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Bioethics and Medical Law MA, PGDip, PGCert

Bioethics and Medical Law MA, PGDip, PGCert

Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Medical Ethics Biology Health Legal Issues

Course type


Course Summary

This course equips you with the skills to assess the ethical, legal, social and spiritual aspects of advances in medicine and related technologies. Whether you realise it or not bioethics is relevant to all our lives. Even if we never work in healthcare it touches us when we are most vulnerable - when we or those we care for are unwell. Almost every day, it seems some new ethical dilemma appears in the news; whether to do with assisted dying, stem cell therapies or three-parent IVF, resource allocation, nanotechnologies, human cloning or health and climate change. Having a greater understanding of the issues involved can enable more in-depth public engagement. Reflection on the ethical principles that underlie medical and allied practice is an important part of continuing career development for healthcare professionals. Ethics and values are becoming central themes in many boardrooms and planning meetings across all sectors of life. From civic leadership to business, from politics to healthcare, new developments in medicine, biotech, genetics and other sciences are stretching traditional ethical understanding to the limit. If you are working in any of these areas, or aspire to in the future, the MA in Bioethics and Medical Law is an excellent way to be equipped to play your part. Institutions are increasingly being called to account for their decisions and procedures, and reflection on the ethical principles that underlie practice is an important part of continuing professional development for healthcare professionals. An MA in Bioethics and Medical Law is therefore a very flexible and useful qualification to have. It offers a unique and distinguishing asset to have on your CV: our students find the course not only interesting in itself, but also a unique distinguishing asset when applying for jobs in medicine, nursing and allied health care professions as well as in education and law. The degree sharpens your ability to critically engage and contribute to the world around you: the study of a contemporary and universally relevant subject such as medical ethics and law is an excellent preparation for any profession that requires graduates with high levels of human understanding, critical skills and knowledge of current affairs. The MA also provides a strong foundation for those wishing to pursue further postgraduate research at PhD level. Previous MA graduates have gone on to study for doctorates at St Mary’s and other universities in the UK and internationally. Several past students are currently on the national bioethics bodies for their home countries. Students can exit with PGDip and PGCert.

Different course options

Full time | St Mary's University, Twickenham | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



This module, compulsory for the MA, enables students to undertake their own piece of substantial research. Students will be equipped to identify, delineate, research and write on a topic of their choice within the field of bioethics. This module aims to develop a secure comprehension of the methods and tools of bioethical enquiry/research (empirical, legal, textual, philosophical and theological) and the ability to select and use these appropriately; to build student awareness of the ethical issues in the conduct of research; to equip students to undertake the dissertation; to familiarise students with the main sources of bioethical research; to facilitate students learning of how to make good use of supervision.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Students are normally required to achieve a 2:2 degree from a UK university, or equivalent, in a relevant subject. Alternatively, a professional qualification in teaching, medicine or law is also accepted.

University information

St Mary’s University is located in the leafy London borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, just 30 minutes by train to central London and minutes from the banks of the river. Founded in 1850 on Catholic values, it has a well-established history in teaching theology, education and sport. St Mary’s offers a wide range of full time and part-time postgraduate courses that are internationally recognised. Ofsted rating the Primary and Secondary Teacher...more