Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2024

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Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
1 year full time
Available to UK residents only

Course overview

Students in tutorial

Aimed at medical, dentistry, and veterinary science students, intercalation supplements your degree and is a great way to explore a new subject area, enhance your employability, and broaden your perspective. On this one-year, intercalation course, you’ll learn to think constructively about the ethical aspects of your current training and explore how this might impact your future career.

You'll explore the complex ethical dilemmas arising from working in medicine and healthcare, and gain the skills you need to respond quickly and effectively. You'll study a range of issues including consent, responsibility, abortion, euthanasia, patient rights, and genetic enhancement. You'll also learn alongside non-intercalation students including professionals in a range of fields, allowing you to benefit from their insights and experiences.

If you're looking to gain a more advanced qualification, this course is also available as a Masters degree. Both courses have the same taught content, however Masters course students also complete an independent research dissertation.


The University offers a range of Postgraduate funding opportunities to help support you during your time studying with us.

Across our Faculty, we also have a number of generous awards and scholarships.

Specialist facilities

The world class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections – valuable assets for your independent research. Our additional library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.

If you’re choosing to study a language as part of your joint honours degree, our Language Zone gives you access to free learning resources, including space for personal study, language learning software, and video, audio, books and magazines. You'll also have access to our translation computer labs equipped with specialist software and our interpreter training booths to explore different career options.

Course details

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Reasons, Virtues and Obligation 15
Conscience, Codes and Professional Issues 15
Autonomy, Rationality and Psychiatric Issues 15
Distributive Justice and Scarce Medical Resources 15
Current Developments in Health Care Ethics 30
Ethical Issues at the Beginning of Life 15
Ethical Issues at the End of Life 15

Learning and teaching

You'll gain a solid knowledge base through lectures and develop your understanding by discussing the course content in small group seminars with your fellow intercalation students. You'll also expand on what you learn through independent study, enhancing your research skills and exploring your particular areas of interest.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


You won’t have to take any exams during this course. Instead, most of the time you’ll be assessed using essays and coursework assignments. You’ll receive support from our tutors and be able to discuss your work with them before you submit it. There are also group work presentations in some modules– you and your group will be supported through weekly workshops as you work towards these assessments.

Entry requirements

Other course specific tests:

You must have successfully completed at least the first two years of a degree in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or a related subject. Your current institution must also allow you to take an intercalation year as part of your main degree.

If English isn't your first language, you'll need a qualification that proves your language level, such as IELTS (6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component). We accept a range of alternative qualifications for both degrees and language qualifications - contact us for more information.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component..


UK: To be confirmed

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

Read about possible financial support for intercalation on the School of Medicine website.


For information about how to apply, visit the School of Medicine’s intercalation pages.

Documents to include

  • Your degree certificate and transcripts of all relevant qualifications, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying.

  • Evidence of your English language test scores, if English isn’t your first language.

  • Supporting statement: this is optional, but presents a great opportunity to tell us more about yourself and can be useful preparation for your interview. There's no word limit but you should include:

    • Why you want to study your chosen course at Leeds

    • What role ethics play in your professional life (if relevant)

    • What knowledge and understanding you currently have of ethics (if relevant)

    • How studying ethics will contribute to your academic and/or professional development.

This course is taught by

Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre

Contact us

IDEA Admissions


Career opportunities

Intercalating gives you the opportunity to build upon the skills and knowledge you develop in your main degree, and gain a more rounded perspective on your subject. An additional qualification can also be an advantage in the competitive graduate job market. Our courses are also excellent preparation if you decide to pursue a career in research or academia, and some of our students have chosen to pursue a doctoral degree after completing their studies.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Staff profile: Sarah Carter-Walshaw

The ethics of healthcare is more important than ever, and we're very proud to offer a course where students from all over the world can discuss these issues.
Find out more about Sarah Carter-Walshaw's time at Leeds