Intercalated BSc in Bioethics

The Centre for Ethics in Medicine offers a one-year intercalated BSc (Hons.) in Bioethics to students of Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences. This was amongst the first few such courses to be offered by a UK University, and has been running successfully since 1998. The course is aimed primarily at current undergraduate students, who must usually have completed at least two years of study on their current programme.

Programme in Overview 

The course aims to acquaint students with major trends and theories in bioethics, exploring ethical and legal issues arising out of the life sciences (including medicine, dentistry and veterinary science).  The course will not only ground you in the relevant terminology and concepts, it will also enhance your abilities in thinking through the issues for yourself. The course involves the acquisition and use of skills in bioethical, philosophical and legal research and argumentation, which students may not yet have had any experience of employing. The tutors make every effort to support students from the start of the programme, so that they can get the most from their studies. There are various introductory sessions and advisory arrangements in place, and extensive feedback is provided on practice work, to enable students to achieve their best. Teaching is primarily through small-group seminars and assessment largely takes the form of written coursework.

During the course, students study a range of topics and approaches in medical ethics and law, and have the opportunity to participate in a student-led conference. Our graduates have not only gone on to develop and apply their learning in professional practice, including as members of ethics committees, but have also contributed to scholarship in the field, for example in books and articles

Bioethics is a broad discipline, and as such we welcome applications from students from a range of backgrounds, including those currently studying veterinary and dentistry programmes.

Intercalated degrees

Find out more about intercalated degrees at Bristol and how to apply.

I've thoroughly enjoyed this year. It has allowed me to engage in debate, to stretch my own thoughts, beliefs and knowledge. It has also taught me to scrutinise and question the way we live and the way we treat others, as well as how we practice medicine as doctors.

Anonymous student feedback (BSc Bioethics)

The intercalated BSc in Bioethics was arguably the most important and certainly the most enjoyable part of my undergraduate medical training, and has provided me with skills I use on a daily basis in my career as a GP.

Dr Ruth Evans (BSc Bioethics, 2002)

The intercalated BSc in Bioethics is a year full of new ideas and fascinating conversation, contained entirely within a supportive, understanding environment. The teaching was brilliant inside the classroom and out, and the staff always made time to answer questions. I have loved this year, and cannot think of a better complement to medical training.

Xavier Leonard (BSc Bioethics, 2021)
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