MSc Healthcare Ethics and Law (Intercalated)

Year of entry: 2021

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Degree awarded
Master of Science (MSc)
1 year (full-time)
Entry requirements

The course is open to all medical students from UK medical schools who have completed three years of undergraduate study (subject to approval by the relevant medical school).

When assessing your academic record we take into account your grades, your academic references, and the standing of the institution where you studied.  

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning

Course overview

  • Tailored for medical students interested in familiar and unforeseen medical and ethical challenges.
  • Brings you deeper understanding of legal and ethical challenges in medicine.
  • Take advantage of a flexible and interdisciplinary course.
The MSc Healthcare Ethics and Law (intercalated)

Open days

The University holds regular open days, where you will have the opportunity to find out more about our facilities and courses.

For more information, see open days .


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2021, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £10,500
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £20,500

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

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).

Contact details

School of Social Sciences
Contact name
Postgraduate Taught Admissions Team

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

The course is open to all medical students from UK medical schools who have completed three years of undergraduate study (subject to approval by the relevant medical school).

When assessing your academic record we take into account your grades, your academic references, and the standing of the institution where you studied.  

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

Due to high demand for this course, we operate a staged admissions process with selection deadlines throughout the year, as follows:

  • 1 November (decision by 8 December, accept offer by 15 January);
  • 7 January (decision by 14 February, accept offer by 16 March);
  • 2 March (decision by 8 April, accept offer by 8 May);
  • 4 May (decision by 1 June, accept offer by 1 July).

If we make you an offer, you will have four weeks to accept. Any offers not accepted by the deadline will be withdrawn.

All conditional offer-holders will have until 1 August to satisfy the conditions of their offer.

You need to ensure that you submit your supporting documents with your online application as it may delay us processing your application. While we aim to give respond by the decision date, it may be necessary to roll your application forward to the next date. 

We can accept your application before you complete your undergraduate course, submit your latest transcripts with your online application. Please note:

  • All places are subject to availability, some courses may be closed by the later dates, so apply early in the cycle.
  • Meeting the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an offer.
  • If you are a current University of Manchester undergraduate student, you may be eligible to apply via the 'Fast-Track' scheme, email for more information.
  • International applicants who will require a visa to study in the UK, can find visa information online.

How your application is considered

All applicants must submit:

  • an online application form;
  • supporting statement;
  • transcripts of degree;
  • two references.

Applications will not be considered if documents are missing.


If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

At Manchester, we provide the highest quality of education in healthcare ethics and healthcare law for you.

This course compliments your medical degree, giving you the opportunity to study the in-depth moral and legal issues that you will face as a medic or researcher.

While identifying the ethical and legally problematic aspects of practice, you will learn to formulate ethically acceptable solutions in challenging circumstances.

On completion of the course, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the principles of medical ethics and law, and will have developed a full conceptual toolkit that has been informed by both disciplines.


By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Apply the concepts you have learned to real-world situations, both familiar and unforeseen.
  • Identify the ethically and legally problematic aspects of practice; and be able to suggest ways to minimise, solve, or avoid those problems.
  • You will also, through the dissertation element of the course, have refined the ability to make and sustain a prolonged and sophisticated argument on a topic of interest.

Special features

Specially-structured course for medical students to widen their understanding ethical challenges featuring interactive lectures and prominent guest speakers.

Teaching and learning

Teaching will be mainly by interactive lecture. Each course unit will be taught in two-hour teaching blocks; these are run as a hybrid of traditional lecture and discussion.

You will be encouraged to play an active role in these lectures. Additionally, you have the opportunity to attend weekly papers on current research and developments in the field given by either members of staff or a visiting speaker.

During the course, you will be expected to complete six taught course units and a dissertation. All taught units are to be assessed by an essay of 4,000 words (for course units to the value of 15 credits) or assignments totalling 6,000 words (for course units to the value of 30 credits).

The dissertation will be between 10,000-12000 words. This dissertation will represent a major piece of independent research and you will be able to present your own papers to the rest of your cohort based on your dissertation as it progresses during semester two.

Coursework and assessment

All taught course units will be assessed by written coursework, which allows for extended argument and analysis. Some semester one units require two pieces of work; for these, the deadlines will be in November and January.

The deadline for semester one courses assessed by one piece of coursework, will be January. The semester two deadline will be in May/June. Assessment by coursework alone will allow for extended analysis and argument.

The dissertation will be submitted in August (just prior to resuming your medical studies).

Course unit details

You are required to sit six taught course units. Two of the assessed taught units are compulsory; the remaining four will be chosen from a range of optional units (although the range of available units will vary according to staff availability).

Optional units will have a value of 15 credits each. Subject to alteration, we would expect these to cover topics such as:

  • Global Health, Law, and Bioethics;
  • Children, Medicine and the Law;
  • Medicine, Law and Society;
  • Mental Health Law and Policy; 
  • Research Ethics;
  • Ethics and Genetics.

You will also be required to complete a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words on a topic of your choice. This gives you an opportunity to define and defend a precise and sophisticated position. It is not unknown for intercalating students to use their dissertations as the basis for papers that appear in international peer-reviewed journals.

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

There is a range of funding opportunities for students continuing their education with a taught postgraduate master's course.

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


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 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:


Career opportunities

The Healthcare Ethics and Law course better equips you to solve ethico-legal dilemmas that you will meet on the ward or, more importantly, perhaps - simply to spot them.

Increasingly, medical researchers have to demonstrate compliance with certain ethical demands, and so an intercalated degree in ethics and law will be useful when it comes to planning research.

Studying with us will reflect interests and concerns that most people have anyway, whether they know it or not. On completion of the course, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the mechanics of medical ethics and medical law and a full conceptual toolkit that can be applied to both disciplines.

The University also has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .