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.
This programme examines topics that reflect some of the main contemporary legal and ethical challenges faced by those working in medicine, and places 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 students 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.
This programme offers a range of subjects that covers a broad spectrum of contemporary issues in medical law, jurisprudence and ethics, from an international and interdisciplinary perspective, allowing you to tailor a programme to suit your interests.
For 2017/18 the programme consists of 180 credits, comprising taught courses worth 120 credits (60 credits per semester) and a 10,000 word dissertation worth 60 credits.
The 120 credits of taught courses for 2017/18 are made up of the following mandatory and option courses.
Mandatory courses (100 credits)
20 credit courses in semester 1
20 credit courses in semester 2
*These programmes are co-requisite.
The remaining 20-credits can be taken from the list of Law School courses and courses offered by other Schools in the University of Edinburgh from the list below.
Courses from the School of Law
Courses from outside the School of Law
We cannot guarantee that all courses will run each year, and will provide adequate notice of any changes to the programme structure and courses.
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).