Medical Ethics, Law and Humanities MA

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About the course

About this course

  • Duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time
  • Application deadline: 03 July 2023

On our Medical Ethics, Law and Humanities MA, students will learn and apply humanities, ethics and legal analysis to address ethical, legal and social challenges in medical and scientific practice. Reflecting contemporary concerns and areas of research and teaching excellence at St George’s, the course explores insights of history of medicine and scientific innovation, through contemporary problems in medicine, science and global health to considering the future of medicine, biomedical sciences and their regulation.

Highly applied in nature, drawing on experiences of our own faculty and the many practitioners we have links with, this course will be of particular interest to those who already work or wish to pursue a career in healthcare, science, health or science policy, administration, or management, as well as ethics, philosophy, history, law, politics, and science popularisation and writing.

St George’s, University of London is the UK’s specialist health university and has been delivering health education since 1752. We share a campus with one of the UK’s largest teaching hospitals, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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Course highlights

This programme will:

  • Enable students learn about core ethical and legal concepts, theories and facts;
  • Empower students to analyse and solve problems in ethical, legal and social aspects of medicine and biomedical research;
  • Inspire students to address current societal challenges;
  • Provide the foundations for lifetime training and education in medical ethics, law and the humanities which will enable students to pursue a clinical or non-clinical career in the area.

Teaching and learning

At St George’s, you will benefit from working as part of a small, close-knit team. Students, clinicians and researchers work happily and effectively together, and you will be welcomed into our small specialist research community with all the advantages that brings for personal input and development.

Teaching is delivered through a variety of methods including group lectures, tutor-led seminars, postgraduate masterclasses and workshops and case or scenario-based learning sessions. For example, in the Future of Medicine Ethics module, you will explore the impact of genetics on society and examine various ethical approaches to regulation of future applications, as well as examine ethics-based policy recommendations. You will also participate in self-directed study and wider reading, as well as individual and group practical sessions.

The course is designed to encourage you to become self-directed in your studies and, in doing so, gain insight into your own learning styles, preparing you to take responsibility for your professional development and future learning. You will develop transferrable skills in critical thinking, formal and academic writing, communication skills, time management, written source analysis, planning, and data review and/or collection.


Careers in medical ethics, law and humanities are often divided into complementing your professional practice (in healthcare, science, law, policy, management, etc), academic opportunities and health and science-related humanities.

Clinicians with postgraduate medical law and ethics training are often found leading ethics education in medical schools across the country. Clinicians completing an MA might also utilise this qualification to gain training places in their chosen fields. International clinicians may benefit too. Some of these clinicians may also use the MA as a stepping stone to an MD/PhD and a growing number of trainee doctors in the UK complete an MA or PhD before taking up a consultancy post. Scientists and science graduates might use humanities and science approaches to complement their projects with public engagement, science communication and ELSI (ethical, legal and social implications) projects, as well as contribute to education.

Non-clinicians/scientists represent a broader group and their career and learning opportunities may vary. Students who complete the course might use their qualification to assist with applications for a PhD. Others might wish to work for policy forums, third sector employers or any number of other roles such as science journalism or public engagement roles in research and educational institutions.

Contact/visit us

You can reach out to us at with any questions, or speak to our current students via Unibuddy.

You may also like to attend one of our upcoming Postgraduate Open Evenings, where you can tour our campus and hear from students and current staff, including course directors and our admissions team.

If you would like to submit an application, visit our website today.

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