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Medical Law MA

Course Description

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.

Key benefits

- The most up-to-date legal scholarship applied to a very wide range of medical issues.

- The programmme discusses controversial issues such as euthanasia and abortion with a balanced approach.

- Supported by theUK's first Centre of Medical Law and Ethics and its distinguished team of academic staff members, teaching is conducted in small seminar groups of less than 30 to encourage active student participation.

Visit the website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught-courses/medical-law-ma.aspx

Course detail

- Description -

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.

- Course purpose -

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.

- Course format and assessment -

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.

Career prospects

Enhancement of existing career; more specialised area of law; personal development. Many alumni go on to work in policy-related positions including positions at 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.

How to apply: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/taught-courses.aspx

About Postgraduate Study at King’s College London:

To study for a postgraduate degree at King’s College London is to study at the city’s most central university and at one of the top 20 universities worldwide (2015/16 QS World Rankings). Graduates will benefit from close connections with the UK’s professional, political, legal, commercial, scientific and cultural life, while the excellent reputation of our MA and MRes programmes ensures our postgraduate alumni are highly sought after by some of the world’s most prestigious employers. We provide graduates with skills that are highly valued in business, government, academia and the professions.

Scholarships & Funding:

All current PGT offer-holders and new PGT applicants are welcome to apply for the scholarships. For more information and to learn how to apply visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/funding/sources

Free language tuition with the Modern Language Centre:

If you are studying for any postgraduate taught degree at King’s you can take a module from a choice of over 25 languages without any additional cost. Visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/mlc

Visit the Medical Law MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Professor Penny Lewis

Professor Penney Lewis joined the Dickson Poon School of Law at King's in 1995. She administers and writes for the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics blog which contains news and comment on topics in Medical Ethics and Medical Law.


Entry Requirements

The basic entry requirements are a recognised first degree of at least upper second class honours (or equivalent overseas qualification) in a relevant discipline, eg law, medicine, philosophy, theology, social science, one of the life sciences, dentistry or nursing studies. Evidence of achievement of an academic level comparable to at least upper second class honours standard through past studies and where previous study, work or experience has made the applicant a suitable candidate, will also be considered.

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