Ethics and Biotechnology (BETH5201)


This unit of study introduces students to the ethical, social and legal issues that underlie a wide range of biotechnologies, including: genetics, genomics, human reproduction, stem cell research, nanotechnology and emerging biotechnologies. Key concepts influencing debates in this area are covered, such as 'procreative beneficence', personhood, risk, consent, public engagement, and property in the body (including gene patenting). Topical case studies are included to keep up with recent developments in the field. Students will explore the ethical limits to research and knowledge in biotechnology.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Distance Education (online).


2x400wd tasks (2x10%); 1x1500wd essay (30%); 1x2500wd essay (40%); participation in seminars or online (10%)


All readings are accessed online via elearning.

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.