Individual and population health is a matter of growing social concern. Achieving good health and delivering effective healthcare demands innovation. A variety of fields have a role to play, including law.
As a student on this programme you will examine topics that reflect some of the main contemporary legal and ethical challenges faced by those working in medicine, and place them in their social and historical context. These include issues that arise in the context of genetics, assisted reproduction, abortion, standards of medical treatment, transplantation medicine, mental health, advance decisions, assisted suicide, medical research, and the allocation of scarce resources.
We offer you the opportunity to study the fundamentals of medical law and ethics, both international and domestic, at an advanced level, and the opportunity to take more specialised courses on issues of contemporary significance, encouraging and supporting the development of research skills necessary for a career in medical law or ethics.
The legal and ethical experts who deliver this programme come from a wide range of disciplines from across the University, and they benefit from a close association with the J Kenyon Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and Law.
You must complete 180 credits of study – 60 credits are taken in the compulsory dissertation and the remaining 120 credits are taken in taught courses.
You will experience a range of teaching styles on these courses, led by members of Edinburgh Law School's academic community and experienced legal and industry practitioners.
You are expected to prepare in advance by reading the required materials and by reflecting on the issues to be discussed, and your participation in classes will be assessed.
For the dissertation you will have a supervisor from whom you can expect guidance and support, but the purpose of the dissertation is to allow you to independently design and conduct a piece of research and analysis.
Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances or lack of demand for particular courses, we may not be able to run all courses as advertised come the start of the academic year.
By the end of the programme, you will be able to:
You will engage with different learning environments and modes of class participation, and will draw upon and develop a range of skills. The programme will foster imaginative ways of unpacking and responding to contemporary issues in ways that do not necessarily follow or merely apply existing paradigms or legal constructs.
You will demonstrate a sound grasp of the foundational elements of medical law and ethics, including the role of the law and its various mechanisms (eg: consent, confidentiality, reasonableness, negligence) and the cross-cutting human rights dimensions.
You will develop critical thinking informed by ethical analysis, and apply that thinking to comment on and critique the law’s role in regulating medicine, healthcare services, research, and nascent fields.
Other skills you will develop include:
This programme can lead to a range of employment opportunities and specialised academic work, including: specialised training for solicitor or advocate work with an emphasis on health related issues; professional care providers; ethics review panel members; health policy and/or patient advocates (e.g. NGOs); or health policy designers (e.g. governmental legal advisers, consultants, etc).
The LLM in Medical Law and Ethics draws on the expertise and tradition of Edinburgh Law School to deliver an internationally focused, interdisciplinary programme that combines flexible learning with the most up-to-date teaching on all of the important issues affecting medicine, law and ethics today.
Medical law is a fascinating field of study as advances in medical research and new technologies shift the boundaries of medicine. New health issues are emerging and patient rights are increasingly taking centre stage. New and complex medico-legal dilemmas arise in clinical practice, in the realities of human health, and in the relationships between patients and healthcare professionals.
The programme enables you to explore the international and interdisciplinary dimensions of medical law and ethics. You will have opportunities to examine healthcare policy and the regulation of medicine in different parts of the world. You will also evaluate responses to technology and debate possible futures for medical law.
Applications are welcomed from legal professionals and healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses, and from all those with an interest in this area.
To be awarded LLM Medical Law and Ethics you must successfully complete six courses, four of which must be compulsory courses, and a 10,000- word dissertation during your chosen duration of study.
During your studies you will also have the opportunity to study up to two courses from different subject areas such as information technology law, intellectual property law, or international commercial law.
Having studied the programme, you will emerge with an understanding of medico-legal issues not just in the legal context, but with a sound grounding in ethics, social and theoretical contexts.
This programme is suitable to prepare students for advanced research.
Graduates of our online distance learning programmes progress to a range of careers in Law and related legal fields, including work in local and international firms, government legal departments, other public institutions, international organisations and in academia.
The programmes are also an ideal platform for advanced research.