A good (UK first class or upper second class honours) bachelor's degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline;
EITHER a master's degree in ethics, law, or a cognate discipline, at Merit level or the overseas equivalent
OR a suitable period (normally at least three years) of validated professional experience in a relevant field;
- a sample of written work demonstrating ability in the area of philosophical bioethics or medical law [2,000 - 5,000 words], and a brief outline of your proposed research topic [1-2 pages] View our research proposal guidelines
- A copy of your CV
- two academic references,
- official transcripts and certificates from your previous degree programmes,
- a 500-2,000 word provisional research proposal indicating the area you are interested in pursuing,
- and, for candidates for whom English is not their first language, a demonstrated proficiency in English, evidenced by an IELTS score of 7 or equivalent, with a minimum writing score of 7, or equivalent. The certification must have been awarded in the two years prior to entry.
Applications are considered from September each year for admission the following September's intake. As places are limited on this programme each year, applicants are advised to submit their application as soon as possible to give them the best chance of securing one of these places. Applicants who clearly fulfil the criteria but who cannot be offered a place will be asked whether they would like to wait for possible cancellations in the ongoing round and/or like to be considered again in a year's time. Selection will be made on the basis of academic merits and promise, and it can involve interviews and/or other types of preliminary on-site performance evaluation.
Months of entry
January, September, July, April
National, regional, and local governments, organisations, and authorities are beginning to realise that they need highly trained people in healthcare ethics and law. This means that it is now a good time to aim for the highest academic qualifications in the field.
Traditional graduate studies for a research degree do not offer the ethical and legal knowledge or the comprehensive methodological training needed for cutting-edge research into bioethics and medical jurisprudence. A more structured approach is called for.
This programme is designed to provide a solid skills basis for independent research, and to guide participants steadily towards the completion of a structured doctoral thesis, which is based on publishable journal articles and book chapters. The programme itself is unique in its combination of taught elements, which are designed to ensure a genuine sense of community among the participants, and friendly but relentless supervision by world-class scholars in the field.
The topics and themes which are covered during the taught period and which are suitable for the students' postgraduate research include classical and contemporary issues like abortion, euthanasia, resource allocation in health care, public health activities, life-style regulation, assisted reproduction, gene therapy, genetic testing, human enhancements, cloning, stem cell research, the doctor-patient relationship, professional responsibility, and the legal and ethical status of living, dead, and unborn bodies; as well as central principles and doctrines like autonomy, rights, sanctity of life, justice, utility, self-determination, dignity, solidarity, precaution, self-governance, and the role of society and community in medicine and health care. All of these are approached in a uniquely analytical and structured way, combining the methodological strengths of medical law and philosophical ethics.
This programme is supported by experts of our Centre for Social Ethics and Policy in the School of Law - one of the leading bioethics and medical jurisprudence institutes in the world, with two decades of experience in campus-based and distance-learning MA programmes, and a lively and productive research environment.
Information for international students
Students whose first language is not English are required to hold a minimum overall score of 7 in the IELTS test with 7 in writing and no subsection below 6.5, or an equivalent score in the IBT- TOEFL, PEARSON, or Cambridge CAE.
Fees and funding
Self-funded graduates of the Manchester Law School, who have applied within 3 years of graduation, will receive a loyalty discount of 20% on their annual tuition fees when they register for the programme.
Various funding opportunities are available to students applying for the three year PhD degree course. In addition to submitting the relevant scholarship application(s), applicants must submit the PhD application (deadlines apply). Please visit the School of Law website for terms and conditions, or email email@example.com
- AHRC North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership in the School of Law 2018-19
- Research Impact Scholarships in the School of Law 2017-18 - 2018-19 details tbc
- EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentships in the School of Law 2018-19
- China Scholarship Council - The University of Manchester Joint Scholarship for PhD Study in the School of Law 2018-19
- President's Doctoral Scholar (PDS) Awards 2018/19 - School of Law
- School of Law Scholarships 2017/18 - 2018-19 details tbc
- School of Law bursary scheme
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- School of Law
- +44 (0)161 306 1279