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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This new MRes has been designed to provide you with an opportunity to develop your research skills in applied medical ethics. It provides an excellent stepping stone to PhD research.
You will begin with intensive research methods training which will allow you to develop your skills under the supervision of expert tutors. You’ll gain a range of skills and valuable experience for a career in academic or professional research.
You will then spend the remainder of the year writing an extended dissertation in which you can examine in depth an area of particular interest to you within the rich field of medical ethics, with the support of a research supervisor.
You will meet with your research supervisor virtually through our interactive classroom, Blackboard Collaborate. For students local to Leeds it is also possible to study the MRes as a campus-based programme.
As an MRes student you will have the opportunity to audit any relevant modules from our taught MA Biomedical & Health Care Ethics.
The Masters by research is made up of a 30-credit taught Research Methods module and a 150-credit dissertation.
IDEA5401M Research Methods
Delivered online, this module will provide you with training in core skills and a variety of key research methodologies for undertaking high quality research in medical ethics. It also addresses methodological issues raised in the conduct of inter-disciplinary research. It will equip you to undertake a longer independent supervised dissertation on an aspect of ethics of your choice.
During the module we will cover research skills, including identifying a suitable topic for research, bibliography and referencing. We will also explore a range of methodological approaches to the discipline of ethics.
IDEA5402M Dissertation (MRes)
You will produce an independent piece of work analysing in detail an aspect of medical ethics. The work will enable you to exhibit both some awareness of detail of theoretical ethical considerations and to indicate their application to issues in medical ethics, where relevant making use of your experience in the context of professional life in medicine and healthcare. You will be supported through the process by a research supervisor.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Research Methods 30 credits
Dissertation (MRes)150 credits
The Research Methods module is delivered online through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), and will be available in that form to both campus-based and online students, though campus based students may wish to undertake the tutor meetings for this module in face to face form.
Of course,independent research is also vital to this programme to develop your skills andhelp you develop your own ideas and interests.
The dissertation (30,000 words) will form the bulk of the assessment for the MRes. During the Research Methods module you will be guided through the process of preparing for the dissertation, through a range of assessments including an annotated bibliography, a reflective log, a research proposal and a poster presentation.
The heavy emphasis on research skills means this course is excellent preparation for PhD study and an academic career. However, you’ll also develop important transferable skills including oral and written communication, analysis and problem-solving which are valuable across a wide range of roles in different sectors.
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.
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.
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 dissertation worth 60 credits.
We are currently in the process of confirming courses for the 2018/19 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).
This unique degree programme explores how the law responds to, regulates and promotes new and emerging technologies.
The programme promotes advanced knowledge and understanding of the relationship between law, technology, commerce and society in the widest possible sense.
This unique and internationally focused LLM programme explores how the law responds to, regulates, and promotes new and emerging technologies.
Innovative technologies and convergence in technologies are causing unprecedented societal change. New legal issues are arising, and new regulatory responses emerging. The law can help – or hinder – society’s ability to reap the optimal rewards from technological development.
Across the programme, you will study different modes of regulation – the law, the markets, the technology itself – and critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of each. The potential of technology to support legal and judicial processes is also examined.
This LLM will enable you to develop an advanced knowledge of domains where law engages with technology, awareness of the problems in the area and understanding of the differing approaches to their solution.
Our distance learning programmes are delivered through eSCRIPT, our flexible online learning environment.
Through eSCRIPT you will access learning materials and interact with your tutor and fellow students. eSCRIPT is accessible through the internet from any computer. A fast connection is an advantage, but you do not need any special equipment, applications or plug-ins to use it.
We aim to provide challenging, research-led teaching with students benefiting from the expertise of a multidisciplinary team of tutors and the results of innovative cross-cutting research of the highest quality.
You must complete a total of six courses (120 credits), five of which must be from the compulsory courses listed below. You also complete a dissertation (60 credits) over your chosen period of study.
Core courses offered in 2016/17:
Please note the available choice of courses in any given year may change.
By the end of your studies you should have acquired a high level of knowledge in the field of law and technology, a sophisticated awareness of the problems in the area and of the differing approaches to their solution.
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.