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BA Biomedical and Health Care Ethics

Year 1

(Award available for year: Bachelor of Arts)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme students should be able to:
1. display knowledge and understanding of key concepts in ethical analysis;
2. display knowledge and understanding of some main theories of ethics, and be able to apply them to practical medical dilemmas;
3. identify the underlying issues in an ethical debate, to engage in reasoned discussion of ethical issues with people of opposing ethical views, and to construct a reasoned argument for a moral point of view.

Transferable (key) skills

Students will have had the opportunity to acquire, as defined in the modules specified for the programme, the following generic skills relevant to employment in medicine, referring to points in the QAA Medicine Benchmark Statement:
1.11 Independent learning skills
3.1 Intellectual skills of analysis, reflection, problem-solving
5.2a recognise, define and prioritise problems
5.3b formulating research questions pertinent to medicine
6.1c Present information clearly and communicate ideas effectively
7.3.c adopt an empathic and holistic approach to patients.
7.3.e knowledge of and respect for different cultures, values views & beliefs

The exercise of initiative and personal responsibility - students will have to use initiative and personal responsibility in all modules:
i) to initiate courses of independent reading
ii) to identify and locate research resources
iii) to allocate their time schedule appropriately to plan and execute written assignments to meet deadlines.

The deployment of decision making skills in complex and unpredictable situations -students focus on case studies across a range of health issues (mental health, child health, life and death, resource allocation, etc) to ensure that ethical analysis is practically relevant to real-life decision-making in professional situations.

The communication of information, ideas, problems and solutions in a variety of ways to a variety of audiences - in all modules students will learn to present their work orally and in written form, in both individual and group work, to both their peer group in seminars/tutorials and to their teachers/examiners in supervisions and in submitted assessment documents.

The ability to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature - students who have completed the Intercalated degree in Biomedical and Health Care Ethics should be in a position either to return to medicine for more advanced medical training or to pursue further training for advanced postgraduate study in Biomedical and Health Care Ethics.


Achievement will be assessed by a variety of methods in accordance with the learning outcomes of the modules specified for the year/programme and will include:

- demonstrating the ability to apply a broad range of aspects of the discipline;
Taken collectively the modules cover a broad range of health issues (mental health, child health, life and death, resource allocation, etc).

- work that draws on a wide variety of case studies;
Emphasis is given to the importance of practice case studies, through which students apply their knowledge to a wide variety of practical situations

- the ability to evaluate and criticise received opinion;
In all modules students will be given extensive opportunities to analyse, evaluate and criticise the 'received views' of a range of ethical writings.

- work that is typically both evaluative and creative;
In students' written and oral work will they will be required to present an analytical, critical and yet also imaginative response to their primary and secondary sources.


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