Course Description

Course Name

Bioethics and the Life Sciences

Session: VDNS3122

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

126 points (2 full semesters)

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Explores ethical issues within, and arising from, science and technology. Covers basic ethics in science, and the moral and social implications of life science for human life, particularly its earliest stages.

Bioethics and the Life Sciences gives students an opportunity to examine the ethical implications of life sciences and biotechnology. Increasingly, scientists are being called to justify some of their practices, such as human and animal experimentation, genetic modification, use of dead human bodies, and publication of controversial work. Without a good understanding of the moral issues arising within life science and biotechnology, scientists and non-scientists alike will not be well-equipped to participate in the public debate about bioscience and biotechnology and how they affect wider society.

Learning Outcomes
The paper will encourage students to:
- Be able to identify key ethical concepts
- Identify moral claims and distinguish them from other sorts of claims
- Identify reasons given in support of particular moral claims
- Compare and contrast alternative analyses of topics
- Identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative analyses of topics
- Review key approaches and literature relating to bioethics of the biosciences, including topics concerning the beginning of life
- Use reasoned argument to present preferred analysis/approach
- Begin to recognise implications of ethical reasoning for scientific practice

*Course content subject to change