Bioethics is available as a minor for a BCom, BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree. It is the only one of its kind in New Zealand.
Completing five papers earns you a minor in Bioethics.
Students can look into all the main fields of Bioethics or focus on fields of particular interest. The wide choice of relevant humanities papers includes Anthropology; Bioethics; Christian Thought and History; Classical Studies; History; Indigenous Development | He Kura Matanui; Law; Media, Film and Communication; Philosophy; and Politics.
Several papers focus on mātauranga Māori in relation to research ethics, animal ethics and environmental philosophy. Other papers examine cross-cultural ethics in a global and local context.
The Bioethics Centre promotes a supportive and rigorous learning environment.
Papers are taught via lectures and tutorials where engagement and debate is welcome, along with independent study.
The Bioethics Centre hosts a biennial bioethics conference, and weekly seminars during the semester featuring local, national, and international speakers.
Bioethics research at Otago
The research at the Bioethics Centre aims to examine the conventional and novel moral dilemmas arising from medical research, clinical settings, and advances brought about by life sciences and biotechnologies.
Members of staff undertake research in a wide range of fields including:
- Animal ethics
- Clinical bioethics
- Cross-cultural bioethics
- Environmental ethics
- Genetics and ethics
- Paediatric ethics
- Psychiatric / mental health ethics
- Public health ethics
- Reproductive ethics
- Sports medicine ethics
Bioethics is multidisciplinary, so aligns well with other subject areas and interdisciplinary collaboration.
There are many postgraduate degrees and diplomas offered, including a Certificate of Proficiency, Graduate and Postgraduate Diplomas, the Master of Health Sciences (endorsed in Bioethics), the Master of Bioethics and Health Law (MBHL), and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Bioethics.
Most masters' students complete a dissertation or thesis, and coursework.
Postgraduate students may be yet to start their careers, or can come from a range of professional backgrounds and include healthcare professionals, law graduates, and those with policy roles.
Undergraduate Bioethics papers do not require specific prior learning. Students come from a range of backgrounds including law, philosophy, medicine, the life or health sciences, religious studies, social sciences, and psychology.
The transferability of many skills gained in Bioethics suits this breadth of students. It means that students may apply the skills learnt to their original field of study and enrich it further or take it in new directions.