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Master of Bioethics and Health Law (MBHL)



The Master of Bioethics and Health Law (MBHL) degree is an interdisciplinary postgraduate programme which consists in writing a research dissertation under supervision and completing papers worth an additional 105 points from a schedule of papers. The degree may be awarded with distinction or credit. The degree draws on the resources of both ethical and legal theory, and attends to bioethical problems arising from the increasing use of technology in medicine and changes in the resourcing and delivery of health care.

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Subject Areas


Schedule of Papers

Papers for the Degree of Master of Bioethics and Health Law


BITC 401  Theories of Biomedical Ethics

BITC 403  Issues in Law, Ethics and Medicine

LAWS 447  Law and Medicin




At least one of:
LAWS 311  Family Law
LAWS 448  Law and Psychiatry
LAWS 467  International Human Rights Law
LAWS 480  Research Paper


Any papers listed in this schedule including the following to make a total of least 105 points:
BITC 404  Ethics and Health Care
BITC 405  Bioethics in Clinical Practice
BITC 406  Health Research Ethics
BITC 407  Advanced Health Research Ethics
BITC 410, BITC 411, BITC 412  Special Topics

15 points each

BITC 890  MBHL Dissertation


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Regulations for the Degree of Master of Bioethics and Health Law (MBHL)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme will be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) following consultation with the Board of Studies for the degree.
    2. Every applicant shall be a graduate in Law or Medicine, or hold an Honours degree in Philosophy, or have qualifications and experience acceptable to the Board of Studies for the degree.

  2. Structure of the Programme

    1. The programme of study shall consist of
      1. papers from the schedule to a value of not less than 105 points; and
      2. a dissertation.
      1. The Board of Studies may in special circumstances approve papers for the degree which are not listed in the schedule.
      2. A candidate who has previously completed two or more papers listed in the schedule for another completed qualification may be exempted from a paper or papers up to a value of 30 points.
      3. A candidate transferring credits for Law papers from another university shall be required to complete at least one of LAWS 447, LAWS 448 or LAWS 480.
    2. The programme of study, the topic of the dissertation and the proposed supervisor shall be submitted to the Board of Studies for its approval.
    3. A candidate shall submit the dissertation by 1 April of the year following that in which the work for it is commenced.

  3. Duration of the Programme

    1. Full-time candidates shall pursue a programme of study of not less than twelve months and part-time candidates shall pursue a programme of study of not less than twenty-four months.
    2. A candidate will normally be expected to satisfy the requirements for the degree within three years of admission to the programme. A candidate may apply to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) for extension of this time limit by up to one year.

  4. Examination of the Dissertation

    1. The dissertation shall be assessed by at least two examiners. The candidate's supervisors shall not normally be examiners but may make a report on the work of the candidate for the examiners to consider.
    2. Where examiners cannot agree on a result, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) shall arrive at a decision after consulting a referee.
    3. If the dissertation is deemed unsatisfactory the Pro-Vice-Chancellor may, on the recommendation of the examiners, recommend that it be revised and resubmitted by a specified date.
    4. The candidate may be required to take an oral examination in the field of knowledge in which the dissertation lies.

  5. Level of Award of the Degree

    The degree may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

  6. Variations

    The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences) may in exceptional circumstances, and with the approval of the Board of Studies, approve a course of study which does not comply with these regulations.

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