Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics (MA)

University of Leeds the United Kingdom

For more information about Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics at University of Leeds, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award

How long you will study
24 months

Domestic course fees
GBP 8250 per total

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
GBP 8250 per total

All study options

About Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics at University of Leeds

This degree uses specially designed online teaching materials to give you an in-depth understanding of professional ethics, and what they mean for practitioners in the biomedical and healthcare sectors.

You'll learn about the ethical issues that arise across medicine and healthcare practice, but you'll also have the opportunity to specialise in areas that interest you or suit your career aspirations. You'll take modules on topics such as ethical issues at the beginning and end of life, autonomy and psychiatry, professional issues and allocating medical resources fairly, and focus on a topic of your choice to complete an independent dissertation.

We're constantly developing the course and consulting with professionals working in the field, so it's informed by the most recent developments in practice. But you'll be guided by active researchers with expertise in teaching ethics across medical disciplines, giving you the chance to engage with the latest academic arguments and debates.

The programme is designed for people who've never studied ethics or medical ethics, although we do also have applicants who have studied philosophy before. If you're interested in thinking about key ethical issues in a reasoned and independent way, you'll be able to explore big questions in the biomedical and healthcare spheres with the support of the Interdisciplinary Ethics Applied Centre (IDEA).

This course is also available to study full-time and/or on campus. You could also choose to study for a PGDip qualification, where you'll study fewer modules overall.

  • Course content

    In your first year you'll develop your understanding of key concepts and approaches in the study of ethics, as well as how it applies to the biomedical and healthcare fields, and the ethical issues at the beginning and end of life.

    You'll also apply this knowledge to the professional context, considering issues like the carer/patient relationship, consent and the role of the conscience in professional practice. You'll explore questions surrounding the distribution of scarce medical resources and compulsion or coercion in cases of mental illness.

    In your final year you'll focus on contemporary debates and issues in healthcare ethics, exploring issues such as research ethics and the implications of new technologies. Throughout the programme you'll develop advanced skills in research and analysis. You'll showcase this in your dissertation, when you focus on a specific topic of your choice, and submit your work before the end of the course in September of your final year.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Introduction to Ethics: Reasons, Motivation, Obligations and Happiness 15 credits
    • Ethical Issues at the Beginning of Life (Online) 15 credits
    • Ethical Issues at the End of Life (Online) 15 credits
    • Conscience, Codes and Professional Issues (Online) 15 credits
    • Autonomy, Rationality, and Psychiatric Issues (Online) 15 credits
    • Distributive Justice and Scarce Medical Resources (Online) 15 credits

    Year 2

    Compulsory modules

    • Health Care Ethics: Dissertation 60 credits
    • Current Developments in Health Care Ethics (Online) 30 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics MA in the course catalogue

    Learning and teaching

    There are no lectures or seminars on this programme. Instead you'll use the University's Virtual Learning Environment to access interactive course materials and participate in collaborative activities online. This allows you to share your experiences and insights with students from a variety of backgrounds to discover new perspectives on ethical issues. Our tutors respond to queries by email as well as contributing to the online discussion groups.

    Read more about Online Distance Learning.


    You'll still be assessed using essays, but we use a range of other methods to make the most of online learning. You'll complete shorter written assignments and group projects, and you'll also be assessed on the contributions you make to group discussions.

  • Applying, fees and funding

    Entry requirements

    A bachelor degree. Professional experience may also be considered.

    If you don't have a degree, we normally ask you to register for the PGDip programme. You can upgrade to the MA if you progress successfully.

    We look for your willingness and ability to think clearly and independently, as well as good writing skills, a basic understanding of philosophical ethics and any relevant experiences of ethical issues in practice.

    We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

    English language requirements

    IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

    How to apply

    Documents and information you need:

    • Your degree certificate and transcripts of all relevant qualifications, or a partial transcript if you're still studying
    • Two academic references
    • Evidence of your English language test scores, if English is not your first language
    • An essay of 1,000-1,500 words on a topic relevant to the programme suggested topics available on our How to Apply page

    Application deadlines: There is no formal deadline for applications. However, you should allow time to make arrangements to start your course and the application deadlines for many scholarships and bursaries will close much sooner. As a result we strongly encourage you to submit your completed application by July 31st of the year you plan to start the programme.
    Next steps: All applicants to our courses will be interviewed. Distance learning students can be interviewed by phone, VOIP or Skype.
    • Apply

    This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
    If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

    Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

    Admissions policy

    University of Leeds Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


    UK/EU: £8,250 (total)

    International: £8,250 (total)

    Read more about paying fees and charges.

    For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

    Additional cost information

    There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

    Scholarships and financial support

    If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

  • Career opportunities

    A postgraduate qualification in biomedical and healthcare ethics can improve your confidence in handling workplace decisions that have ethical implications. It will also allow you to improve your transferable skills such as research, analysis and oral and written communication.

    Many of our graduates continue with their research, whether in academic appointments at universities, PhD studies or as researchers for other organisations such as the King's Fund. Others have gone into healthcare management, joined research or clinical ethics committees or gone on to teach medical or healthcare ethics at medical schools part-time.

    Careers support

    We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

    The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

  • Related courses

    Applied and Professional Ethics MA
    Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics MA
    Applied and Professional Ethics PGDip
    Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics PGDip
  • Study options for this course

    • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
    • The awardMAHow you will studyDistanceHow long you will study24 months
      Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 8250 per totalInternational course feesGBP 8250 per total

    Entry requirements

    A bachelor degree + experience.

    Language requirements
    IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components.

    Location of University of Leeds

    University of Leeds main campus is shown on the map below:

    Read more about studying in the United Kingdom