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Clinical ethics

Explore the ethical issues involved in the delivery of healthcare
This short course critically examines the ethical issues arising in healthcare practice. You will explore and apply different ethical concepts and critically consider the place of clinical ethics consultation.

Course overview

You will explore the importance of ethics in clinical practice, issues relating to the role of the professions, and conceptual models for ethical reasoning in the clinical context.

You will then examine the foundations of clinical practice including consent, competence, veracity, confidentiality, and decision-making as well as specific issues and populations within clinical practice, such as the care of vulnerable populations, children, and chronic illness.

Importantly, the program will also focus on theoretical and practical aspects of clinical ethics consultation. The program will also reflect on current debates in the Australian healthcare context, particularly issues associated with healthcare rationing. 

Questions covered in this short course include:

  • How important are ethical values and principles in clinical practice?
  • What ethical issues arise in the practitioner-patient relationship? How should these be addressed?
  • Are clinical ethical issues context and professional specific?
  • What considerations ought to inform ethical decision-making in clinical practice?
  • How should ethical conflict be managed?

Important: This short course is a variant of the unit of study, Clinical Ethics (BETH5204). It enables you to complete the unit without formal university enrolment. You will receive a certificate of completion, however, you will not receive credit points towards a University of Sydney degree.

Key information
Course fees
  • $1,100 (incl. GST)
  • 10% discount for groups of three or more participants from the same institution or organisation
Course structure
  • 2-day face-to-face intensive, followed by 4 weeks of online lectures covering a different topic each week, or
  • 32 hours self-guided online learning
Application deadline 15 February 2019
  • Friday 08 March 2019
  • Saturday 09 March 2019
  • Friday 03 May 2019
  • Saturday 04 May 2019

In addition to the intensives, the course also proceeds online with a different topic each week (mapped to the intensive lectures); from Monday 8 March 2019 to Friday 22 June 2019.

How to apply


Complete the online application. You will be able to enter payment details as part of this secure process. 

Groups (three or more)

Complete the group application form (pdf, 57.7KB) and submit it to

University of Sydney staff

Contact us regarding a journal transfer after you have submitted your application form.

Group application form

Download PDF


  • Room 326 Level 3, Edward Ford Building (A27) Fisher Road, The University of Sydney