University College for Interdisciplinary Learning


Bioethics: Contemporary Issues in Science and Biomedicine

Course Code

UCIL21202

Course details

This unit provides an opportunity to explore a range of contemporary controversies in biomedical science, including:

  • Euthanasia
  • Assisted reproductive technologies
  • Genetic engineering
  • Human experimentation
  • The use of animals in research

Bioethics, by its very nature, draws upon a range of disciplines in terms of the approach, methodologies and body of knowledge relevant to the subject. The unit benefits from the development and exchange of ideas between students from different disciplines. Learning activities include lectures delivered by staff from a range of disciplines, class discussions both during lectures and in the online learning environment and the preparation and presentation of a debate video on one of a range of selected topics.

Partcipation Aims to:

  • Increase students' awareness of the social and ethical implications of biomedical science and of different views on these issues and how these may be influenced by diverse social and cultural factors
  • Equip students with knowledge and understanding of both the science behind current controversies in biomedical technology and the ethical views and arguments related to the debate
  • Enable students to understand the methodology and approach of bioethics as a discipline and to apply this in relation to specific bioethical problems
  • Develop students' critical thinking skills and analytical ability in the context of ethical discourses around biomedical science
  • Enable students to apply critical thinking and reasoning skills to evaluate, analyse and synthesise arguments in relation to specific bioethical issues and to communicate the results of this analysis clearly both verbally and in writing
  • Develop students' teamwork and communication skills through their participation in group learning activities, (preparation of a debate video and presentation) and class discussions
  • Improve students' verbal and written communication skills through their participation in learning activities requiring different modes and levels of communication: class discussions (verbal, informal); online discussions (written, informal); and preparation of a debate video and presentation (verbal and written, formal)

Staff

Caroline Bowsher

Course structure

  • Level: 2
  • Credit Load: 10
  • School/s: School of Biological Sciences

Assessment

  1. MCQ Exam Week 4 of the unit reviewing a general understanding of bioethics as a subject (30%)
  2. Group Oral Presentation On specific topics (35%)
  3. 500 word reflective learning diary Reviewing one of the oral presentations (35%)

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the ethical implications of biomedical science and new biotechnologies, including the scientific background to current controversies as well as the range of ethical views and arguments related to the debate
  • Understand the methodology and approach of bioethics as a discipline and apply this in relation to specific bioethical problems
  • Apply critical thinking and reasoning skills to evaluate, analyse and synthesise arguments in relation to specific bioethical issues
  • Construct an argument based on ethical reasoning and communicate this early both verbally and in writing
  • Demonstrate teamwork, cooperation and leadership skills through participation in group learning activities, (preparation of a debate video and presentation) and class discussions

Eligibility

This course is only open to undergraduate students.

University College course units are available to take on programmes which have 'free choice' options available to them, (i.e. programmes which allow you, as part of the degree programme, to take a number of credits from subject areas outside of your home school). As these courses are credit bearing, you must enrol by following the standard procedure for your school when adding units outside of your home school.

If you are not sure whether you will be able to enrol in University College courses, please contact your School Undergraduate Office to find out whether these options are available for your degree programme.

Timetable

WeeksDayTimeType
2-7Mon09:00 - 10:00 Lecture
2-7Mon16:00 - 17:00 Lecture
2-7Wed09:00 - 10:00 Lecture
8Mon13:00 - 17:00 Lecture

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