LLM, Medical Law and Ethics (Online Learning) The University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh is currently ranked 16th in the World in the QS World University Rankings 2022.
This programme draws on the expertise and tradition of Edinburgh to deliver an internationally-focused, interdisciplinary programme that combines flexible learning with the most up-to-date teaching on all of the important issues affecting medicine, law and ethics today.
Medical law is a fascinating field of study as advances in medical research and new technologies shift the boundaries of medicine. New health issues are emerging and patient rights are increasingly taking centre stage. New and complex medico-legal dilemmas arise in clinical practice, in the realities of human health, and in the relationships between patients and healthcare professionals.
The programme enables you to explore the international and interdisciplinary dimensions of medical law and ethics. You will have opportunities to examine healthcare policy and the regulation of medicine in different parts of the world. You will also evaluate responses to technology and debate possible futures for medical law.
Applications are welcomed from legal professionals and healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses, and from all those with an interest in this area.
Our online learning programmes are delivered entirely online via a virtual learning environment. Learning and teaching happen ‘asynchronously’. This means that you have the flexibility to log in at times and in places convenient to you, contribute your views and respond to others, and still maintain a sense of community with your fellow students across time zones.
Having studied the programme, you will emerge with an understanding of medico-legal issues not just in the legal context, but with a sound grounding in ethics, and social and theoretical contexts.
This programme is suitable to prepare students for advanced research.
These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.
A minimum UK 2:1 honours degree from a UK university, or its international equivalent, in law.
We also consider candidates with a degree in a related discipline, such as medicine, which includes relevant prior study.
Entry to this programme is competitive. Meeting minimum requirements for consideration does not guarantee an offer of study.
Supporting your application
Relevant work experience is not required but may increase your chances of acceptance.
Relevant professional qualifications will be considered.
Preference will be given to those with grades above the minimum requirements due to strong competition for places on this programme.
Students from China
This degree is Band C.
Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:
English language requirements
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
- IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 7.0 in writing and 6.5 in all other components.
- TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 25 in writing and 23 in all other components.
- C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 185 in writing and 176 in all other components.
- Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
- PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 70 in writing and 62 in all other components.
Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
Degrees taught and assessed in English
We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English-speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:
We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English-speaking countries (non-MESC).
If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.
To be awarded LLM Medical Law and Ethics you must successfully complete six courses, five of which must be core courses, and a 10,000-word dissertation during your chosen duration of the study.
During your studies, you will also have the opportunity to study up to two courses from different subject areas such as information technology law or international commercial law.
Medical Law and Ethics - compulsory courses
- The Fundamentals of Law and Medical Ethics (20 credits)
- Fundamentals in Bioethics (20 credits)
- Law and Ethics at the Start and End of Life (20 credits)
Medical Law and Ethics - core courses
- Clinical Negligence and the Law (10 credits)
- Global Health: Law and Policy (20 credits)
- Mental Health Law (20 credits)
- Shaping and Regulating Modern Healthcare (10 credits)
Optional courses - group 1
You can choose between 0 and 20 credits from the following courses:
- Communications Law (20 credits)
- EU Data Protection Law (20 credits)
- European Competition and Innovation (20 credits)
- International and European Law of the Media (20 credits)
- Regulation of Autonomous Systems: the Law of Robotics (20 credits)
Optional courses - group 2
You can choose between 0 and 20 credits from the following courses with the approval of your Programme Director:
- Banking and Financial Law: Case Studies (20 credits)
- Contract Law in Europe (20 credits)
- Corporate Compliance: Case Studies in Law & Ethics (20 credits)
- Comparative & International Corporate Governance (20 credits)
- Dispute Resolution Methods (20 credits)
- Information: Control and Power (20 credits)
- Information Technology Law (20 credits)
- International Law, Human Rights & Corporate Accountability (20 credits)
- Sustainable Capitalism and Investment (20 credits)
Having successfully completed 120 credit points of courses within the LLM, you will be ready to move on to a single piece of independent and in-depth research. The 10,000-word dissertation allows you to focus on a preferred topic within the options available in the programme.
Your dissertation title will be agreed upon with your supervisor during your final semester of taught study. Dissertation topics must fall within the scope of your programme and will relate to specific courses that you have taken at Edinburgh. Supervision continues throughout the research and writing of the dissertation.
Your dissertation must demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of the relevant literature and an ability to engage in critical analysis. More credit will be given for originality and evidence of independent thinking, whether in terms of the material used, or the manner in which it is presented.
The dissertation is written in the summer months (April to August) after the taught courses are successfully completed.
Graduates of our online distance learning programmes progress to a range of careers in Law and related legal fields, including work in local and international firms, government legal departments, other public institutions, international organisations and in academia.
The programmes are also an ideal platform for advanced research.