LLM 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 unit details:
Ethics & Genetics and Genomics

Unit code CSEP60192
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Law
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit presents, and encourages students to engage with, key moral debates relating to the development and use of genetic technologies. Among the topics considered are the moral permissibility human cloning and the use of genetic manipulation in and of plants, and nonhuman and human animals. It also considers the proper use of sensitive genetic information, for example in criminal justice and insurance.


The unit aims to provide a thorough grounding in the ethical debates surrounding the new genetic technologies and their social application.
The primary focus will be on the use of genetic technologies in respect of human genetics and reproduction, but attention will also be given to the genetics manipulation of other organisms (and, in respect of "synthetic biology", the possibility of creating entirely new organisms).

By the end of the course unit, successful students will have:
- developed an appreciation and understanding of the ethical issues raised by genetics and the of genetic science, both in terms of medical decision-making and social policy more widely developed their skills in understanding and presenting clear arguments.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
Students will have a good understanding of key moral debates and problems relating to the development and use of genetic technology

Intellectual skills
Students will be able to analyse critically and make use of moral arguments.

Transferable skills and personal qualities
Critical thinking

Teaching and learning methods

The module is based on the distance-learning version of the course, and as such, most learning is self-directed, based on prepared course materials. Campus based students do, however, have the opportunity to attend a number of seminars throughout the semester.

Assessment methods

One assessed coursework essay (4,000 words)

Feedback methods

Feedback on assessed written work is provided through a comprehensive feedback form giving both broad indications and detailed comments on strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Simona Giordano Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This blended learning course unit is taught using distance learning materials. In addition, there will be a number of seminars organised ad hoc throughout the course, depending on student demand. (In previous years, there have been three 2 hour seminars on average). The course materials are interactive and encourage students to develop coherent argumentative positions, and practise and develop their skills in this area.  Feedback is given within the seminars and discussion threads will be posted on Blackboard. The seminars allow students an opportunity to discuss the work completed.

This unit is only available to campus-based Health Care Ethics & Law programmes in The School of Law.

See CSEP timetable

Return to course details