Master of Bioethics

School of Philosophy & Theology/School of Medicine

The Master of Bioethics explores major societal issues in relation to new technologies in medicine, science, law, politics, and philosophy. This program is designed for professional people who require a strong foundation for bioethical decision-making. This necessitates integrating theory and practice. The program provides the basis for understanding debates within clinical, legal, philosophical and theological bioethics.

  • About this program

    Contemporary bioethics explores issues that have been debated for centuries. However, scientific developments in the middle of the twentieth century, exploded into the multitude of bioethical issues that we deal with today. These have included organ transplantation, genomics, abortion, assisted reproduction, euthanasia, information technology, artificial intelligence, transhumanism, and freedom of conscience. This program trains professionals from various disciplines to both learn from and engage with leading experts in this important field of study. A particular emphasis of this bioethics program is developing a community of inquiry for people working in disciplines that are regularly confronted by bioethical issues. Graduates will learn to understand and apply a structured approach to bioethical decision-making from a range of perspectives, including that of the Catholic intellectual tradition.

    This unique degree draws on the expertise of scholars within the Schools of Medicine, Law, and Philosophy and Theology at the University. Some courses will also involve national and international guest lecturers, some of whom have inside experience of bioethical issues in health care. Students in this program of study will engage in important debates about bioethical issues in the public sphere.

    The program combines coursework with a personalized research component. Students will approach bioethical issues from multiple disciplines and perspectives. They will dialogue with people of different and sometimes opposing views, to investigate the implications of the dignity of human life.

  • Program summary

    The Master of Bioethics explores major societal issues in relation to new technologies and conflicts in medicine, science, law, politics, and philosophy. Designed for people who in their fields of expertise require understanding of bioethical decision-making. This necessitates integrating theory and practice. The program provides the basis for understanding debates within clinical, legal, philosophical and theological bioethics.

    Full details of the program requirements are contained in the Program Regulations.

  • Supervision

    There is a required research component of the course. An academic from the University will supervise your work on a bioethical issue drawn from your coursework studies. Your choice of electives will help you to focus on health sciences, law, or philosophy and theology. Your research component can be a piece of writing intended for an academic audience, or tailored to your professional interests and needs.

  • Research focus

    Research focus areas are bioethical issues arising from your studies in health sciences, law, or philosophy and theology.

  • Mode of study and assessment

    All your studies will be online. Courses will include pre-reading and engaging with other online materials. All courses will have meetings where lecturers explain concepts, but give main priority to discussion and debate.

    You may undertake the program either in a full-time or part-time capacity. The standard time for completion (not including periods of approved leave of absence) is normally one year and two years for a part-time student. The minimum time for completion will normally be one year.

    Your research component will be marked by two examiners.

    Courses offered through Sydney in 2020 second semester, enabling students to take the program full-time or part-time are:

    • PHIL6210 Philosophy of the Human Person (Core Curriculum Component)
    • LAWS6008 International Perspectives on Bioethics and Law
    • MEDI6006 Contemporary Issues in Bioethics
    • MEDI6007 Putting Bioethics into Practice

    You can also look into other elective options on the Sydney and Fremantle campuses.

  • Entry requirements

    To be eligible for admission to The University of Notre Dame Australia, all applicants must meet the University’s minimum requirements for admission. The requirements for admission are detailed in the University’s Policy: Admissions.

    To be eligible for admission to the Master of Bioethics applicants must also meet the following requirements:

    1. A bachelor degree in a cognate discipline.
    2. Three years of full-time professional experience in a cognate profession.
  • Fees & costs

    More information can be found at the Fees page.

  • More information

    For more information please email studyonline@nd.edu.au



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