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BITC406 Health Research Ethics

Basic ethical aspects of health research on humans: questions arising in research from conception, design and conduct, to dissemination of research results; the role and challenges of ethical review of research; Māori in research; and research in vulnerable populations.

Paper title Health Research Ethics
Paper code BITC406
Subject Bioethics
EFTS 0.125
Points 15 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,081.38
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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BITX 406
Limited to
DipGrad, GDipBHL, MBHL, MHealSc, PGDipHealSc, PGCertHealSc
Admission requires approval from the Director of the Bioethics Centre.
Open to anyone interested in ethical issues around human health research, including researchers, health professionals, members of ethics committees - no previous qualifications in ethics or bioethics are required.
Teaching staff

Convenors and Lecturers: Professor Lynley Anderson and Associate Professor Neil Pickering

Paper Structure

The paper covers questions arising in research from:

  • Conception, design and conduct to dissemination of research results.
  • The role and challenges of ethical review of research.
  • Māori in research.
  • Research in vulnerable populations.

Assessment: Four assignments (100%)

Teaching Arrangements

The Distance Learning offering of this paper is taught remotely.

The eight audiovisual seminars and lectures for BITC406 are AV-linked.

Textbooks are not required for this paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Be able to describe and analyse the ethical dimensions of research practice and have a practical knowledge of how to apply these in research practice.
  • Be sensitive to particular ethical issues arising out of research design, research method and proposed participants.
  • Understand the ethical notions commonly utilised in the analysis of ethical issues in health research (autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice) and how these are applied in practice (informed consent, confidentiality etc).
  • Describe the history and development of ethical review with examples from the New Zealand context.
  • Understand and be able to describe the structure and process of ethical review in New Zealand.
  • Describe and critically analyse the basic justifications for carrying out health research and for study design and choice of method.
  • Describe and critically analyse the ethical issues inherent in differing research methodologies.
  • Describe and critically analyse the ethical considerations of research with Māori and other indigenous populations.
  • Describe and critically analyse the ethical considerations of research on vulnerable populations, children, migrants, psychiatric patients, etc.
  • Describe and critically analyse the duties of the researcher to the research environment and the participants of research.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 12:00-13:50 9-14, 16-22