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    School of Law Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas


    Social Work

  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    17 January 2018

Course content

The MSc Healthcare Ethics and Law is designed to complement your degree by enabling you to study in depth the moral and legal issues that you possibly already face as a medical student, and will certainly be a factor of your future career.

This course emphasises the application of bioethical and legal theory to real world scenarios, allowing you to gain expert knowledge and the skills needed to apply it in a diverse range of contexts.

You will, through carefully-designed lectures, discussions, and papers from visiting speakers, be introduced to the full range of ethico-legal controversies as they apply to medicine, and be encouraged to use the conceptual tools you will acquire to formulate solutions to those controversies and contribute to ongoing debates.


By the end of this course you will be able to apply the concepts you have learned to real-world situations, both familiar and unforeseen; be able to identify the ethically and legally problematic aspects of practice; and be able to suggest ways to minimise, solve, or avoid those problems. You will also, through the dissertation element of the course, have refined the ability to make and sustain a prolonged and sophisticated argument on a topic of interest.

Teaching and learning

Teaching will be mainly by means of interactive lecture. Each module will be taught in 2-hour teaching blocks; these are run as a hybrid of traditional lecture and discussion. Students will be encouraged to play an active role in these lectures. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to attend weekly papers on current research and developments in the field given by either members of staff or a visiting speaker.

Students will be expected to complete 6 taught modules and a dissertation. All taught modules are to be assessed by an essay of 4,000 words (for course units to the value of 15 credits) or assignments totalling 7,000 words (for course units to the value of 30 credits); the dissertation will be of 12,000-15000 words. This dissertation will represent a major piece of independent research and students will be able during semester 2 to present their own papers to the rest of their cohort based on their dissertation as it progresses.

Coursework and assessment

All taught modules will be assessed by written coursework , which allows for extended argument and analysis. Some semester one modules require two pieces of work; for these, the deadlines will be in November and January. The deadline for semester one courses assessed by one piece of coursework will be January. The semester 2 deadline will be in May/June. Assessment by coursework alone will allow for extended analysis and argument. 

The dissertation will be submitted in August (just prior to resuming your medical studies). 

Course unit details

Students registered on the MSc are required to sit six taught course units. Two of the assessed taught units are compulsory; the remaining four will be chosen from a range of optional modules (although the range of available units will vary according to staff availability).

Optional units will have a value of 15 credits. Subject to alteration, we would expect these to cover such topics (amongst others) as Global Health, Law, and Bioethics; Children, Medicine and the Law; Medicine, Law and Society; Mental Health Law and Policy; Research Ethics; and Ethics   and Genetics.

You will also be required to complete a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words on a topic of your choice. This gives an opportunity to define and defend a precise and sophisticated position. It is not unknown for intercalating students to use their dissertations as the basis for papers that appear in international peer-reviewed journals.

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

By studying ethics and law you can expect to find yourself better equipped to solve ethico-legal dilemmas that you will meet on the ward or - more importantly, perhaps - simply to spot them.

Increasingly, too, medical researchers have to demonstrate compliance with certain ethical demands, and so an intercalated degree in ethics and law will be useful when it comes to planning research. Finally, studying with us should reflect interests and concerns that most people have anyway, whether they know it or not. On completion of the course, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the mechanics of medical ethics and medical law and a full conceptual toolkit that can be applied to both disciplines.

Visit the Healthcare Ethics & Law MSc (Intercalated) (MSc) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Manchester

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