This pathway examines the role of law within contemporary health care, providing a sound introduction to the institutions and organisations associated with medical law and the inter-relationships between them. It explores the practical context within which medical law operates in order to develop an understanding of the theoretical and ethical issues that underpin it.
Students can choose to spend one term (either Autumn or Spring) at our Canterbury campus and one (either Autumn or Spring) at our Brussels centre (returning to Canterbury to complete the dissertation) under our split-site option for this programme. The split site option is charged at a different rate. Please see under Fees below for more information. Programmes at our Brussels centre are offered primarily in International Law and Human Rights Law. Students are responsible for organising their own accommodation in Brussels. Please contact the University's Accommodation Office for information about the availability of short term accommodation in Canterbury.
Studying for a Master's in Law (LLM) at Kent means having the certainty of gaining an LLM in a specialist area of Law. The Kent LLM gives you the freedom to leave your choice of pathway open until after you arrive, your pathway being determined by the modules you choose.
Kent Law School (KLS) is the UK's leading critical law school. A cosmopolitan centre of world-class critical legal research, it offers a supportive and intellectually stimulating place to study postgraduate taught and research degrees.
The Law School offers its flagship Kent LLM at the University’s Canterbury campus (and two defined LLM programmes at the University’s Brussels centre). Our programmes are open to non-law graduates with an appropriate academic or professional background who wish to develop an advanced understanding of law in their field.
You study within a close-knit, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment, working closely with academic staff. KLS uses critical research-led teaching throughout our programmes to ensure that you benefit from the Law School’s world-class research.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by Kent Law School was ranked 8th in the UK for research intensity. We were also ranked 7th for research power and in the top 20 for research output, research quality and research impact. An impressive 99% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.
Kent Law School is one of the leading law schools in the UK; we are ranked 14th in The Times Good University Guide 2018, 15th in The Guardian University Guide 2018 for law and 19th in The Complete University Guide 2018.
The Law School has an excellent international reputation; ranked 50th in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for law 2018, it is also listed amongst the top 100 law schools in the world in both the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 and the Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2017.
The fees for the Canterbury-only delivery of this programme are the same as those for the standard LLM programme. However, fees for our split-site option (which is taught in Canterbury and Brussels) are charged at a different rate. Please refer here for the current fees for the split-site 90 ECTS option.
The University has a generous postgraduate scholarship fund in excess of £9m available to taught and research students studying at Kent. There are also scholarships specifically for Law School students including a Taught Overseas Scholarship and Taught Home/EU Bursaries. Kent Law School has also established a major fund to support students who are from or who have studied in Kenya, Nigeria or Thailand, and who undertake a Master's in Law (LLM) at the Canterbury campus of the University of Kent.
Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.
Our current module handbook is available to download on our website. The modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
The postgraduate programmes offered within the Law School are usually taught in seminar format. Students on the Diploma and LLM programmes study three modules in each of the autumn and spring terms. The modules are normally assessed by a 4-5,000-word essay. Students undertaking an LLM degree must write a dissertation of 15,000 words.
Employability is a key focus throughout the University and at Kent Law School you have the support of a dedicated Employability and Career Development Officer together with a broad choice of work placement opportunities, employability events and careers talks. Details of graduate internship schemes with NGOs, charities and other professional organisations are made available to postgraduate students via the School’s Employability Blog.
Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 96% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2015 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.
Information about the internship programme for LLM students can be found on the Kent Law School Employability blog.
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.
You must complete 180 credits of study – 60 credits are taken in the compulsory dissertation and the remaining 120 credits are taken in taught courses.
You will experience a range of teaching styles on these courses, led by members of Edinburgh Law School's academic community and experienced legal and industry practitioners.
You are expected to prepare in advance by reading the required materials and by reflecting on the issues to be discussed, and your participation in classes will be assessed.
For the dissertation you will have a supervisor from whom you can expect guidance and support, but the purpose of the dissertation is to allow you to independently design and conduct a piece of research and analysis.
Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances or lack of demand for particular courses, we may not be able to run all courses as advertised come the start of the 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).
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.
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.
The LLM in Medical Law and Ethics draws on the expertise and tradition of Edinburgh Law School to deliver an internationally focused, interdisciplinary programme that combines flexible learning with the most up-to-date teaching on all of the important issues affecting medicine, law and ethics today.
Medical law is a fascinating field of study as advances in medical research and new technologies shift the boundaries of medicine. New health issues are emerging and patient rights are increasingly taking centre stage. New and complex medico-legal dilemmas arise in clinical practice, in the realities of human health, and in the relationships between patients and healthcare professionals.
The programme enables you to explore the international and interdisciplinary dimensions of medical law and ethics. You will have opportunities to examine healthcare policy and the regulation of medicine in different parts of the world. You will also evaluate responses to technology and debate possible futures for medical law.
Applications are welcomed from legal professionals and healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses, and from all those with an interest in this area.
To be awarded LLM Medical Law and Ethics you must successfully complete six courses, four of which must be compulsory courses, and a 10,000- word dissertation during your chosen duration of study.
During your studies you will also have the opportunity to study up to two courses from different subject areas such as information technology law, intellectual property law, or international commercial law.
Having studied the programme, you will emerge with an understanding of medico-legal issues not just in the legal context, but with a sound grounding in ethics, social and theoretical contexts.
This programme is suitable to prepare students for advanced research.
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.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Medical Law and Ethics at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The Medical Law and Ethics masters degree provides an opportunity to examine the structure and operation of the legal system in England and Wales, to look critically at the real life impact of law on practice within the medical care system and to do this in the context of an understanding of the ethical problems that arise in health care.
Teaching and Employability:
- teaching takes place in 3 or 4 day blocks rather than weekly attendance
- the course is run by research active staff with significant experience of study and teaching in this area
The course provides a basis for critical reflection on the ethical value-judgements that are found in medicine with a particular focus on those issues relating to birth and death. It then looks at the operation of the legal system and in detail at the impact of legislation and the courts on the provision of medical care.
Students of Medical Law and Ethics will study on a part-time basis.
Part one modules are taught over two years, and dissertations must be submitted by 15th October of the third year.
Each module in part one involves attendance at a three or four day teaching conference followed by a one-day seminar approximately one month later.
The MA Medical Law and Ethics team are experts in their field. Please see a number of selected publications below:
- Richard Griffith & Cassam Tengnah, Law and Professional Issues in Nursing, Exeter: Learning Matters (2008)
- Hugh Upton, ‘Rationing: the loss of a concept’, Journal of Medical Ethics 37/7 (2011).
- Hugh Upton, ‘Presumed consent and organ donation’, Clinical Ethics 7/3 (2012)
The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience.
In addition, students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences.