Keele University

Advances in medical technology, increased expectations, and changing moral attitudes combine to generate complex ethical and legal problems for those involved in the delivery of healthcare. Practitioners who treat and care for patients with life-limiting illnesses can face particularly pressing and difficult moral choices. This programme provides an opportunity to gain a deeper and more systematic understanding of these issues and to explore the moral problems faced people involved in all aspects of end of life care. It also provides a foundation for pursuing further study at doctoral level for those interested in doing so.

Applications are welcome from people with a professional or other serious interest in medical ethics and palliative care, including (but not limited to) doctors, nurses, health care managers, intercalating medical students, radiographers, chaplains, charity and voluntary workers, social workers, hospice directors, researchers, and health care educators. While the programme is primarily aimed at healthcare professionals, it is open to anyone who is suitably qualified and who can demonstrate sufficient academic aptitude.

The programme is taught by staff from the Centre for Professional Ethics, the School of Law, as well as specialists in palliative and end-of-life care from the School of Nursing and Midwifery. The teaching staff have many years experience of teaching postgraduate courses to healthcare practitioners and those interested in ethical and legal issues in healthcare. We are aware of the special problems and challenges that may face mature students and those combining study with full-time work, and we do our utmost to offer a supportive and stimulating environment for learning. Each student is assigned a personal tutor whom they can contact for help or advice at any time during the course.

The programme is available part-time, full-time, by modular study, and by intercalation within a medical degree. It is taught in short, intensive blocks to make it more accessible to those in full-time employment and those travelling to Keele from across the country and beyond.

Teaching staff also work at the forefront of research in medical ethics, which helps to give the course a contemporary edge. In the most recent 2014 REF, staff from Keele’s Healthcare Law and Bioethics cluster who teach on the MA were part of Keele’s Philosophy submission, which was ranked first in the country for its Impact work. The impact submission was based on work in the field of Biomedical ethics, with 80% of this work judged as being world-leading and the remaining 20% as being nternationally excellent.

Entry requirements

Intercalating medical students can opt to take a year out of their undergraduate studies in order to pursue a relevant subject area in greater depth, before returning to complete the medical course. To intercalate at MA level, students must normally have completed the fourth year of a medical degree. Intercalating students would take the MA in Medical Ethics and Law as full-time students to ensure that the course is completed within one year.

Closing date

Please contact the course provider.