What is the Master of Bioethics all about?
The Master of Bioethics is a one year advanced master's programme which is coordinated by the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law (CBMER) at KU Leuven.
The learning environment is characterized by a small student population, which is composed of an international and interdisciplinary group of individuals who have already finished a master programme. This fosters a continuous exchange of experiences and cultural perspectives. In order to prepare students to adopt a critical and scientific attitude towards ethical questions, education is as much as possible research-driven.
This Master’s programme consists of a series of core bioethics courses, a research component, and a series of electives (60 ECTS) including:
- Truncus communis of Core Bioethics Courses (22 ECTS)
- Ethics and Law in Biomedical Research
- Public Health Ethics and Ethics in Health Policy
- Ethical Issues in End-of-life Care
- Foundations of Bioethics and Principles of Clinical Ethics
- Human Genetics, Ethics and Policy
- Law and Health Care
- A Research component (23 ECTS): a Seminar Interdisciplinary Research in Bioethics (5 ECTS) and a Master’s thesis Research Project (18 ECTS)
- Elective specialisation courses (15 ECTS): Students can select from a number of courses at KU Leuven, within the fields of Medicine, Theology, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Anthropology and Psychology. These elective courses allow the student to develop a personal trajectory.
Students who enroll in this Master’s programme will have the opportunity to specialise and develop the following core skills:
- Focus on bioethics instead of applied ethics: in order to maximally challenge the disciplinary future self, the programme has a specific focus on bioethics. This focus distinguishes it from broader studies in applied ethics, which are also concerned with topics in the fields of social, environmental, sexual or global ethics.
- Third cycle programme: in order to facilitate intercultural and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, the programme is specifically directed towards students who have already obtained a master’s (or equivalent) degree.
- Focus on the development of research skills: the programme strongly focuses on the development of academic skills that prepare students for a future academic career in the field of bioethics.
- Attention for continental European perspectives on bioethics: the programme offers a broad range of theoretical and practical perspectives on bioethics, with particular attention for developments in European bioethics. These include the connection between social science and bioethics, ethics and law, care ethics, as well as values and principles that are central to European culture (e.g. respect for life, human dignity, solidarity, vulnerability).
- Thematic focus: due to the programme’s thematic focus, students acquire expertise in dealing with ethical issues that emerge in various healthcare settings, such as end-of-life care, biomedical research and public health.