Graduate Certificate in Bioethics

Graduate Diploma in Bioethics

Master of Bioethics

  Graduate Certificate in Bioethics Graduate Diploma in Bioethics Master of Bioethics
Course code KG010 or GCBIOETI2000 KF047 or GNBIOETI2000 KC099 or MABIOETI2000
CRICOS code N/A 054971B 054972A
Degree Abbreviation GradCertBEth GradDipBEth MBEth
Credit points required to complete 24 36 48
Time to complete full-time 0.5 years 1 year 1 year
Time to complete part-time 1 - 2.5 years 1 - 4 years 2 - 5 years


Bioethics is concerned with ethical issues that arise in public health, healthcare and research in the biological and health sciences. Recent advances in biomedical technology have generated enormous social concern about such issues. This is evident in contemporary debates about issues such as reproductive technologies, genomics and stem cell research (to name but a few examples). Established topics of research and debate in bioethics include abortion, euthanasia, relationships between healthcare providers and patients, research involving humans and animals, and justice in the distribution of healthcare resources. Emerging topics include ethical issues related to global public health.

Bioethics is an inherently interdisciplinary field of inquiry that exists at the crossroads of ethics, policy, law and science, and this is clearly reflected in our program of study. Our courses are designed to provide ethics education for scientists, researchers, and professionals working in medicine, nursing, public health, health policy/administration, public policy, and science communication. They will also be attractive to students with a background in health law, the social sciences and/or the humanities.

Students can also elect to structure their studies according to one of five different pathways that lead to specialisation in public health ethics; research ethics; clinical ethics; health humanities; or research. All study programs build on a core unit of study (BETH5101) that provides a basic grounding in philosophical ethics. The master's degree culminates in a capstone unit (BETH5000) that provides a critical survey of bioethics. By providing contrasting but complementary perspectives on bioethics, the foundational units of study ensure that students gain a broad understanding that covers philosophical (BETH5102), social (BETH5103), legal (BETH5104) and creative (BETH5207) approaches. Elective units of study allow students to pursue their own particular interests.

The Master of Bioethics degree can be completed in one year of full-time study or over two years by part-time study.

Course outcomes

Graduates of the Sydney Bioethics Program will gain an understanding of bioethics that is unusual in its breadth and depth. They will be familiar with both traditional and alternative/emerging issues in, and approaches to, bioethics. They will be able to analyse bioethical issues by bringing a range of disciplinary perspectives to bear. They will be familiar with the historical and philosophical bases of local and international legislation and regulatory guidelines regarding the ethics of health care and research; and they will be able to address bioethical issues broadly in term of relationships between values, science, and society.

Our graduates will be capable of developing and defending their own reasoned judgements about ethical issues that arise in healthcare, research, and public policy contexts. They will be able to make practical recommendations about how such issues should be addressed and they will be able to recognise new ethical issues, or issues that have been previously overlooked.

Our degrees will contribute to the professional development of those working in healthcare and provide the knowledge and critical skills necessary to analyse and formulate health policy or apply research methods from social sciences and humanities disciplines.

All of our degrees will improve general skills in research, reading, writing, and oral expression. Expertise will vary with the level of degree completed.

The program has been designed to enable progression from graduate certificate to graduate diploma, and to a master's degree.

Further enquiries

Programme Administrator
T +61 2 9036 3405
F +61 2 9036 3436