Master of Bioethics

The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.

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?

Our programs help you develop skills to assess and respond to these complex challenges critically, whether you are a scientist, researcher or professional working in medicine, law, nursing, public health, health policy or health administration. You may wish to broaden your knowledge, add value to your career, or change your career path.

Course outline

Unit of Study information on faculty page

Study plan

Students follow the study pattern of the core units of study and electives as required. Specialisation in areas of particular interest is provided via elective units with focus on biotechnology, research ethics, public health, clinical ethics, and mental health.

You will complete a total of 48 credit points (cp) of study for the award comprising:

¿ 12cp of core units; and

¿ 18cp from foundational units of study; and

¿ 18cp credit points from elective 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, foundational and elective units in a given semester.

Candidates with a credit average in 24cp of study may be admitted into the research pathway, which comprises 4 core units of study (24cp), three foundational units of study (18cp) and one elective unit of study (6cp).

Embedded courses

Further course information

Progression rules

Under normal progression, a student shall undertake and successfully complete all units of study to the value of 24 credit points per semester as prescribed for the course. Candidates must maintain a credit average result or above, normally over at least the first four units of study, in order to qualify for admission to the dissertation units of study. Students are required to attend all lectures, tutorials and other activities prescribed for their units of study.

For further course information see the Public Health website: http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/public-health/future-student/study-program/coursework-degrees/bioethics.php

Course outcomes and further study

Graduate opportunities

The Master of Bioethics responds to the widely recognised need for ethics education for scientists, researchers and professionals working in medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy, dentistry, public health, health law, health and public policy, science communication and related fields.

Further study

Outstanding graduates may be eligible to pursue a higher degree by research in the courses of Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy and Master of Surgery (by research) offered by Sydney Medical School. A research degree provides students with the opportunity to prepare a substantial piece of work which represents a significant contribution in a particular field of study; and to gain transferable skills in general research methodology.

Sydney Medical School is affiliated with over 40 independent medical research institutes aimed at achieving medical firsts in specialist areas of health and medicine.
It provides an outstanding environment for postgraduate research. Sydney Medical School's research activities consistently attract high levels of funding from the Commonwealth and state governments, overseas funding agencies and other public and private sources.

Other study options

Sydney Medical School offers a wide range of short professional development courses for health professionals through its clinical schools, disciplines and associated research institutes. Many of the courses offered are pre-accredited for Continuing Medical Education (CME) points, and other courses may be awarded CME points on request to your relevant association or professional body. For further information and a list of courses available please see the Sydney Medical School website http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/future-students/courses/short-courses.php

Admission

Admission requirements

Admission to the Master of Bioethics requires (a) 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 (b) completion of the requirements of an embedded graduate diploma or equivalent qualification.

The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

How to apply

Domestic students

How to apply

Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by the School of Public Health

International students

How to apply

Overseas applicants may apply (i) directly to the University, or (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).

Important Fee Information

Domestic students

Indicative Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental costs

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

International students

Indicative International Tuition Fees for Postgraduate Students

The tuition fee for international postgraduate students is an indication only of the 2017 fees payable in Year 1 for a standard full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). Depending on the calendar year in which you undertake your study, and if your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL, your tuition fee will differ from the indicative amount.

Annual review and fee increases

Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and will increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.

Additional incidental fees and health insurance

For some courses there are incidental costs additional to the tuition fees. Some of these incidental costs are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. Further information about these costs is available from your faculty.

In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.

Credit card surcharge

Please note that a surcharge of 0.8% will apply for payments made by Visa or MasterCard. The surcharge is subject to review and may change. Information about payment methods and the surcharge is set out at: http://sydney.edu.au/study/finances-fees-costs/fees-and-loans/paying-your-fees.html.

Potential for inaccuracy

Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about fees.

Student profiles