Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Biotechnology, Regulation and Society (LAWS11493)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course considers the regulation of the life sciences, drawing out two central problems relating to the use of law in this dynamic field. First, it is often difficult for regulators to keep pace with rapid scientific and technological advances. This means that existing legal concepts and regulatory frameworks can soon appear outmoded and inadequate. Second, in an age of moral pluralism, it can be difficult for stakeholders to secure social consensus on how new biotechnologies should be controlled and exploited. As a result, the regulation of biotechnology has often been a site of sharp disagreement.

This course examines how these fundamental tensions are mediated within the legal and regulatory structures governing biotechnology and the life sciences at both the national and international levels. While this course focuses on the UK as its primary jurisdiction, it also provides scope for students to reflect on the issues raised in relation to their home jurisdictions (if different).
Course description 1. Regulating embryo research
2. Personal genomics
3. Intellectual property and the life sciences
4. GM foods
5. Enhancing adults and choosing children
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. Consider the life sciences in their technological, economic, political and social dimensions;
  2. Explore the ways in which disagreements pertaining to biotechnology and the life sciences are resolved by legislatures, courts and administrative bodies;
  3. Critically assess various legal interventions in biotechnology and the life sciences.
Reading List
There will be no single set text for this course. Core texts will include:

¿ Legislation and case law (available via Westlaw)
¿ Industry Codes of Conduct (publicly available online)
¿ Policy documents (publicly available online)
¿ Journal articles (available via DiscoverEd)

These are already available on Resource Lists in respect of the online delivery of this material via existing courses that are offered as part of the online LLM Medical Law and Ethics.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Identify, analyse and argue current and future matters of law, policy and regulation in the area.
2. Appreciate the range of competing considerations and interests at play in the regulation of the life sciences;
3. Formulate well-reasoned and coherent arguments relating to 'biolaw';
4. Show a solid understanding of current national, regional and international regimes for the control of the life sciences, and where appropriate suggest reforms thereto.
5. Communicate ideas, arguments and positions, appropriately and effectively, as supported by reference to
law, policy and other robust sources, in order to engage with a range of stakeholders in the biotechnology regulation endeavour.

Special Arrangements This course is taught by online learning.
Additional Class Delivery Information This course is taught by online learning.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Gerard Porter
Tel: (0131 6)50 2023
Course secretaryMs Clare Polson
Tel: (0131 6)51 9704
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information