Information regarding new applications


Our 2021/22 postgraduate taught admissions cycle opens on Monday, 26 October. While we welcome you to apply now, please note that we will not start to review and process applications until after this date.


If you would like to be considered for 2020 entry, this course is currently still accepting applications for home applicants only.

MA Healthcare Ethics and Law / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Read our latest coronavirus information

Course description

The MA in Healthcare Ethics and Law will provide you with expert knowledge and understanding of ethical and medico-legal theories, and the skills needed to apply them to real-world scenarios in a diverse range of contexts.

You will study a wide variety of ethical and legal subjects, including:

  • autonomy;
  • consent;
  • refusal of treatment;
  • confidentiality;
  • the moral status of the foetus;
  • resource allocation;
  • genetic testing;
  • HIV testing;
  • medical malpractice;
  • clinical negligence;
  • organ and tissue transplantation;
  • fertility treatment;
  • genetic manipulation;
  • research ethics;
  • stem cell research;
  • euthanasia.


The MA in Healthcare Ethics and Law covers a wide variety of ethical and legal subject matter in order to allow you to apply theory to real-world scenarios.

Teaching and learning

Teaching tends to defy the traditional boundaries associated with lectures and seminars.

Generally, each class in a course unit has a duration of 2 or 3 hours per week, and is split roughly between a formal, didactic period and a structured discussion period (most often based on the so-called challenge-response model).

Nevertheless, each class is considered a seminar or lecture, and attendance of all classes of a course unit is compulsory.

For course units of 15 credit value there will be 15 hours of face-to-face teaching throughout the semester, and 30 hours for 30 credit units.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment of all taught course units (to a total of 120 credits) is by assessed coursework in the form of essays of 4,000 words per 15 credit course unit and up to 6,000 words for the two 30 credit core course units.

In addition, students who wish to complete the MA must submit a 10,000 to 12,000 word dissertation by independent research (60 credits); no dissertation is required for the PGDip or PGCert.

Part-time students undertake a supervised dissertation in the summer months of Year 2. You can extend your registration for an extra 3 months to submit your dissertations in December instead of September in Year 2 (you will be advised of the exact date during Year 2 on the course).

Those who do not successfully complete the MA may be considered for the Postgraduate Diploma.

Those who do not successfully complete the Postgraduate Diploma may be considered for the Postgraduate Certificate.

The awards of the MA or Postgraduate Diploma are classified according to pass, merit or distinction. The Postgraduate Certificate is awarded unclassified.

Course unit details

Students will be required to complete 180 credits: 120 credits comprised of taught course units (each of 15 or 30 credits value), and an independent research element of the course worth 60 credits by way of a Masters dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words, which is undertaken over the summer months of the course. The dissertation should be predominantly law-based.

On the full time course, the 120 taught credits can be split in one of two ways: (1) 60 credits in each of the two semesters; or (2) 75 credits in semester one and 45 credits in semester two.

Students registered on the MA in Healthcare Ethics and Law would need to select a majority of their optional courses from the ethics list (Ethics, Genetics and Genomics; Research Ethics). Global Health Law and Bioethics can count as an ethics or law course.

Details of all current course units available in the School of Law can be found on the Faculty of Humanities website.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Philosophical Bioethics CSEP60201 30 Mandatory
Medico-Legal Problems CSEP60211 30 Mandatory
Mental Health Law and Policy CSEP60102 15 Optional
Ethics & Genetics and Genomics CSEP60192 15 Optional
Global Health Law and Bioethics CSEP60222 15 Optional
Research Ethics CSEP60312 15 Optional
Medicine, Law and Society CSEP60962 15 Optional
Children, Medicine and the Law CSEP60972 15 Optional

Scholarships and bursaries

The School offers a number of awards for students applying for master's study.

To find out more please visit our  master's funding opportunity search page .


You will be supported by the first-class resources you would expect at a top law school.

In addition to the networked study spaces at the Williamson Building, you can access The University of Manchester Library , which houses a substantial collection of law books and periodicals, as well as texts to support all the degrees we offer.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: