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Course overview

  • You are interested in familiar and unforeseen medical and ethical challenges
  • You want to deepen your understanding of legal and ethical challenges in medicine
  • You are looking for a distance learning course that offers personal support
  • Have a law degree? Why not study our LLM instead?

Open days

Open days for the academic year 2019/20 will take place on Wednesday 7th November 2018, click herefor further information.

The 2018 Law Fair in Manchester will be held Tuesday 13 November 2018, 12.30pm - 4.00pm at Manchester Central, Manchester M2 3GX. Click here for more information


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2019, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MA (part-time distance learning)
  • UK/EU students (per annum): £4,750 per annum 
  • International students (per annum): £9,250 per annum
  • PGDip (part-time distance learning)
  • UK/EU students (per annum): £3,167 per annum 
  • International students (per annum): £6,167 per annum

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued.

Entry requirements

English language

Students whose first language is not English are required to hold one of the following English language qualifications:

  • IELTS: minimum overall score of 7.0, with 7.0 in Writing and 6.5 in all other sub categories;
  • TOEFL (Internet-Based Test): minimum overall score of 100, with 25 in Writing and 22 in all other sub categories;
  • Cambridge Proficiency / Advanced: minimum 185 Overall, with 185 in writing and 180 in all other sub categories;
  • Pearson English: minimum overall score of 66, with 66 in Writing and 59 in all other sub categories. 

Booking deadlines apply.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

We require the following documents before we can consider your application.

  • One academic references on letter headed paper.

We do not request references on an applicant's behalf and it is your responsibility to ensure your referee knows how to provide your reference to us. The reference must be submitted on official headed paper or from an official organisational email address, it can be scanned and uploaded when you apply or emailed to

  • Transcripts of your studies to date, officially translated into English
  • Degree certificate (if you have already graduated).
  • If you are not from or did not graduate from a majority English speaking country as defined by the UKVI we will also require proof of your English language ability.

Apply online

We encourage applications to be submitted by 15th June however applications submitted up to 15th September will be considered due to the learning nature of this course

Teaching and learning

You are provided with a comprehensive set of course materials at the beginning of each course unit. These interactive specially designed materials provide an introduction to the issues and skills central to each unit and direct you to other study components such as further reading.

Each unit is supported by a virtual learning environment where you can access all course materials, online reading lists, podcasts, and the University's online library. You are encouraged to use the VLE to discuss issues raised in the course materials with your course tutor and fellow students. Tutors are also available to provide one to one support by telephone, skype, e-mail and face to face meetings. You will have access to a wide range of online resources to support your learning via the library website.

Coursework and assessment

At the end of each of the course units for our distance learning courses, you are required to submit an essay of 4,000 words (for course units to the value of 15 credits) or 6,000 words (for course units to the value of 30 credits). In addition, MA students must submit a supervised 12,000 to 15,000 word dissertation by independent research (60 credits). As a part-time student, you will undertake a dissertation in the summer months of year two. Please note that you can also extend your registration for extra 3 months to submit a dissertation in December of your second year, instead of September.

Those students who do not achieve success in the MA may be considered for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma. The award of the MA is classified according to Pass/Merit/Distinction.

Course unit details

Students will be required to complete 180 credits: 120 credits comprised of taught course units (each of 15 or 30 credits value) and the independent research element (dissertation) worth 60 credits. On the distance learning course students complete 60 credits of taught course units in the first year and 60 credits in the second year, together with a dissertation of between 12,000 - 15,000 words, which is undertaken over the summer months in year 2.

The Core course units for the distance learning course are:

  • Philosophical Bioethics (30 credits)
  • Medico-Legal Problems (30 credits)
  • International Issues in Healthcare Ethics and Law (30 credits)

Students must choose optional course units to a total value of 30 credits from the following list:

Law-based: Medicine, Law & Society (15 credits); Mental Health Law & Policy (15 credits)

Ethics-based: Research Ethics (15 credits); Ethics Genetics and Genomics (15 credits)


Successful graduates of the MA are able to progress within a wide variety of roles in both medical, legal and ethical fields.

Graduates from previous years have, for example, proceeded to specialise in medico-legal practice and academic careers, and the degrees have enhanced the careers of health care professionals.

Visit the MA Healthcare Ethics and Law (Distance Learning) page on the The University of Manchester website for more details!




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