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Master of Bioethics

Speciality Classification
Nurses and Midwives
Sydney University NSW 2006
Full time: 1 year
The University of Sydney


In response to COVID-19, the University of Sydney has reviewed the availability of courses to be delivered remotely for students commencing their studies in Semester 1, 2021.

This course will be available to study remotely for students commencing in Semester 1, 2021. Please note that some units of study that are not essential to completing the degree may not be available to be studied remotely.

Note: The University intends to offer as many units of study as possible in a remote as well as face-to-face learning method of delivery in Semester 1, 2021 and subject to ongoing border closures and public health orders impacting attendance on campus, in Semester 2, 2021. However, some units of study and courses require students to study in-person at the relevant University of Sydney campus/es and host locations for placements and will not be available remotely. 

About this course

Bioethics is concerned with ethical questions that arise in the contexts of biological and health sciences. Social concern about such issues has grown with the advancement of biomedical and reproductive health technologies, genetic engineering, cloning and stem cell research.

The study of bioethics has traditionally addressed issues such as abortion, euthanasia, the relationships between health care providers and patients, research involving humans and animals and justice in the distribution of health resources. Emerging ethical issues are related to risk and health, nanotechnology and global public health.

Questions you will address can include: Who should own bodily material, such as sperm and eggs, or embryos? When are invasive treatments to sustain life required or unjustifiable? Can we ever lie to patients? Should we tell the obese to lose weight, even when we know they feel stigmatised? Should doctors and health policy makers feel morally obligated to become advocates for social justice?

Why study with us?

  • 100% online course delivery - this course is offered through our interactive online learning environment, giving you the flexibility to tailor your study schedule around your lifestyle. We also offer full-time and part-time options, allowing you to decide your study load.
  • Add value to your existing career - studying bioethics allows you to broaden your knowledge in your chosen health or research area. 
  • Learn from experts in bioethics at Australia’s number 1 Sydney School of Public Health - the Bioethics program is part of the Sydney School of Public Health, Australia’s leading school in public health ranked number 1 in Asia-Pacific.
  • Gain professional recognition/accreditation - our study courses are designed to meet the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)continuing professional development standards.
  • Improve your non-technical skills - our course not only enhancing your understanding in bioethics, you will also improve your problem solving and critical thinking abilities, skills that are valuable in professional and academic careers. 
  • Study unique content - we offer topics of study not offered anywhere else in Australia, for example the ethics of mental health. Our multidisciplinary courses of study are diverse and cover a range of topic areas, enabling you to confront bioethical issues in new and challenging ways.  

Who should study this course?

  • You don’t have to come from a medical or health background to study bioethics. Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds, such as philosophy, humanities, social science, law, science, medicine, nursing, allied health professions, psychology and health management. 
  • The structure of the program will train and equip you with new skills in bioethics and prepare you for a highly rewarding new career in or related to health. 

Course details

Faculty/University School: Faculty of Medicine and Health 

Credit points required: 48 

Course abbreviation: MBEth 

USyd code: MABIOETI2000 

UAC code: N/A 

Study mode: On-campus day; Online 

Study type: PGCW 

Location: Camperdown/Darlington 

Duration full time: 1 year 

Duration part time: 2 years

What you'll study 

The Master of Bioethics coursework pathway requires the successful completion of 48 credit points of units of study including:

  • 6 credit points from core units of study; and
  • 24 credit points from Part 1 of the Table of units of study; and
  • 18 credit points from Part 1 or Part 2 of the Table of units of study.

Master of Bioethics candidates with a credit average in 24 credit points of study may request to be admitted to the research pathway. The research pathway requires the successful completion of 48 credit points of units of study including:

  • 6 credit points from core units of study; and
  • 24 credit points from Part 1 of the Table of units of study; and
  • 6 credit point from Part 2 of the Table of unit of study; and
  • 12 credit points from Part 3 of the Table of units of Study.

The course can be undertaken over one year full-time, or two years part-time. If studying full-time, you will normally take four units of study in your first semester and another four in your second semester.

Your individual study plan will of course depend on the availability of core, part 1, 2 and 3 units of study in a given semester.

Admission criteria

Admission to the Master of Bioethics requires

  • a bachelor's degree with a credit average from the University of Sydney or equivalent qualification in the field of science, medicine, nursing, allied health sciences, philosophy/ethics, sociology, anthropology, history, law or other relevant field; or
  • completion of the requirements of an embedded graduate diploma or equivalent qualification.
Master of Bioethics
Speciality Classification
Provider Type
Full time: 1 year
End Date
Price Details
Tuition Fee for Domestic Students (Year 1): $28,000 (indicative only)
Sydney University NSW 2006
Tuition Fee for Domestic Students (Year 1): $28,000 (indicative only)
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