LLM Healthcare Ethics and Law / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

The LLM in Healthcare Ethics and Law provides high-quality education in healthcare ethics and healthcare law. There is an emphasis on the application of bioethical and legal theory to real-world scenarios, catering to the practical needs of healthcare and legal professionals and those in related fields.

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.

This course requires the study of both ethics and law, but with a bias towards law in the taught units. On the distance learning course, all options taken must be law-based. On the campus-based course, the majority of options should be law-based.


This course will allow you to develop an expert knowledge and understanding of bioethical and medico-legal theories, and the skills needed to apply them to real world scenarios in a diverse range of contexts.

You will also develop the ethical and medico-legal knowledge and research skills required for writing a master's level dissertation, and will be well prepared for further research if you so desire.

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 two or three 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 for which you are enrolled is compulsory. For course units of 15 credit value, there will generally be 15 hours of face-to-face teaching throughout the semester in which the unit is delivered, and twice that amount for 30 credit units.

Coursework and assessment

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

In addition, to complete the LLM, you must submit a 10,000-12,000 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. Please note that if you are on the part-time route, you can extend your registration for an extra three months to submit your dissertations in December of Year 2, instead of September (you will be advised of the exact date in Year 2).

If you do not successfully complete the MA, you may be considered for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma. 

If you do not successfully complete the Postgraduate Diploma, you may be considered for the award of the Postgraduate Certificate. 

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

Course unit details

You will be required to complete 180 credits:

  • 120 credits comprised of taught course units (each of 15 or 30 credit value);
  • and an independent research element worth 60 credits. This will be a 12,000-15,000-word dissertation, 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;
  2. or 75 credits in semester one and 45 credits in semester two.

If you are registered on the LLM Healthcare Ethics and Law course, you would need to select a majority of your optional course units from the law list (Mental Health Law and Policy; Medicine, Law and Society; Children, Medicine and the Law). Global Health Law and Bioethics can count as an ethics or law course.

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
Dissertation by Independent Research CSEP60012 60 Mandatory
Philosophical Bioethics CSEP60201 30 Mandatory
Research methods and methodologies for bioethics and law CSEP60022 15 Optional
Mental Health Law and Policy CSEP60102 15 Optional
Ethics & Genetics and Genomics CSEP60192 15 Optional
Medico-Legal Problems CSEP60211 30 Optional
Global Health Law and Bioethics CSEP60222 15 Optional
Research Ethics CSEP60312 15 Optional
Medicine, Law and Society CSEP60962 15 Optional

Scholarships and bursaries

Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme:

The Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a first-class bachelor's degree and are progressing to a postgraduate taught master's course.

Manchester Humanities International Excellence Scholarship:

The University of Manchester is proud to offer scholarship awards to exceptional international students commencing their postgraduate studies across subjects in its Faculty of Humanities from September 2022

Manchester Master's Bursary:

The University of Manchester is committed to widening participation in master's study and allocates 75 awards of £4,000 each year.

Postgraduate loans for master's students

If you're coming to Manchester this year to begin postgraduate study, you could qualify for a loan from the UK government.

For more information on our awards, see fees and funding or search the University's postgraduate funding database

What our students say

Meet some of our postgraduate students studying for a master's in International Law, Healthcare Ethics and Law and Financial Law in Student Spotlights .


At The University of Manchester Law School, you are supported by the first-class resources you would expect of a top law school. 

In addition to the networked study spaces at the Williamson Building, you can access a specialist moot courtroom, enabling future legal minds to hone your debating skills in a realistic court setting. 

You also have access to The University of Manchester Library , which houses a substantial collection of law books and periodicals, as well as texts to support you.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk