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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Biotechnology, Bioethics and Society (LAWS11371)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course develops students┐ understanding of and engagement with applied bioethics.
* It builds on the skills developed in Fundamentals in Bioethics and applies the three pillars of rigorous bioethical analysis: concepts; theories; and argument.
* It will focus on the particular challenges raised by the development and application of biotechnologies, and their implications for society.
* It will demonstrate how ethical analysis can help us to think about the impacts of biotechnologies on social norms and social structures.
* It will equip students to recognise the challenges of, and design suitable responses to biotechnological innovation, as set against a context of plural values and perspectives in societies.
Course description 1. Biotechnologies and society
2. Assisted reproductive technologies and the human embryo
3. Neuroethics
4. Genomics
5. Future societies, future persons
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements You must have passed 'Fundamentals in Bioethics' (semester 1) in order to take this class.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of up to 3,000 words (75%)
Contribution to class discussions and debate (25%).
Feedback Students can expect to receive feedback on a short written formative assessment in preparation for their essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the bioethical and social challenges raised by biotechnologies.
  2. Identify, conceptualise and analyse ethical problems and issues raised by the development and application of biotechnologies.
  3. Use the concepts, theories and methods of argumentation gained in Fundamentals in Bioethics to defend positions and advance recommendations in respect of biotechnological developments and applications.
  4. Undertake critical evaluations of the social impacts of diverse ethical responses to biotechnologies.
Reading List
Readings will be provided on a weekly basis
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Cognitive skills. The course will enable the student to select and deploy appropriate research techniques; they will critically analyse and evaluate key issues in the subject area, and formulate coherent arguments relating to key issues in the subject area.

2. Communications. Students will be able to summarise and communicate information and ideas effectively in oral and written form. Students are also expected to interact with each other and with tutors online, and this forms part of the overall assessment.

3. Autonomy, accountability. Students will exercise personal autonomy and intellectual initiative in, and take responsibility for, the conduct of their own work.

4. Working with others. They will engage with others through participation in online discussion: articulating and supporting a line of argument and formulating critical analyses of arguments presented by others.
Keywordsbiotechnology,bioethics,medical ethics,moral philosophy,innovation,regulation
Course organiserMs Emily Postan
Course secretaryMr David Morris
Tel: (0131 6)50 2010
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