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SX3006: BIOETHICS (2016-2017)

Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

Although this course has a strong biological theme, the context is ethics and so questions relate to ‘should we do this’ rather than ‘how do we do this’. The course is therefore equally suitable for students from all areas of the University and actually benefits greatly from a very mixed class.

Discussion sessions led by staff from across the University allow opportunities to experience different ideas and take part in debate on controversial issues. Many issues discussed have relevance to the everyday lives of course participants. Topics include genetic modification, animals in society and climate change amongst others

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Mrs Cath Dennis

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course will explore the concept of ethical thinking in relation to the pursuit of science, particularly relating to biological issues. The nature of science, its role in culture and society, ethics and ethical debate will be considered. The view will be taken that scientists cannot distance themselves from the wider implications of their work.

Students will be introduced to frameworks for thinking about issues in different ways and from different points of view.  Formal sessions will be focused on particular bioethical issues, however students will be encouraged to apply the material presented more generally in terms of their own lives and experiences​. Students will be expected to thoroughly prepare for each formal meeting of the class.

Associated Costs


Further Information & Notes

Available to students in Years 3 & 4 only.

This course runs on Wednesday mornings during the first half session. Times are normally 9.30 until 1pm with appropriate breaks, but occasionally the class will begin at 9am.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: A timed writing exercise (50%); a single reflective summary (20%); 15 min group presentation (30%).

Resit: Resubmission of coursework.

Formative Assessment

Structured discussion sessions during class time will allow opportunity for peer-feedback. Scheduled report workshops will allow further opportunity and also for feedback from academic staff.


Students will receive written feedback on all summative assessment exercises. Students will also have opportunity to give and receive peer-feedback.

Course Learning Outcomes


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