Medical Law and Ethics
A multi- and interdisciplinary course that offers an intellectually challenging exploration of the legal and ethical areas of medical practice that are growing in relevance and application to the modern world.
1 year full-time, 36 months part-time
The Durham LLM in Medical Law and Ethics explores some of the most intellectually challenging and sensitive areas of medical practice and science and, at the same time, develops your legal and ethical knowledge and skills in areas which continue to grow in significance. The course has been developed by specialists in the field who not only deliver the course, they are also involved in setting the legal agenda.
While the course is led by the School of Law, you will have the opportunity to study modules from other departments, ensuring you will gain a broad appreciation of the relevant areas of law and ethics.
You will also benefit from the research strengths and reputation of Durham’s Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences. As a Medical Law and Ethics student you will be invited to become a member of this vibrant team and encouraged to take part in the many activities organised by the Centre.
During the first two terms you will study taught modules selected from a wide variety of topics and then you will complete your studies by writing a dissertation on a medical law-related topic of your choice, under the supervision of a member of staff with expertise in your selected subject area.
Modules delivered by other departments are diverse and include Divergence, Deviance, and Disability in 19th Century Literature, the Anthropology of Global Health and the Philosophical Issues in Science and Medicine.
Teaching is a mixture of lectures and smaller, student-led, seminar or tutorial groups, taught by lecturers who are actively researching in the areas that they teach, and the dissertation is undertaken on an independent basis. We anticipate that students attending the course will be drawn from a broad range of countries and disciplines and believe that their diverse academic and professional experiences will enrich the course.
Contemporary Issues in Medical Law and Ethics underpins the course and aims to cultivate a critical appreciation of the legal and ethical difficulties raised by modern medical practice. Starting with an introduction to medical ethics, you will consider what it means when we say something is ethical. You will also look at the leading theories on ethics and how they apply to controversial issues in medical practice. This will be followed by a study of consent, obstetric intervention, medical treatment of children, reproductive genetics and decisions around end-of-life treatment.
Applied Research Methods in Law provides specialised knowledge on the latest research methods and skills used in legal studies as well as an advanced understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and of their relevance for different forms of legal research. The module also creates a framework within which you will be able to critically assess potential research topics and, importantly, where you will be able to design, discuss and develop a detailed research proposal of the appropriate standard for your dissertation.
The Dissertation is based on your particular research interests in an area of Medical Law and Ethics and can be of one of three lengths – 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 words. Depending on the length chosen, the dissertation is equivalent to 2, 2.5 or 3 modules.
The remainder of the course is chosen from an extensive range of optional modules from the School of Law and other departments across the University. Indicative optional modules include:
This course involves a combination of taught core and option modules, delivered via a mixture of lectures and seminars, as well as a substantial dissertation.
Lectures are used primarily to introduce topics and introduce you to the main debates and ideas. They provide you with a framework of knowledge that you can then develop and analyse through your own reading and study.
Seminars are smaller-sized, student-led classes. You are expected to carry out reading prior to classes and are usually set questions or problems in order to apply the knowledge you have developed.
In addition to taught modules, you must produce a dissertation of up to 20,000 words which is the output from your own independent research on an area of medical law and ethics that is of particular interest to you.
The majority of modules are assessed by essays and project work. Some modules may include presentations and exams as part of the assessment process depending on the options selected.
You will also complete a dissertation on an area of medical law and ethics of interest to you. Depending on the route chosen your dissertation can be anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 words, and is worth between one-third and one-half of your total mark.
|Home students||£12,750 per year|
|EU students||£26,900 per year|
|Island students||£12,750 per year|
|International students||£26,900 per year|
|Home students||£7,100 per year|
|EU students||£14,800 per year|
|Island students||£7,100 per year|
|International students||£14,800 per year|
The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities.Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries
Our global reputation for legal research and teaching of the highest quality is reflected in the career trajectory of our alumni.
Graduates serve across the full range of legal professions including solicitors, barristers, judges, members of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and as consultants and in government. Others have secured stimulating and rewarding positions in national and international law firms.
We are fully aware of the degree of competition that exists in securing a role in the legal profession and the School provides a range of resources to help alumni stand out as ideal candidates during the recruitment process. This includes detailed information about the steps involved in becoming a solicitor or barrister, visits from law firms and guidance on preparing for interviews and assessment days.
Durham Law School is a global leader in the development and framing of law. Led by academics who are experts in their field, we carry out cutting-edge legal research that feeds into our Masters and research qualifications, building knowledge and nurturing the skills needed to help shape law in the future.
The reputation of the School means our legal know-how is respected by parliamentarians and policy makers around the world. Our academics have been called to give evidence in Parliament and have had their research work quoted by courts and international bodies.
International law and questions of global policy and governance are an area of special interest at Durham, but our expertise extends to other areas including criminal law and criminal justice, ethics, human rights, European law, gender and law, Chinese law, Commercial and Corporate law and Global Justice.
The research-led learning environment in the School is one of commitment, innovation and passion for the subject. Our highly respected research groups organise lectures and seminars offer opportunities to hear from eminent scholars and practitioners. Speakers have included judges from the UK Supreme Court, from the European Court of Justice and leading officials from national and international institutions.
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The School’s facilities are purpose-built and state-of-the-art, featuring a moot court, pro bono room, Harvard-style Hogan Lovells lecture theatre, spacious dedicated work suites and modern wireless and audio-video-enabled research spaces and attractive social areas.
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