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Erasmus Mundus in Bioethics

Course Description

Health care professionals and those who are professionally interested in medical ethics find themselves increasingly confronted with moral questions and dilemmas. These complex issues challenge health care professionals on a daily basis. They require careful study and well-considered judgment, as well as rigorous questioning and thorough debate.

Are you professionally engaged in health care? Are you concerned with the moral questions and dilemmas you confront daily in your profession? Are you interested in a joint international degree obtained in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy? If so, consider the Erasmus Mundus Master of Bioethics programme with the financial aid of Erasmus Mundus scholarships. Spend the autumn in Leuven, the winter in Nijmegen and the spring in Padua. Lectures, small-group discussions, case studies, and research activities characterise this programme, which is capped with the presentation of a publishable research paper to your colleagues. Then, return to your workplace with a better understanding of today's ethical issues. Or perhaps your future is on an institutional review board, a clinical ethics committee, or within a government agency, regulatory body, or medical association. Then again, perhaps you'll take up a teaching or research career. Or you may pursue a career as a clinical ethicist at a hospital or health care facility.

The Erasmus Mundus Master of Bioethics provides an in-depth education in the field of bioethics.

It is an advanced Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis. Non-standard part-time pathways can only be followed with the approval of the Teaching Commission Secretary, Pascal Borry.


Health care professionals and others professionally interested in the medical field find themselves increasingly confronted with moral questions and dilemmas. This programme aims to study all issues currently relevant to the field of bioethics, particularly by examining European traditions in philosophy, theology and ethics. One of the goals is also to expose participants to some of the daily realities of clinical and research ethics.

At the end of the programme the participants will be able to:
- contribute to the scientific debate and academic literature in the field of bioethics;
- critically analyse the academic literature, write scholarly articles and submit papers and articles to international and national conferences and journals;
- deal autonomously with complex ethical problems in the field of medicine and/or research;
- analyse these problems and reflect on them;
- discuss ethical issues within a cross-cultural context;
- develop a critical attitude towards ethical problems and the scientific bioethical literature and thus be prepared for lifelong learning;
- develop openness towards different positions;
- work in a multidisciplinary way;
- have moral sensibility;
- develop a continuous awareness for ethical issues in clinical practice.

[[Career paths]]
Graduates are presented with a diverse spectrum of professional possibilities. Many graduates return to their workplace with a better understanding of the ethical issues involved there. Some serve on institutional review boards or clinical ethics committees or find positions at government agencies, regulatory bodies and medical associations. Others are employed as professors at universities or researchers at independent research institutes. Some graduates pursue careers as clinical ethicists at hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Entry Requirements

The admission policy is intended to ensure qualified European and non-European students equal access to higher education. The programme will assess students individually on the basis of their previous academic record, their experience in the field of health care and a letter of motivation. Admission decisions are based upon evaluation of a complete application file. Only holders of a Master's degree will be accepted to the programme. Applicants are also required to demonstrate their proficiency in English. More: www.kuleuven.be/admissions

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