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Healthcare Ethics and Law MA

School of Law, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK

+44 (0)161 306 1270

+44 (0)161 275 4724

E-mail address

Type of course
Online Distance Learning

Length of course
24 or 27 months

Date of commencement
The online programme begins in September

Application deadline
15th of August

Graduates of the Manchester School of Law who will be self-funding their postgraduate study will be eligible for the School's Alumni Bursary Scheme, whereby students receive a Loyalty discount on their annual tuition fees when they register for the programme.

We also offer a number of postgraduate bursaries.

Admissions requirements
MA applicants must hold a minimum Upper Second Class honours degree, or the overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject (e.g. medicine, law, philosophy, nursing, religious studies). In exceptional circumstances candidates who do not have first degree, but who can demonstrate professional competence, may be admitted on the Postgraduate Diploma course.

Candidates without a first degree may register initially for the Postgraduate Diploma and will be considered for transfer to the MA. A decision as to whether transfer can take place will be made once marks for all taught components are available. Transfer is dependent upon the student reaching Master's level in the taught modules.

Students whose first language is not English are required to hold IELTS 7.0 with a minimum writing score of 7, or an equivalent score in the IBT- TOEFL, PEARSON, or Cambridge CAE.

It is also recommended that applicants with 6.5 in IELTS attend pre-sessional English language courses at the University. Depending on your score in the writing component, we will offer you a place on a 20 weeks, 10 weeks or 5 weeks course. Booking deadlines apply.

The Manchester University

Healthcare Ethics and Law MA

The MA/Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Ethics & Law is provided by the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy of The School of Law.

Intakes are in September of each year.

No attendance is required at the University.

Students on the MA complete 5 course units and an independent research dissertation.

This programme aims to provide the highest quality training in healthcare ethics and health law.

Students will gain an expert knowledge and understanding of ethical and medico-legal theories, and the skills needed to apply them to real world scenarios in a diverse range of contexts. You will cover 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 and euthanasia.

Although no attendance at the University is required for this programme, we do encourage all students to attend Study Days that are held each year, as a way of meeting both staff and fellow students involved in the programme. Students are also encouraged to participate in online discussion groups.

Students are also provided with one-to-one tutorial support from staff at the Centre via email, telephone or on campus throughout the programme.

Coursework and assessment

At the end of each of the course units for our distance learning programmes, students are required to submit an essay of 4,000 words (for course units to the value of 15 credits) or 7,000 words (for course units to the value of 30 credits).

MA students are also required to submit a dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words on a subject of their choice.

Course unit details

The MA/PG Diploma in Healthcare Ethics & Law is comprised of 5 course units and an independant research dissertation (the latter applies to the MA students only). The delivery of these course units is via interactive learning texts which guide you through the areas of study and point you in the direction of further reading.

Students complete one course unit at a time so that they can focus on the issues in hand. You get around 3.5 months to complete each 30 credit course and 2.5 months for the 15 credit courses allowing plenty of time to complete the work while working full time, for instance. Each course unit is made up of 10-15 sections, which represent the equivalent of (approximately) an hour-and-a-half lecture with reading (usually around 2-3 papers or chapters).

Why Law at Manchester?

The School of Law boasts a reputation of excellence in the postgraduate field and consequently attracts a large number of postgraduate students. We currently have over 200 postgraduate students studying in the School.

With 60 full-time members of staff with a broad range of research interests and expertise, the School provides excellent teaching and is committed to first-class research. In the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) the School was awarded a 5 rating confirming it as one of the UK's top law schools for excellence in research.

The University Library is one of the four principal academic libraries in the UK and is an official depository for European Union and United Nations documents. The Law Library has excellent holdings in English law and in Public International Law, as well as a valuable range of Commonwealth and American materials.

With a proud tradition in legal education and a first-class research portfolio, the School of Law provides a stimulating and dynamic environment in which to further your studies.

Research Overview

The School of Law enjoys a long-standing reputation as one of the UKs most distinguished centres of excellence for the study of law, legal processes and related issues. We have more than seventy highly regarded academics and researchers working in areas of inquiry that cover most of the law together with social ethics and criminology. Many of them are leading experts in their fields. Our research and scholarship is both pure and applied, domestic and international. It reflects a diversity of approaches that range across the theoretical and empirical, the historical, doctrinal and socio-legal, and which draw on inter-disciplinary insights wherever appropriate.

In Research Assessment Exercises (RAE), the School of Law has consistently maintained high levels of national and international research excellence in various fields of scholarship. We have a strong research culture that values high quality publications that engage with academics, practitioners and policy-makers. Practical support is provided through research workshops, work-in-progress groups and staff mentoring. Financial assistance is made available through a generous travel allowance and awards from School's research support funds.

Our particular areas of expertise include: Bioethics, Health & Medicine; Company & Commercial Law; Criminal Law & Criminal Justice, Criminology; Environmental Law; the European Union; Family Law; Human Rights; Intellectual Property; International Law; Law and economics; Land Law, Equity & Trusts; Legal Theory; Private Law (Contract, Tort & Restitution); Public Law; and Regulation. The School also hosts a number of specialist research centres and a range of research events and seminars.

The School boasts a vibrant and diverse postgraduate research culture and welcomes MPhil and PhD applications in a wide variety of areas.

About the School of Law, University of Manchester

The Law School established in 1872 is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the country. The School is a centre of excellence for the study of law, criminology and bioethics.


Student profiles: "I love the University, the diversity, the faculty members and the city, so Manchester was my first choice." Olive Sabiiti, PhD Law

The University of Manchester: Building on its historical prestige, The University of Manchester has continued to adapt successfully to the needs of students by investing in world-class facilities for teaching, learning, research and recreation.

Prospects: At The University of Manchester, you can maximise your chances of securing a graduate job by using what is consistently voted the best Careers Service in the country.

Quality: With some of the highest quality teaching and research and the broadest spread of academic subjects, we will be able to compete with the best universities in the world.

Size: The University of Manchester is the largest single-site university in the UK offering students a greater choice of degree programmes and options, along with excellent facilities and student support services.