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Graduate Diploma in Bioethics and Health Law (GDipBHL)

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The Graduate Diploma in Bioethics and Health Law (GDipBHL) provides a grounding in bioethics and the legal aspects of health care, and explores both ethical and legal approaches to issues related to modern medicine. This qualification is offered jointly by the Bioethics Centre and the Faculty of Law, and students are encouraged to develop an interdisciplinary approach.

There are three core papers (Theories of Biomedical Ethics; Issues in Law, Ethics and Medicine; and Law and Medicine). At least one other law paper is required and the rest of the points are made up of further bioethics or law papers. Choices from Law include: Law and Psychiatry, Family Law and International Human Rights.

The course is available either full or part-time, and can be completed at a distance.


Regulations for the Graduate Diploma in Bioethics and Health Law (GDipBHL)

  1. Admission to the Programme

    1. Admission to the programme will be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences).
    2. Every applicant shall
      1. be a graduate or have a qualification or qualifications requiring at least three years' full-time tertiary study or experience acceptable to the Board of Studies for the degree; and
      2. present evidence of ability for advanced level academic study.

  2. Structure of the Programme

      1. The programme of study shall consist of papers from the schedule to a value of not less than 120 points.
      2. The Board of Studies may in special circumstances approve papers for the diploma which are not listed in the schedule.
      3. A candidate may seek credit or exemption for papers previously completed at Otago or at another university or tertiary institution up to the value of 30 points.
      4. A candidate seeking credit or exemption based on Law papers from another university shall be required to complete at least one of LAWS 447 and LAWS 448.
    1. The programme of study shall be submitted to the Board of Studies for its approval.
  3. Duration of the Programme

    1. A candidate for the diploma shall normally follow a programme of study for not less than one year of full-time study or the equivalent in part-time study.
    2. A full-time candidate shall complete the requirements for the diploma within two years of admission to the programme and a part-time candidate shall complete the requirements within four years.
  4. Level of Award of the Diploma

    The diploma may be awarded with distinction or credit.

  5. Variations

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

1. If a candidate intends to proceed to the Masters of Bioethics and Health Law degree programme, an application to transfer to that programme is required before the GDipBHL is awarded.
2. Students who begin the GDipBHL and demonstrate the necessary ability for the MBHL will be offered the opportunity to transfer to the degree programme.

This information must be read subject to the statement on our Copyright & Disclaimer page.

Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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