Bioethics and the Life Sciences

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Bioethics and the Life Sciences

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Biology, Ethics, Life Sciences

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    126 points (2 full semesters)

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Explores ethical issues within, and arising from, science and technology. Covers basic ethics in science, and the moral and social implications of life science for human life, particularly its earliest stages.

    Bioethics and the Life Sciences gives students an opportunity to examine the ethical implications of life sciences and biotechnology. Increasingly, scientists are being called to justify some of their practices, such as human and animal experimentation, genetic modification, use of dead human bodies, and publication of controversial work. Without a good understanding of the moral issues arising within life science and biotechnology, scientists and non-scientists alike will not be well-equipped to participate in the public debate about bioscience and biotechnology and how they affect wider society.

    Learning Outcomes
    The paper will encourage students to:
    - Be able to identify key ethical concepts
    - Identify moral claims and distinguish them from other sorts of claims
    - Identify reasons given in support of particular moral claims
    - Compare and contrast alternative analyses of topics
    - Identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative analyses of topics
    - Review key approaches and literature relating to bioethics of the biosciences, including topics concerning the beginning of life
    - Use reasoned argument to present preferred analysis/approach
    - Begin to recognise implications of ethical reasoning for scientific practice

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.