Online course

Healthcare Ethics and Law

  • Qualification: MA, LLM, PGDip, PGCert, CPD
  • Duration: 3-24 months, depending on the qualification level
  • Delivery: 100% online
  • Assessment: Coursework (MCQ for CPD)

Introduction

Inform your decision-making

Study the theory that underpins effective decision making in practice and develop your critical analysis skills. Our range of flexible, interdisciplinary courses will deepen your understanding of ethical and legal issues in healthcare and will help to build your confidence when faced with complex dilemmas.

The combination of online delivery with consistent support from our experienced and approachable academics will enable you to study while you work.

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Key features

Interdisciplinary course

Spanning ethics and law, this combination of disciplines will help you to develop new perspectives and expertise in this area.

Completely online

The flexible, fully online course structure will allow you to study alongside work and other commitments.

Convenient support

Academic and peer support are available at your convenience, with access to a first-class online library.

Healthcare Ethics and Law course options

MA

Masters

LLM

Master of Laws

PGDip

Postgraduate diploma

PGCert Ethics

Postgraduate certficate

PGCert Law

Postgraduate certficate

CPD

Continual professional development

Apply for MA course Apply for LLM course Apply for PGDip course Apply for PGCert Ethics course Apply for PGCert Law course Apply for CPD course
24 months, part-time 24 months, part-time 18 months, part-time 15 months, part-time 15 months, part-time Flexible
100% online 100% online 100% online 100% online 100% online 100% online
September enrolment September enrolment September enrolment September enrolment January enrolment Flexible

Entry requirements

Upper Second (2.1) class honours degree

Entry requirements

Upper Second (2.1) class honours degree

Entry requirements

Lower Second (2.2) class honours degree

Entry requirements

Lower Second (2.2) class honours degree

Entry requirements

Lower Second (2.2) class honours degree

Entry requirements

Open to all applicants

Fees (per annum)

UK/EU: £4,750

International: £9,500

Fees (per annum)

UK/EU: £4,750

International: £9,500

Fees (per annum)

UK/EU students: £3,167

International students: £6,334

Fees (per annum)

UK/EU students: £1,584

International students: £3,167

Fees (per annum)

UK/EU students: £1,584

International students: £3,167

Fees (per course)

From £95-£600

5 units (120 credits) including 2 'options'

Dissertation (60 credits)

5 units - including 2 law focused 'options' (120 credits)

Law-based dissertation (60 credits)

5 units (120 credits) including 2 'options'

3 units - ethics focused (60 credits)

3 units - law focused (60 credits)

From 1-9 accredited by the Royal College of Physicians

Coursework and dissertation Coursework and dissertation Coursework Coursework Coursework Online quizzes
Apply for MA course Apply for LLM course Apply for PGDip course Apply for PGCert Ethics course Apply for PGCert Law course Apply for CPD course

Try our free MOOC: An Introduction to Medical Ethics: The Impact of Disability Screening

Our free MOOC covers the following topics:

  • Ethical reasoning: method and application.
  • Key concepts of healthcare ethics.
  • The ethics of using technology to choose to have a child with a 'disability' (eg deafness).
  • The ethics of routine antenatal screening for Down Syndrome.

Join the course for free

Key information

  • Delivery

    100% online courses developed to fit around your lifestyle and circumstances.

  • Duration

    MA, LLM – 24 month, part-time
    PGDip – 18 months, part-time
    PGCert – 15 months, part-time
    CPDs – from 3 months. Please see our dedicated CPD site for more detail.

  • Enrolment dates

    MA, LLM, PGDip, PGCert in Healthcare Ethics: September
    PGCert in Healthcare Law: January
    For CPDs enrolment dates, visit our Healthcare, Ethics and Law CPD page

  • Entry requirements

    Please see our entry requirements section for more details.

  • Course directors

    Caroline Hoyle and Catherine Stanton

Contact us today

Complete the form below and our Course Advisor will be in touch shortly to discuss your study options.

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Please tell us which qualification you are interested in.

Course overview

Who this course is for

Whether you are a healthcare professional, work in law and regulation or are a graduate with an interest in healthcare ethics and law, our range of courses will enable you to develop your understanding of these fields and support your professional development. The masters' courses are also a stepping stone for those considering studying for a PhD.

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What you will learn

Studying one of our courses will help you to develop your understanding of ethical and legal issues in a range of real-world scenarios, and a diverse range of contexts. Whether it's allocating healthcare resources, protecting patients' rights, handling patients' consent, matters relating to prolonging life, or issues around reproductive choices, our courses will help you develop your understanding and enhance your decision-making.

Throughout your studies we offer you the opportunity to discuss these topics with your fellow professionals as well as the course tutors, in order to further your analysis of the issues involved.

Download the sample material of our course:

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Student testimonial

Where and when you will study

Study one of our courses from anywhere in the world and at a time that suits you. The online nature of our courses means you can combine a world-class Manchester education with work and other personal commitments.

From the moment you register your interest, and throughout your studies you'll receive the support you’ll need to excel and complete your studies, building a network of peers along the way.

How it will benefit your career

  • Receive the highest quality of teaching in healthcare ethics and healthcare law with an interdisciplinary approach.
  • Gain the skills and knowledge needed to apply ethical and legal approaches to real-world scenarios.
  • Develop your skills in understanding and presenting clear, robust and defendable arguments in response to complex, ethical and legal questions.

Course units

Course unit options for different course types
Course unit Credits MA
(180 credits)
LLM
(180 credits)
PGDip
(120 credits)
PGCert Ethics
(60 credits)
PGCert Law
(60 credits)
Philosophical Bioethics 30 Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory X
Medico-Legal Problems 30 Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory X Mandatory
International Issues in Health Care Law and Ethics 30 Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory X X
Research Ethics 15 Optional X Optional Mandatory X
Ethics, Genetics and Genomics 15 Optional X Optional Mandatory X
Mental Health Law and Policy 15 Optional Mandatory Optional X Mandatory
Medicine, Law and Society 15 Optional Mandatory Optional X Mandatory
Dissertation 60 Mandatory Mandatory X X X

Please visit our dedicated site for more information on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses.

01

Philosophical Bioethics

  • A practical approach to ethical decision making in the healthcare setting.
  • Respect for autonomy, informed consent, confidentiality and coercion.
  • Resource allocation, status of the embryo, pregnancy, euthanasia.

02

Medico-Legal Problems

  • The role of the law in regulating healthcare practice including human rights law.
  • Key principles relating to consent, patient autonomy, and confidentiality.
  • Clinical negligence and alternative systems of redress.

03

International Issues in Healthcare Law and Ethics

  • Can healthcare ethics be 'global'?
  • Ethical and legal issues raised by global concerns such as public health and healthcare tourism.
  • The role of international law in regulating in areas including biotechnology and organ donation.

04

Research Ethics

  • History of research ethics.
  • Current law and regulation.
  • Case studies including HIV research and Nazi experiments.

05

Ethics, Genetics and Genomics

  • Genetic engineering and genome editing.
  • Genetic research and biobanks.
  • Genetic testing and screening.

06

Mental Health Law and Policy

  • The law's response to managing the health and welfare needs of people who have a mental disorder or learning disability.
  • Legal issues will focus on admission to institutional care; medical treatment for mental and physical health issues; community support and treatment; legal rights to challenge care and detention.
  • Consideration of international law affecting people with a mental health diagnosis (UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; European Convention on Human Rights).

07

Medicine, Law and Society

  • Decision-making about children's healthcare.
  • Reproduction and the law.
  • Human embryo and stem cell research.

Course structure

The range of Healthcare Ethics and Law courses aim to bring you the highest quality of training in healthcare ethics and healthcare law in a flexible and interdisciplinary way, thus 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 in both a domestic and global context, including autonomy, consent, refusal of treatment, mental capacity, confidentiality, the moral status of the foetus, resource allocation, genetic testing, genome sequencing, clinical negligence, organ and tissue transplantation, fertility treatment, genetic manipulation, research ethics, disability screening, euthanasia and end of life care.

Course learning aims

  • To offer you the opportunity to gain a comprehensive knowledge and firm understanding of healthcare ethics and healthcare law.
  • Provide you with the opportunity to gain the skills needed to apply your understanding to real-world scenarios in a diverse range of contexts.
  • Help develop the skills needed for research and academic writing.

Teaching and learning

You will be provided with a comprehensive set of course materials at the beginning of each course unit. These interactive, specially designed materials provide an introduction to the issues and skills central to each unit and direct you to other study components such as further reading.

Each unit is supported by a virtual learning environment where you can access all course materials, online reading lists, podcasts, and the University's extensive online library . You are encouraged to use the virtual learning environment to discuss issues raised in the course materials with your course tutor and fellow students. Tutors are also available to provide one to one support by face to face meeting, telephone, skype and email.

We have an optional induction day which takes place each September for those who are starting the course. You can also attend an optional study day that is held each year, giving you an opportunity to meet with tutors and students on our Manchester campus. You are also welcome to attend the regular research seminars that take place on campus during term time.

Coursework and assessment

All course units are assessed by written coursework.

MA/LLM students must also submit a supervised 10,000 to 12,000-word dissertation by independent research (60 credits). As a part-time student, you will undertake a dissertation in the summer months of Year 2. If you do not achieve success in the MA/LLM, you may be considered for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits). The award of the MA/LLM is classified according to pass, merit or distinction.

Admissions information

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

MA/LLM

You must hold a minimum Upper Second (2.1) class honours degree, or the overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject (eg medicine, law, philosophy, nursing, religious studies).

If you hold a relevant degree but do not reach the entry qualification for the MA/LLM, you may apply for the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip).

If you initially enrolled on the Postgraduate Diploma course, you will be considered for a transfer to the MA/LLM course. A decision as to whether a transfer can take place will be made once marks for all taught components are available. Transfer is dependent upon you reaching master's level in the taught course units.

PGDip

You must hold a minimum Lower Second (2.2) class honours degree, or the overseas equivalent in a relevant subject (eg medicine, law, philosophy, nursing, religious studies).

In exceptional circumstances, candidates who do not have a first degree, but can demonstrate professional competence, may be admitted on the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) course.

There may be an opportunity to upgrade to the MA/LLM in Healthcare Ethics and Law. A decision as to whether transfer can take place will be made once marks for all taught components are available. Transfer is dependent upon you reaching master's level in the taught course units.

PGCert

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) applicants must hold a minimum of a Lower Second (2.2) class honours degree. In exceptional circumstances candidates who do not have first degree, but who can demonstrate professional competence, may be admitted.

English language

  • IELTS - overall score of 7, including 7 in writing with no further component score below 6.5.
  • TOEFL IBT 103 with 28 in writing and no further score below 25 in each section. TOEFL code for Manchester is 0757.
  • Pearson - overall 73 with 73 in writing and no further score below 66

Applicants who do not have the required IELTS upon application but consider themselves to have the English skills, please contact us directly so we can discuss this with you.  In some circumstances we may be able to accept your English score but in addition you may be asked to take a written test and/or have an informal interview via zoom/skype.

Scores are valid for 2 years.

Applicants from certain countries may be exempt from having to provide an IELTS or TOEFL score. For further advice please email  pg-soss@manchester.ac.uk .

Pre-Sessional English Courses

If you are eligible to do a pre-sessional English course (either 6 weeks or 10 weeks, depending on your English score), you will need to successfully complete the course at the required level before you are permitted to register on your academic course.

English language test validity
Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country.

Application and selection

How to apply

Advice to applicants

We require the following documents before we can consider your application:

  • Transcripts of your studies to date, officially translated into English.
  • Degree certificate (if you have already graduated).

If you are not from or did not graduate from a majority English speaking country as defined by the UKVI we will also require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

You are not required to submit references as part of your application. However, you must put the names and contact details of two academic referees on your application form and if we require the references we will contact the referees directly.

PGCert applicants : Applicants without a first degree may be accepted onto a PG Certificate course upon demonstrating the following attributes and skills:

Attributes:

  • Professional competence in the 'caring' professions or legal or paralegal professions
  • Commitment to and interest in the subject area

Skills:

  • Academic writing
  • Critical analysis
  • Broad understanding of the impact of ethical and legal issues in healthcare

In some cases, we may require evidence of the listed skills.

The deadline for applications is 15 June for International applicants, and 15 August for Home/EU applicants. Applications received up to the start date of the course will be considered. 

Additional cost information

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Regulated by the Office for Students

The University of Manchester is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS aims to help students succeed in Higher Education by ensuring they receive excellent information and guidance, get high quality education that prepares them for the future and by protecting their interests. More information can be found at the OfS website.

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Manchester, including our Degree Regulations and Complaints Procedure, on our regulations website.