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.
Study in depth the legal questions raised in the context of medicine including genetics; assisted reproduction; abortion; assisted suicide and euthanasia; advance decisions; autism; psychiatric ethics and mental health law; medical research; organ donations and the allocation of scarce resources.
Examines in depth the legal questions raised by medical practice and science. The Medical Law pathway forms a part of the MA Medical Law & Ethics programme, which was founded in 1978, and is an important part of the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, the first of its kind in the UK.
This is a time of great interest in medical ethics and law. Huge questions are raised by advances in fields such as genetics and assisted reproduction. In a changing moral climate, debates about conflicts between mother and fetus, or about physician-assisted suicide, are very much alive. There are challenging questions about psychiatry, about the allocation of scarce medical resources, about the boundaries of the market in medicine, and about the law and ethics of medical research.
For medical/legal professionals, graduates of a relevant discipline, those going on to research and for anyone wanting to think about and discuss some of the hardest human decisions. To study the methods of reasoning and analysis in law and to examine selected areas of health care and medical practice from a further perspective of medical law.
Full-time students are required to complete the programme over one academic year and to write the examinations for each module in January or May of that year. Coursework will be required for some modules and Dissertations are due by late August the same year. Part-time students are required to complete the programme over two academic years, with Dissertations due by late August of the second/final year of study.