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Masters Degrees (Distributive Justice)

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At the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, we conduct research and offer MPhil supervision in all major fields of politics, including. Read more
At the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, we conduct research and offer MPhil supervision in all major fields of politics, including: international and global politics, governance and political organisations, and political theory.

We can offer you excellent supervision for your Politics MPhil, in a vibrant and supportive research environment.

We have a Politics Postgraduate Society, which organises:
-The 'New Voices' seminar series, with both internal and external presenters
-Round table discussions on topical issues
-Professional development workshops led by politics staff

You are encouraged to attend conferences to present papers, partial funding for this is available from the School.

Our main research themes are:

The politics of difference

We examine the issues thrown up by the social and political differences of humanity from a variety of perspectives including: analytical and continental political philosophy; comparative politics and international politics; post-colonialism. Our work includes research on:
-Multiculturalism and issues of identity
-Inequality and social justice
-Disability
-Competing discourses of national identity
-Ethnic-nationalism
-Political violence
-Socio-political exclusion and discrimination
-Global norms and cultural difference
-Free speech - toleration and recognition

Popular culture and political communication

Our research addresses various key issues including:
-Representation
-Aesthetics
-Identity
-Cultural political economy
-Memory
-Control

We also assess the processes and depiction of political struggles, such as:
-Armed conflict
-Everyday life
-Political organising and identity formation
-Elections

Political participation and elections

We examine the differing forms of political participation that link society to the political systems of the world. We look at both the formal electoral process and non-electoral politics (social movements, protest groups etc). Our research on the emergence of virtual political participation means that some of our work intersects with popular culture and political communication. We investigate:
-Citizen involvement and (dis)engagement
-Social capital
-Non-participation
-The role of civil society

Political ideologies and political thought

We focus on the history of political thought as well as how these ideas are embedded in programmes for political action. Our research incorporates both historical and contemporary political thought prominent in the Western tradition as well as Asian philosophy and post-colonial thinking. This is an interdisciplinary theme, serving as a bridge between empirical political science and political theory.

Global economic and environmental challenges

We study the importance of political ideas such as sustainable development and globalisation, as well as the struggle to define the core problems that society faces. These challenges pose questions to the nature and reform of global governance, and generate tensions between the state and transnationalising forces in global politics and political economy. Our work has already led to findings on:
-The implications for global justice
-The policy challenge for governments and non-governmental actors
-The empowerment of various actors

Democracy, the modern state and political organisations

Our work examines the role of interest groups, social movements, political parties, third-sector actors and charities, community organisations and postcolonial nationalism in relation to the modern state. We draw from ancient and modern political thought to understand the interpretation of democracy (including democratic rights and the foundations of democracy). Our research interrogates the forms democracy takes, including:
-Elite theories of democracy
-Deliberative democracy
-Cosmopolitan democracy
-Democracy in divided societies

Political economy of development

Our research focuses on the interaction of economic forces and principles with political power in the development of societal economics and welfare, as well as on theories of development and post-development. We cover a range of geographic areas in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia. We explore questions such as:
-The impact of the ongoing financial and economic crisis
-The role of communities and individuals in the face of global political economic forces
-The impact of the emerging economies (for example Brazil and China) on the global political economy

Critical geopolitics and security

Our research focuses on thinking critically about the political dynamics, consequences and discourses of historical and contemporary geopolitics. We cover both historical and contemporary questions of security, including:
-The territorialisation/de-territorialisation of identity and political agency
-Political cartography
-The role of fear and identity in shaping geopolitics
-Sovereignty and nationalism - the role and impact of the military
-Notions of terrorism and the war on terror
-The geographies of international boundaries
-The war on the trade in illegal substances
-The city and security
-The threat of biological weapons and infectious disease
-The vertical dimension in geopolitical and security studies
-Visual culture and world politics
-Technologies and architectures of security and insecurity
-The human body and security

Theory of international relations

We take an active role in the global debate on the units, actors and structures that shape the dynamics of international politics. Our research covers the political consequences of the constitution of the international as a distinct kind of relation. We examine political concepts including:
-The world system
-International diplomacy
-Networks
-Notions of empire
-Regional integration
-Non-governmental actors
-The (nation) state

Governance in Britain and wider Europe

Our research investigates the dynamics driving public policy-making at national, EU and international levels. We focus on the challenges multi-level governance offers for concerns about legitimacy and accountability. This includes the changing relationship between the governing and the governed over matters of politics and policy. Our geographic scope includes the United Kingdom, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia, and the Mediterranean

Global justice and human rights

Our work in political philosophy reflects the increasing need to tackle issues at a global rather than a state-only level. We cover issues such as:
-The formulation and justification of human rights
-The competing claims of relativism, particularism, and cultural diversity
-The extension of ideas of distributive justice from states to humanity as a whole
-Proposals to secure global democracy
-The application of just war theory to modern conflicts and to humanitarian intervention
-Environmental justice, especially climate change

We tackle questions of justice from an issue perspective as well as surveys of nationalism, statism, and various non-cosmopolitan theories of global justice.

Political research and methods

We conduct qualitative and quantitative research reflecting both empirical and critical political methodologies. We use quantitative methods, including rational choice theory and experiments, to make sense of topics as diverse as party systems and transitional justice. Our aim is to push innovation in research methods in ethnography, hermeneutics and discourse analysis. We use concepts that challenge traditional notions of politics to investigate methods for research into new challenges, including:
-The rise of life sciences
-The focus on the relationship between the human body and security
-Emergent forms of subjectivity and politics

Research skills development

The University's Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate School provides a full range of research training in the social sciences, which meets the requirements of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This training includes:
-Bibliographical techniques
-Philosophy of social science
-Quantitative and qualitative methods

The Graduate School also hosts postgraduate events, including open days, and supports personal development.

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This degree uses specially designed online teaching materials to give you an in-depth understanding of professional ethics, and what they mean for practitioners in the biomedical and healthcare sectors. Read more

This degree uses specially designed online teaching materials to give you an in-depth understanding of professional ethics, and what they mean for practitioners in the biomedical and healthcare sectors.

You’ll learn about the ethical issues that arise across medicine and healthcare practice, but you’ll also have the opportunity to specialise in areas that interest you or suit your career aspirations. You’ll take modules on topics such as ethical issues at the beginning and end of life, autonomy and psychiatry, professional issues and allocating medical resources fairly, and focus on a topic of your choice to complete an independent dissertation.

We’re constantly developing the course and consulting with professionals working in the field, so it’s informed by the most recent developments in practice. But you’ll be guided by active researchers with expertise in teaching ethics across medical disciplines, giving you the chance to engage with the latest academic arguments and debates.

The programme is designed for people who’ve never studied ethics or medical ethics, although we do also have applicants who have studied philosophy before. If you’re interested in thinking about key ethical issues in a reasoned and independent way, you’ll be able to explore big questions in the biomedical and healthcare spheres with the support of the Interdisciplinary Ethics Applied Centre (IDEA).

This course is also available to study part-time and/or on campus. You could also choose to study for PGDip qualification, where you’ll study fewer modules overall.

Course structure

COMPULSORY MODULES

  • Introduction to Ethics: Reasons, Motivation, Obligations and Happiness 15 credits
  • Health Care Ethics: Dissertation 60 credits
  • Ethical Issues at the Beginning of Life (Online)15 credits
  • Ethical Issues at the End of Life (Online)15 credits
  • Conscience, Codes and Professional Issues (Online)15 credits
  • Autonomy, Rationality, and Psychiatric Issues (Online)15 credits
  • Distributive Justice and Scarce Medical Resources (Online)15 credits
  • Current Developments in Health Care Ethics (Online)30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics MA in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

There are no lectures or seminars on this programme. Instead you’ll use the University’s Virtual Learning Environment to access interactive course materials and participate in collaborative activities online. This allows you to share your experiences and insights with students from a variety of backgrounds to discover new perspectives on ethical issues. Our tutors respond to queries by email as well as contributing to the online discussion groups.

Read more about Online Distance Learning.

Assessment

You’ll still be assessed using essays, but we use a range of other methods to make the most of online learning. You’ll complete shorter written assignments and group projects, and you’ll also be assessed on the contributions you make to group discussions.

Career opportunities

A postgraduate qualification in biomedical and healthcare ethics can improve your confidence in handling workplace decisions that have ethical implications. It will also allow you to improve your transferable skills such as research, analysis and oral and written communication.

Many of our graduates continue with their research, whether in academic appointments at universities, PhD studies or as researchers for other organisations such as the King’s Fund. Others have gone into healthcare management, joined research or clinical ethics committees or gone on to teach medical or healthcare ethics at medical schools part-time.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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The Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health MA aims to equip students with the skills necessary to play an informed role in debates concerning distributive justice and health. Read more

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health MA aims to equip students with the skills necessary to play an informed role in debates concerning distributive justice and health. It explores the central ethical, economic and political problems facing health policy in the UK and globally, especially in relation to social justice.

About this degree

The programme covers relevant areas of moral and political theory, comparative policy analysis, and health economics, to allow students to come to a wide understanding of background issues, history and constraints, in order to be able to make a positive contribution to current debates in this field.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), five optional modules (75 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma of 120 credits is available, consisting of three core modules (45 credits), and five optional modules (75 credits).

Core modules

  • Philosophy Politics and Economics of Health
  • Health Policy and Reform
  • Key Principles of Health Economics

Optional modules

Students may choose from the list of recommended modules below, or other relevant modules in UCL, with the approval of the convenors. Please note that some modules fill up very quickly, so places cannot be guaranteed.

  • Bioethics Governance
  • Comparative Human Rights Law
  • Law and Governance of Global Health
  • Global Justice and Health
  • Illness
  • Madness
  • Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health
  • Ethics and Regulation of Research
  • Contemporary Political Philosophy
  • Normative Ethics
  • Politics and Ethics
  • Health Inequalities over the Life-course
  • From Imperial Medicine to Global Health, 1860s to Present
  • Death, Dying and Consequences
  • Disability and Development
  • Introduction to Deafhood
  • Global Health and Development
  • Anthropology and Psychiatry
  • Medical Anthropology

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of up to 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. Student performance is assessed through examinations, presentations and coursework (depending on the options chosen), and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Philosophy, Politics and Economics of Health MA

Funding

Applicants for this programme may be eligible for a number of funding opportunities including UCL graduate scholarships. The Health Humanities Centre can nominate one candidate to apply for a Wellcome Trust Master's Award.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Graduates have gone on to funded research in bioethics and in health policy, and to jobs in the health service, law, journalism, as well as medical education.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Public Health Doctor, NHS (National Health Service)
  • MBBS Medicine (Graduate Entry Programme), Newcastle University
  • Health Policy Adviser, Doctors of the World UK
  • PhD in Critical Theory, University of Brighton
  • Policy Officer, WHO (World Health Organization) and studying Medicine, The University of Western Australia

Employability

The programme equips students with an ability to think precisely and rigorously about complex problems in health systems and beyond; to work with others to explore solutions; and to write cogently and concisely. Public and private sector health employers and NGOs particularly prize these skills in graduates. The skills that the programme teaches also provide an ideal springboard to further academic study.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This MA is the only Master's programme in the world of its type. The compulsory modules provide necessary core skills, while the wide range of options enables students to further their own particular interests.

UCL is at the forefront of research in interdisciplinary research and teaching in philosophy, health humanities and global health through units such as the Health Humanities Centre, the Institute for Global Health and the Institute of Health Equity. The programme draws on highly regarded researchers in a range of UCL departments, and students benefit by instruction from some of the leaders in their fields.

Students further benefit from UCL's location in London, which is one of the world centres of philosophical activity, home of a number of internationally renowned journals - Philosophy; Mind & Language; Mind - and which enjoys regular visiting speakers from across the world. London has over 60 active philosophers making it one of the largest and most varied philosophical communities in the world.



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This programme is one of five interdisciplinary pathways that are delivered as part of the South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP). Read more
This programme is one of five interdisciplinary pathways that are delivered as part of the South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP).

This pathway explores the dynamics of global transformation and policy implications, as well as their interrelations with national and regional institutional and social responses to the changing global political and economic order.

The pathway encourages you to analyse the diverse experiences and impact of economic globalisation and examine relationships between global governance and inequality. It will also help you understand that analysis and resolution of many of the key problems confronting humanity in the 21st century require new and interdisciplinary academic approaches, innovative methods and policy agendas, creative thinking and transnationally comparative datasets.

Programme structure

Core units
-Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Design
-Global Transformations - Issues and Trajectories
-Introduction to Qualitative Research
-Introduction to Quantitative Research

Optional units
These can be taken at the University of Bristol, Bath or Exeter. Units can change from year to year but may include the following:

At Bristol:
-International Political Economy
-East Asia and Global Development
-East Asia, Europe and Global Integration
-Sino-US Relations in Global Politics
-Power, Hegemony and the Ordering of the Global Political Economy
-Theories of Development
-Environmental Politics
-International Law VI: International Law and Human Rights
-International Law of Trade and Aid

At Bath:
-The Politics of Policy: Actors, Arenas and Conflict in International Perspective
-International Development and Poverty
-Wellbeing and Human Development: Concepts, Measurements and Policy
-Welfare Economics and Distributive Justice

At Exeter:
-The Politics of Global Capitalism
-Managing in a multinational context
-Sustainable Enterprise Economy

Dissertation
Over the summer you will complete a research-based dissertation of up to 15,000 words, individually supervised by a member of staff from the school.

Read less
This degree uses specially designed online teaching materials to give you an in-depth understanding of professional ethics, and what they mean for practitioners in the biomedical and healthcare sectors. Read more

This degree uses specially designed online teaching materials to give you an in-depth understanding of professional ethics, and what they mean for practitioners in the biomedical and healthcare sectors.

You’ll learn about the ethical issues in medicine and healthcare practice, but you’ll also be able to specialise in areas that interest you or suit your career aspirations. You’ll study topics such as ethical issues at the beginning and end of life, autonomy and psychiatry, professional issues and allocating medical resources fairly.

We’re constantly developing the course and consulting with professionals working in the field, so it’s informed by the most recent developments in practice. But you’ll be guided by active researchers with expertise in teaching ethics across medical disciplines, giving you the chance to engage with the latest academic arguments and debates.

If you don’t have a degree, you can apply for this programme and then upgrade to the MA if you progress successfully.

The programme is designed for people who’ve never studied ethics or medical ethics, although we do also have applicants who have studied philosophy before. If you’re interested in thinking about key ethical issues in a reasoned and independent way, you’ll be able to explore big questions in the biomedical and healthcare spheres with the support of the Interdisciplinary Ethics Applied Centre (IDEA).

This course is also available to study part-time and/or on campus.

Course content

This programme is similar to the MA Biomedical and Health Care Ethics (Online), except that you don’t undertake a dissertation.

Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Ethics: Reasons, Motivation, Obligations and Happiness 15 credits
  • Ethical Issues at the Beginning of Life (Online) 15 credits
  • Ethical Issues at the End of Life (Online) 15 credits
  • Conscience, Codes and Professional Issues (Online) 15 credits
  • Autonomy, Rationality, and Psychiatric Issues (Online) 15 credits
  • Distributive Justice and Scarce Medical Resources (Online) 15 credits
  • Current Developments in Health Care Ethics (Online) 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics PGDip in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

There are no lectures or seminars on this programme. Instead you’ll use the University’s Virtual Learning Environment to access interactive course materials and participate in collaborative activities online. This allows you to share your experiences and insights with students from a variety of backgrounds to discover new perspectives on ethical issues. Our tutors respond to queries by email as well as contributing to the online discussion groups.

Read more about Online Distance Learning.

Assessment

You’ll still be assessed using essays, but we use a range of other methods to make the most of online learning. You’ll complete shorter written assignments and group projects, and you’ll also be assessed on the contributions you make to group discussions.

Career opportunities

A postgraduate qualification in biomedical and healthcare ethics can improve your confidence in handling workplace decisions that have ethical implications. It will also allow you to improve your transferable skills such as research, analysis and oral and written communication.

Many of our graduates continue with their research, whether in academic appointments at universities, PhD studies or as researchers for other organisations such as the King’s Fund. Others have gone into healthcare management, joined research or clinical ethics committees or gone on to teach medical or healthcare ethics at medical schools part-time.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.




Read less
This degree allows you to develop an in-depth understanding of professional ethics, and what they mean for practitioners in the biomedical and healthcare sectors. Read more

This degree allows you to develop an in-depth understanding of professional ethics, and what they mean for practitioners in the biomedical and healthcare sectors.

You’ll learn about ethical issues in medicine and healthcare practice, but you’ll also be able to specialise in areas that interest you or suit your career aspirations. You’ll study topics such as ethical issues at the beginning and end of life, autonomy and psychiatry and fair allocation of medical resources.

We’re constantly developing the course and consulting with professionals working in the field, so our courses are informed by the most recent developments in practice. But you’ll be taught by active researchers with expertise in teaching ethics across medical disciplines, giving you the chance to engage with the latest academic arguments and debates.

If you don’t have a degree, you can apply for this programme and then upgrade to the MA if you progress successfully.

The programme is designed for people who’ve never studied ethics or medical ethics, although we do also have applicants who have studied philosophy before. If you’re interested in thinking about key ethical issues in a reasoned and independent way, you’ll be able to explore big questions in the biomedical and healthcare spheres with the support of the Interdisciplinary Ethics Applied Centre (IDEA).

This course is also available to study part-time and/or online.

Course content

This programme is similar to the MA Biomedical and Health Care Ethics, except that you don’t undertake a dissertation.

In Semester 1 you’ll develop your understanding of key concepts and approaches in the study of ethics, as well as how it applies to the biomedical and healthcare fields. You’ll study developments and debates in healthcare ethics and the ethical issues at the beginning and end of life.

You’ll build on this knowledge in the following semester and apply it to the professional context, considering issues like the carer/patient relationship, consent and the role of the conscience in professional practice. You’ll also explore questions surrounding the distribution of scarce medical resources and compulsion or coercion in cases of mental illness.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll take fewer modules each year and study over a longer period.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Reason, Virtues and Obligation 15 credits
  • Conscience, Codes and Professional Issues 15 credits
  • Autonomy, Rationality and Psychiatric Issues 15 credits
  • Distributive Justice and Scarce Medical Resources 15 credits
  • Current Developments in Health Care Ethics 30 credits
  • Ethical Issues at the Beginning of Life 15 credits
  • Ethical Issues at the End of Life 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics PGDip Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics PGDip Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Taught modules are structured around weekly group seminars led by one of our tutors. Overall, each taught module normally involves about four hours per week of contact time. In some modules you may also take part in group project work. However, independent study is also a vital element of this degree, allowing you to improve your research and analytical skills and gain more varied perspectives on key issues.

Assessment

Essays are our most common form of assessment – usually of around 3,000 words. However, in some modules we may also use presentations or other methods to assess your progress.

Career opportunities

A postgraduate qualification in biomedical and healthcare ethics can improve your confidence in handling workplace decisions that have ethical implications. It will also allow you to improve your transferable skills such as research, analysis and oral and written communication.

Many of our graduates continue with their research, whether in academic appointments at universities, PhD studies or as researchers for other organisations such as the King’s Fund. Others have gone into healthcare management, joined research or clinical ethics committees or gone on to teach medical or healthcare ethics at medical schools part-time.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



Read less
This degree allows you to develop an in-depth understanding of professional ethics, and what they mean for practitioners in the biomedical and healthcare sectors. Read more

This degree allows you to develop an in-depth understanding of professional ethics, and what they mean for practitioners in the biomedical and healthcare sectors.

You’ll learn about the ethical issues that arise across medicine and healthcare practice, but you’ll also have the opportunity to specialise in areas that interest you or suit your career aspirations. You’ll take modules on topics such as ethical issues at the beginning and end of life, autonomy and psychiatry, professional issues and allocating medical resources fairly, and focus on a topic of your choice to complete an independent dissertation.

We’re constantly developing the course and consulting with professionals working in the field, so our courses are informed by the most recent developments in practice. But you’ll be taught by active researchers with expertise in teaching ethics across medical disciplines, giving you the chance to engage with the latest academic arguments and debates.

The programme is designed for people who’ve never studied ethics or medical ethics, although we do also have applicants who have studied philosophy before. If you’re interested in thinking about key ethical issues in a reasoned and independent way, you’ll be able to explore big questions in the biomedical and healthcare spheres with the support of the Interdisciplinary Ethics Applied Centre (IDEA).

This course is also available to study part-time and/or online. You could also choose to study for a PGDip qualification, where you’ll study fewer modules overall.

Course structure


Compulsory modules

  • Reason, Virtues and Obligation 15 credits
  • Conscience, Codes and Professional Issues 15 credits
  • Autonomy, Rationality and Psychiatric Issues 15 credits
  • Distributive Justice and Scarce Medical Resources 15 credits
  • Current Developments in Health Care Ethics 30 credits
  • Health Care Ethics: Dissertation 60 credits
  • Ethical Issues at the Beginning of Life 15 credits
  • Ethical Issues at the End of Life 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Taught modules are structured around weekly group seminars led by one of our tutors. Overall, each taught module normally involves about four hours per week of contact time. In some modules you may also take part in group project work. However, independent study is also a vital element of this degree, allowing you to improve your research and analytical skills and gain more varied perspectives on key issues.

Assessment

Essays are our most common form of assessment – usually of around 3,000 words. However, in some modules we may also use presentations or other methods to assess your progress.

Career opportunities

A postgraduate qualification in biomedical and healthcare ethics can improve your confidence in handling workplace decisions that have ethical implications. It will also allow you to improve your transferable skills such as research, analysis and oral and written communication.

Many of our graduates continue with their research, whether in academic appointments at universities, PhD studies or as researchers for other organisations such as the King’s Fund. Others have gone into healthcare management, joined research or clinical ethics committees or gone on to teach medical or healthcare ethics at medical schools part-time.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.




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