured discussion period (most often based on the so-called challenge-response model). Nevertheless, each class is considered a seminar or lecture, and attendance of all classes of a course unit for which a student is enrolled is thus compulsory . For course units of 15 credit value there will generally be 15 hours of face-to-face teaching throughout the semester in which the unit is delivered, and twice that amount for 30 credit units.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment of all taught course units (to a total of 120 credits) is by assessed coursework in the form of essays of 4,000 words per 15 credit course unit and up to 7,000 words for the two 30 credit core course units. In addition, students who wish to complete the LLM must submit a 12,000 to 15,000 word dissertation by independent research (60 credits); no dissertation is required for the PGDip or PGCert. Part-time students undertake a supervised dissertation in the summer months of year two. Please note that the part-time students can extend their registration for extra 3 months to submit their dissertations in December of their second year, instead of September (you will be advised of the exact date on the second year of the course).

Those who do not successfully complete the MA you may be considered for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma.

Those who do not successfully complete the Postgraduate Diploma may be considered for the award of the Postgraduate Certificate.

The awards of the MA or Postgraduate Diploma are classified according to Pass/Merit/Distinction. The Postgraduate Certificate is awarded unclassified.

Course unit details

Students will be required to complete 180 credits: 120 credits comprised of taught course units (each of 15 or 30 credits value), and an independent research element of the course worth 60 credits by way of a Masters dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words, which is undertaken over the summer months of the course. The dissertation should be predominantly law-based.

On the full time course, the 120 taught credits can be split in one of two ways: (1) 60 credits in each of the two semesters; or (2) 75 credits in semester one and 45 credits in semester two. 

Students registered on the LLM Healthcare Ethics and Law would need to select a majority of their optional courses from the law list (Mental Health Law and Policy; Medicine, Law and Society; Children, Medicine and the Law). Global Health Law and Bioethics can count as an ethics or law course.

Scholarships and bursaries

The School is offering a number of awards for students applying for masters study. To find out more please visit our  Master's funding opportunity search page .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

Successful graduates are able to progress within a wide variety of roles in both Medical, Legal and Ethical fields. Graduates from previous years have, for example, proceeded to specialise in Medico-Legal practice and academic careers, and the degrees have enhanced the careers of health care professionals.



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The course is designed to enable you to undertake a thorough analysis of legal and ethical problems in the field of medical law. Read more
The course is designed to enable you to undertake a thorough analysis of legal and ethical problems in the field of medical law. Lancashire Law School has over fifty academic staff, who are able to provide the expertise to cover all facets of the discipline of law for undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes. Many tutors have national and international reputations in their specialist fields. The Law School is well served by the centrally sited library and excellent range of both paper-based and electronic legal materials.

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Our Medical Ethics & Law MA programme focuses on the ethical and legal questions raised by medical practice and science. Read more

Our Medical Ethics & Law MA programme focuses on the ethical and legal questions raised by medical practice and science. These include debates about conflicts between mother and foetus, physician-assisted suicide, psychiatry, the allocation of scarce medical resources, the boundaries of the market in medicine and the law and ethics of medical research. The programme was established in 1978 and constitutes an important part of the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, which is the first of its kind in the UK.

Key benefits

  • In-depth philosophical analysis and the most up-to-date legal scholarship applied to a very wide range of medical issues.
  • The programme discusses controversial issues such as euthanasia and abortion with a balanced approach.
  • Supported by the UK's first centre of Medical Law and Ethics and its distinguished team of academic staff members.

Description

Our Medical Ethics & Law programme is designed for medical/legal professionals, graduates of a relevant discipline, those going on to research and for anyone wanting to think about some of the hardest human decisions.

You will study the ethical and legal questions raised in the context of medicine, which include genetics, assisted reproduction, abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia, autism, psychiatric ethics and mental health law, medical research, organ donations and the allocation of scarce resources.

Course format and assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars.

Full time students have an average of 6 seminar hours per week. However, this will vary depending on which modules you choose to take and in which semester they are taught. Full time students are expected to spend 32-34 hours engaged in self-study per week.

Part time students have an average of 2-4 hours of seminars per week. They are expected to engage in 14-16 hours of self-study a week.

Contact time is based on 24 academic weeks (typically there is 1 reading week per semester), whereas self-study time is based on 31 academic weeks.

The total notional study hours for the MA are 1800 (10 hours per 1 credit). Notional study hours comprise formal teaching and learning activities, such as lectures and tutorials, as well as assessments and independent research and study.

Assessment

Many modules are assessed by coursework, i.e. one essay, usually of a maximum of 3500 words. Some modules are assessed by one 2-hour exam.

Career destinations

Many alumni go on to work in policy-related positions, which include the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the Human Tissue Authority, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and the Department of Health. We also have a number of alumni who have worked or are working in the BMA Ethics Department, for the GMC, Progress Educational Trust, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the King's Fund, and medical defence societies. A number of alumni are teaching ethics and/or law in medical schools. Students who go on to doctoral-level study also find academic positions in law schools and research centres.



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The Master of Bioethics and Health Law (MBHL) degree is an interdisciplinary postgraduate programme which consists in writing a research dissertation under supervision and completing papers worth an additional 120 points from a . Read more

The Master of Bioethics and Health Law (MBHL) degree is an interdisciplinary postgraduate programme which consists in writing a research dissertation under supervision and completing papers worth an additional 120 points from a schedule of papers. The degree may be awarded with distinction or credit. The degree draws on the resources of both ethical and legal theory, and attends to bioethical problems arising from the increasing use of technology in medicine and changes in the resourcing and delivery of health care.



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The Biomedical Ethics Unit of McGill University, Montreal, was established in 1996 with the aim of supporting scholarly research, clinical services, teaching and public outreach. Read more
The Biomedical Ethics Unit of McGill University, Montreal, was established in 1996 with the aim of supporting scholarly research, clinical services, teaching and public outreach. Members of the unit have backgrounds in law, sociology, molecular genetics, history, medicine, and philosophy with cross-appointments in Social Studies of Medicine, Family Medicine, Experimental Medicine, Human Genetics, Sociology, and the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health.

LLM in Bioethics

The Master's Specialization in Bioethics is an interdisciplinary program that emphasizes both the conceptual and practical aspects of Bioethics with students applying through the Faculties of Law, Medicine, Religious Studies and the Department of Philosophy. Students entering through Law are bound by the requirements of the Faculty of Law's LL.M. Thesis program.

The Master's Specialization in Bioethics ordinarily takes at least two years to complete, although some students have completed it in 18 months. The first year is devoted to course work (including a clinical practicum), and the second year is devoted to a Master's thesis on a topic in bioethics that also satisfies the requirements of the base discipline. Students graduate with a Master's degree from the Faculty of their base discipline (M.A., M.Sc. or LL.M.) with a specialization in bioethics.

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Advances in biomedical technology, changing moral attitudes, and developments in law, combine to generate difficult ethical, legal, policy challenges for those involved in the delivery of healthcare. Read more

Overview

Advances in biomedical technology, changing moral attitudes, and developments in law, combine to generate difficult ethical, legal, policy challenges for those involved in the delivery of healthcare. This programme provides an opportunity to gain a deeper and more systematic understanding of these issues and to explore the moral problems faced by healthcare professionals and those involve in healthcare management and policy. It also aims to provide a foundation for pursuing further study at doctoral level for those interested in doing so.

Applications are welcome from people with a professional or other serious interest in Medical Ethics and Law, including (but not limited to) doctors, nurses, health care managers, intercalating medical students, radiographers, chaplains, charity and voluntary workers, social workers, hospice directors, medical and pharmaceutical researchers, dentists, veterinary practitioners and health care educators. While the programme is primarily aimed at healthcare professionals, it is open to anyone who is suitably qualified and who can demonstrate sufficient academic aptitude.

The MA in Medical Ethics and Law is run by the Centre for Professional Ethics and School of Law at Keele University. It is one of England’s longest established master’s programmes in this subject area, having first been presented in 1987.

The programme is available part-time, full-time, by modular study, and by intercalation within a medical degree. It is taught in short, intensive blocks to make it accessible to those in full-time employment and from across the country and beyond.

Teaching staff also work at the forefront of research in medical ethics, which helps to give the course a contemporary edge. In the recent 2014 REF, staff from Keele's Healthcare Law and Bioethics cluster who teach on the MA were part of Keele's Philosophy submission, which was ranked first in the country for its Impact work. The impact submission was based on staff's work in the field of Biomedical ethics, with 80% of this work judged as being world-leading and the remaining 20% as being of internationally excellent.

See the website https://www.keele.ac.uk/pgtcourses/medicalethicsandlaw/

Course Aims

This course aims to deepen students’ understanding of health care ethics and law, and to enhance their ability to think systematically about the moral and legal issues that health care professionals may face in the course of their work. It also aims to provide a foundation for pursuing further study at doctoral level for those interested in doing so.

Undertaking an MA in ethics will not give you a list of answers to moral problems. What our courses can do is help you to work out answers for yourself, answers that are worth having because they’re based on the best ethical thinking and reasoning we can manage, answers you can justify, to yourself and others. The MA course will give you an introduction to a number of different (rival) moral theories - all of which have their strengths and their weaknesses - as well as providing you with a range of analytical tools with which to assess different ethical and legal claims. It will also help you to communicate ethical and legal arguments to others in a clearer way.

Although ethical issues are rarely out of the headlines, much public 'debate' about ethics in the media is (with occasional honourable exceptions) of very poor quality. Our courses will help you to construct, categorise and criticise different ethical arguments and to spot common fallacies. Ethics at Keele is a participatory activity, not a spectator sport!

Teaching & Assessment

Teaching for the four taught modules is delivered in short intense blocks, enabling those in full-time employment to do the course part-time and to fit it around the demands of their work wherever they are based. Each student is assigned a personal supervisor from the outset, whom they can contact for help or advice at any time during the course.

We regard high levels of student participation in discussion as particularly important for teaching and learning in this area, and employ teaching techniques which encourage this wherever possible. Students come from a wide range of backgrounds and report that meeting and exchanging ideas with others who work in different fields and in different parts of the country is one of the major benefits of the course.

From time to time, experts from outside Keele are invited to speak on the course; this provides an insight into academic work in healthcare ethics and law taking place in other institutions and professional perspectives. In addition, Keele's Centre for Law, Ethics and Society hosts a wide range of seminars, workshops and lectures, which students are welcome to attend.

Each of the four taught modules is assessed through a 5,000-word essay. The essay question is chosen from a list reflecting the main themes of the module, enabling students to focus on the issues that are most interesting to them or relevant to their work. For each essay, students submit a plan (required for modules 1 and 2; optional for modules 3 and 4), on which feedback is provided. In addition, students receive written feedback on each of their essays, aimed at helping them to improve their performance as they progress through the programme, and have the opportunity to discuss the feedback with their supervisor.

For the dissertation module, students are allocated a supervisor to provide support and advice during the writing process, and attend a one-day Research Methods Workshop in Semester 1.

Additional Costs

Students not living within daily travelling distance of Keele will need to arrange accommodation during the teaching blocks.

Although recommended readings are available in the library or on-line, students may wish to purchase some books for themselves.

We do not anticipate any other additional costs for this postgraduate programme.

Mills & Reeve Dissertation Prize

The Mills & Reeve Dissertation Prize is awarded each year to the student who produces the best dissertation. The winner receives a cash prize of £100 sponsored by the law firm Mills & Reeve, and an invitation to lunch at the firm.

Find information on Scholarships here - http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding/bursariesscholarships/

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The distance learning Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Ethics and Law course aims to provide the highest quality of training in healthcare ethics and healthcare law in a flexible and interdisciplinary way. Read more

The distance learning Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Ethics and Law course aims to provide the highest quality of training in healthcare ethics and healthcare law in a flexible and interdisciplinary way.

There is an emphasis on the application of bioethical and legal theory to real world scenarios, thus catering to the practical needs of health care and legal professionals and those in related fields. Students gain an expert knowledge and understanding of bioethical and medico-legal theories, and the skills needed to apply them to real world scenarios in a diverse range of contexts.

You will cover a wide variety of ethical and legal subjects including autonomy, consent, refusal of treatment, confidentiality, the moral status of the foetus, resource allocation, genetic testing, HIV testing, medical malpractice, clinical negligence, organ and tissue transplantation, fertility treatment, genetic manipulation, research ethics, stem cell research and euthanasia.

Aims

The Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Ethics and Law course aims to

  • provide the highest quality of training in healthcare ethics and health care law with an interdisciplinary approach;
  • provide an emphasis on the application of moral and legal theory to real world scenarios, thus catering to the practical needs of healthcare and legal professionals;
  • offer students the opportunity to gain a comprehensive knowledge and firm understanding of ethical and medico-legal theories;
  • offer students the opportunity to gain the skills needed to apply theory to real world scenarios in a diverse range of contexts;

Teaching and learning

Students are provided with a comprehensive set of course materials at the beginning of each module. These interactive specially designed materials provide an introduction to the issues and skills central to each module and direct you to other study components such as further reading.

Each module is supported by a virtual learning environment where students can access all course materials, on-line reading lists, podcasts, and the University's extensive on-line library. Students are encouraged to use the VLE to discuss issues raised in the course materials with their course tutor and fellow students. Tutors are also available to provide additional support by face to face, telephone, skype and e-mail. In addition you will have access to a range of on-line resources to support your learning via the library website. An optional study day is held each year providing students with the opportunity to meet with tutors and fellow students on campus. Distance learning students are welcome to attend the regular research seminars that are help on campus during term time.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment of all taught course units (to a total of 120 credits) is by assessed coursework in the form of essays of 4,000 words per 15 credit course unit and up to 7,000 words for the three 30 credit Core course units.

Course unit details

Students will be required to complete 120 credits comprised of taught course units (each of 15 or 30 credits value) over two years.

The Core course units for the  distance learning   course  are:

  • Philosophical Bioethics (30 credits)
  • Medico-Legal Problems (30 credits)
  • International Issues in Healthcare Ethics and Law (30 credits)

Students must choose  optional  course units to a total value of 30 credits from the following list:

Law-based

  • Medicine, Law and Society (15 credits)
  • Mental Health Law and Policy (15 credits)

Ethics-based

  • Research Ethics (15 credits)
  • Ethics Genetics and Genomics (15 credits)

Scholarships and bursaries

The School is offering a number of awards for students applying for masters study. To find out more please visit our  Master's funding opportunity search page .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

Successful graduates are able to progress within a wide variety of roles in both Medical, Legal and Ethical fields. Graduates from previous years have, for example, proceeded to specialise in Medico-Legal practice and academic careers, and the degrees have enhanced the careers of health care professionals.



Read less
The Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Ethics and Law course aims to provide the highest quality of training in healthcare ethics and healthcare law in a flexible and interdisciplinary way. Read more

The Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Ethics and Law course aims to provide the highest quality of training in healthcare ethics and healthcare law in a flexible and interdisciplinary way.

There is an emphasis on the application of bioethical and legal theory to real world scenarios, thus catering to the practical needs of health care and legal professionals and those in related fields. Students gain an expert knowledge and understanding of bioethical and medico-legal theories, and the skills needed to apply them to real world scenarios in a diverse range of contexts.

You will cover a wide variety of ethical and legal subjects including autonomy, consent, refusal of treatment, confidentiality, the moral status of the foetus, resource allocation, genetic testing, HIV testing, medical malpractice, clinical negligence, organ and tissue transplantation, fertility treatment, genetic manipulation, research ethics, stem cell research and euthanasia.

Aims

The Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Ethics and Law course aims to

  • provide the highest quality of training in healthcare ethics and health care law with an interdisciplinary approach;
  • provide an emphasis on the application of moral and legal theory to real world scenarios, thus catering to the practical needs of healthcare and legal professionals;
  • offer students the opportunity to gain a comprehensive knowledge and firm understanding of ethical and medico-legal theories;
  • offer students the opportunity to gain the skills needed to apply theory to real world scenarios in a diverse range of contexts.

Teaching and learning

Teaching tends to defy the traditional boundaries associated with lectures and seminars. Generally, each class in a course unit has a duration of 2 or 3 hours per week, and is split roughly equally between a formal, didactic period and a structured discussion period (most often based on the so-called challenge-response model). Nevertheless, each class is considered a seminar or lecture, and attendance of all classes of a course unit for which a student is enrolled is thus compulsory . For course units of 15 credit value there will generally be 15 hours of face-to-face teaching throughout the semester in which the unit is delivered, and twice that amount for 30 credit units.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment of all taught course units (to a total of 120 credits) is by assessed coursework in the form of essays of 4,000 words per 15 credit course unit and up to 7,000 words for the three 30 credit Core course units.

Course unit details

Students will be required to complete 120 credits comprised of taught course units (each of 15 or 30 credits value).

The Core course units are:

  • Philosophical Bioethics (30 credits)
  • Medico-Legal Problems (30 credits)
  • International Issues in Healthcare Ethics and Law (30 credits)

Students must choose optional course units to a total value of 30 credits from the following list:

Law-based

  • Medicine, Law and Society (15 credits)
  • Mental Health Law and Policy (15 credits)

Ethics-based

  • Research Ethics (15 credits)
  • Ethics Genetics and Genomics (15 credits)

Scholarships and bursaries

The School is offering a number of awards for students applying for masters study. To find out more please visit our  Master's funding opportunity search page .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

Successful graduates are able to progress within a wide variety of roles in both Medical, Legal and Ethical fields. Graduates from previous years have, for example, proceeded to specialise in Medico-Legal practice and academic careers, and the degrees have enhanced the careers of health care professionals.



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