Individuals and institutions in healthcare are increasingly called to account for their decisions.
Bioethics is relevant to all our lives. Even if we never work in healthcare it touches us when we are most vulnerable - when we or those we care for are unwell.
Whether assisted dying, stem cell therapies or three-parent IVF, bioethics is also often in the news and having a greater understanding of the issues involved can enable more in-depth public engagement.
Reflection on the ethical principles that underlie medical and allied practice is an important part of continuing career development for healthcare professionals. Almost every day, it seems some new ethical dilemma appears in the news; whether to do with stem cell research, assisted suicide, resource allocation, nanotechnologies, human cloning or health and climate change.
Why St Mary's?
It is often said, "bioethics is moral philosophy done badly".
At St Mary's our multidisciplinary team of ethics experts with backgrounds in law, medicine, philosophy and theology ensure that every student has a chance to gain a thorough understanding of the grounding of ethical principles and their application.
The success of our students - in completing PhDs, getting papers published and advancing their careers in biomedical ethics and related fields - bears out the effectiveness of this approach.
I decided to study the Bioethics course as a way of bringing together my interests in science, medicine, public policy and the law, and broadening my analytical skills and academic expertise. I now have a much stronger philosophical basis from which to construct sound arguments.
The range of students and staff provides both for stimulating debate but also valuable challenge to long-held views, forcing students to justify and think through their views and defend them against arguments that they might otherwise not encounter.
Excellent support from the course director and lecturers, both on the content and requirements of the course, but also opportunities to develop my academic profile and contribute to the wider literature in my area of interest. They also provided numerous references for grants, scholarships etc for which I am very grateful!
The flexible combination of part time distance learning, meaning that I could fit around work and family.
To qualify for entry, students are normally required to have a 2:1 degree from a UK university or equivalent, in a relevant subject at honours level, or a professional qualification in teaching, medicine or law.
Recipient: St Mary’s University, Twickenham
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