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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) AvailabilityNot available to visiting 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 In order to enroll on this course, you must have passed: Fundamentals in Bioethics (LAWS11397)
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  28
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) This course will be assessed by a 3000 word essay, which is worth 100% of the overall mark.
Feedback Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.

Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.

Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
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.
KeywordsRegulation,Innovation,Moral Philosophy,Medical Ethics,Bioethics,Biotechnology,LLM,Postgraduate
Course organiser Catriona McMillan
Course secretaryMs Ruth Johnston
Tel: (0131 6)50 9094
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