In addition to a research skills module, you will study the following two core modules:
This module introduces you to the increasing number of dilemmas in bioethics that cross national boundaries and transcend domestic regulation. Bioethical dilemmas, whether arising from scientific and technological developments or from the research practices of pharmaceutical companies, raise issues which cannot be effectively addressed at national or regional levels. Bioethics clearly calls for global solutions to what are global dilemmas and you will be introduced to some of the key bioethical issues which arise in the contemporary global context
Human Rights and Healthcare Law
This course explores the interface between human rights and health care law. It examines the evolution of Health Care Law both before and after the enactment of the UK Human Rights Act 1998. It explores this debate in the context of a number of controversial and topical issues.
Further information on the Human Rights and Healthcare Law module is available on the Law School website.
You will then choose three optional modules from the following:
Criminal Law and Medicine
The aim of this module is to explore some key aspects of criminal law and its relation to medicine. The focus will be on the arrangements in England and Wales, but where appropriate reference will be made to comparative material from other countries.
Further information on the Criminal Law and Medicine module is also available on the Law School website.
European Health Law
The EU is increasingly having an impact upon domestic health law and policy across member states. This has given rise to increased legislation, regulation and engagement by academic writers and policy makers in this area. This module explores the legal and institutional frameworks that deliver health law and policy in Europe and the nature and extent of their impact upon member states by reference to selected examples.
Further information on the European Health Law module is also available on the Law School website
This module aims to introduce you to key concepts and debates in global ethics. First, we will explore several prominent traditions in ethical theory; next we will apply these normative ethical theories to concrete ethical questions. In investigating these theories and applications, you will be encouraged to question your presumptions about the nature of ethics and moral values. The module also develops critical reasoning and argumentative skills through philosophical discussion and writing. The theoretical tools of analysis and argument can be applied in all aspects of global ethics..
Mentally Disordered Offenders and the Law
This module covers a number of areas, including relevant legislation (The Mental Health Act, The Human Rights Act and The Mental Capacity Act) and topics such as psychiatric defences, mental health tribunals, civil law and statutory care in the community as well as recent developments and proposed reforms.
Further information on the Mentally Disordered Offenders and the Law module is available on the Law School website.
Philosophy of Cognitive Science
This module covers a range of advanced topics in empirically-informed philosophy of mind. In any given year, some of the following topics will be addressed in detail: theories of intentionality; differences between human and animal cognition; pathologies of belief such as delusions and self-deception; theories of emotion; accounts of cognitive rationality; the relationship between ownership and authorship of thoughts; the narrative view of the self; the psychology of wisdom and expertise.
Philosophy of Health and Happiness
The module will examine debates at the forefront of current research in the philosophy of health and happiness. You will explore conceptual problems (e.g. what ‘health’ and ‘disease’ are) and question contemporary lifestyle issues (for instance, regarding how health, happiness and meaning relate, as well as whether there is a correlation between income and life satisfaction). You will also be asked to consider how technological advances (such as those in genetics) are changing these understandings.
Value of Life
This module is intended to provide scope for an assessment of that brand of extreme philosophical pessimism according to which life not only has no positive value but is something we should be better off without – that, to echo the title of a recent book by David Benatar, it is “better never to have been”. The initial focus will be on the arguments for this view put forward recently by Benatar himself and before him by Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860). The focus will then shift to the more affirmative approaches of thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) and William James (1842-1910). An important subsidiary theme will be the nature of pleasure, pain, happiness and suffering.
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2014/15 are as follows:
Home / EU: £5,940 full-time; £2,970 part-time
Overseas: £13,665 full-time
Learn more about fees and funding
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
University of Birmingham graduates - including those due to graduate in summer 2014 - may be entitled to a fee reduction through the College of Arts and Law Alumni Bursary scheme.