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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Undergraduate Course: Bioethics, Law and Society: Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine (BIME10049)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine enables students to explore key ethical debates in health and biomedicine from bioethical, legal and social science perspectives. Students will gain an understanding of these different disciplinary approaches and how they can be applied and combined to generate new understandings of biomedicine in society. Through a combination of interactive lectures and student-led discussions, examining practical cases and drawing on bioethical, legal and social science theories, students will develop the ability to analyse issues in health care and biomedicine from an interdisciplinary perspective
incorporating bioethics, law and social science.
Course description The course will be based around a set of core topics that reflect contemporary debates and emerging issues in bioethics, medical law and health-related social science. Each topic will be used to draw out key concepts and theories from each discipline and to demonstrate how disciplinary approaches can be combined to generate new understandings of the issues.

The course topics may vary in order to incorporate new research knowledge and developments in science and society, ensuring that students have the opportunity to address cutting-edge issues in health and biomedicine. As an indicative list, specific topics are likely to be drawn from the following areas:
- Reproductive technologies and sexual health
- Genetic technologies
- Genomics and personalised medicine
- Neuroscience and mental health
- Translational medicine and novel therapies
The seminars will explore student-selected topics related to the main course themes, and will comprise a group oral presentation followed by student-led class discussion. Topic selection and preparation of the session will be supported by small-group tutorials.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Gain an understanding of key contemporary debates in health and biomedicine and how bioethics, law and social science approaches can be applied to analyse these
  2. Acquire discipline-specific knowledge of theoretical and practical concepts and approaches from bioethics, law and social science
  3. Develop interdisciplinary understandings of bioethical, legal and social perspectives on current debates in health and biomedicine
  4. Gain specialist knowledge of specific contemporary bioethical, legal and social science topics in health and biomedicine, and apply disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to analyse these
  5. Develop the ability to synthesise knowledge, understandings and evidence drawn from bioethics, law and social science in order to develop new analyses of emerging issues in health and biomedicine that can inform practice
Learning Resources
University library

Online biomedical and bioethical databases and other resources available through University library (e.g., PubMed, Medline, Web of Science, Philosopher┐s Index)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills After completion of this module, students will be able to:
SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 1 (Knowledge and understanding)
- Demonstrate knowledge of the main concepts, features, terminology and boundaries in the fields of bioethics, medical law and health-related social science
- Work with a critical understanding of the principles, theories and frameworks of bioethics, law and social science
- Demonstrate specialist knowledge of ethical, legal and social aspects of specific problems, including current issues and emerging challenges
SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 2 (Practice)
- Demonstrate an ability to apply critical understandings and knowledge in the fields of bioethics, law and social science to identify and analyse practical issues in health and biomedicine
- Draw on specialised knowledge and analytical skills to develop deeper understandings of specific issues in health and biomedicine from disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives
- Apply new interdisciplinary understandings of bioethical, legal and social dimensions of health and biomedicine to inform research and clinical practice
SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 3 (Generic cognitive skills)
- Critically analyse and integrate information from a range of sources to inform professional judgment and decisionmaking
- Identify, define and analyse complex ethical issues arising in professional clinical practice and beyond
- Demonstrate independent thinking and analytical skills in dealing with new problems
SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 4
- Discuss and critically evaluate the work of others
- Present, formally and informally, information about specialised topics to informed audiences
- Communicate appropriately and sensitively to a range of audiences, including peers, senior colleagues, specialists, patients and publics, on issues including clinical ethical decision-making
SCQF Level 10 / Characteristic 5
- Exercise autonomy and initiative and take responsibility, in relation to both self-study activities and working with others
- Work with others to develop new knowledge and bring about change in thinking
- Take and apply learning and insights from this course to their career development as health care professionals and ethics champions of the future
KeywordsEthics,bioethics,law,social science,sociology,biomedicine,research,health
Course organiserDr Ingrid Young
Tel: (0131 6)50 3243
Course secretary
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