MA Course in Biotechnology Law and Ethics

J Kinderlerer J.Kinderlerer at
Wed Apr 26 22:04:09 EST 1995

   MA/Diploma in Biotechnological Law and Ethics (MABLE)
           at the The University of Sheffield

The Faculty of Law (in association with the Faculties of
Medicine, Dentistry, Pure Science, and Social Science)at 
the University of Sheffield has been teaching a new
MA degree in Biotechnological Law and Ethics. In 
September the second group of postgraduate students 
will be starting this course.

Applications are therefore invited for entry in September

The MA/Diploma in Biotechnological Law and Ethics
(MABLE), which welcomed its first students in 1994/95
is the first degree of its kind in the world.  MABLE is 
the first Masters degree to cover legal and ethical 
issues over the full range of developments in

In addition to dealing with with a number of issues in
medical law and ethics (e.g. medical research ethics,
organ transplantation, in vitro fertilisation), its focus
is much broader, in that 

  it is concerned with biotechnology as applied to plants 
    and nonhuman animals as well as to humans;
  it is concerned with matters of biotechnology in 
    relation to humans that are not strictly medical 
    e.g., the Human Genome Project;
  it is concerned with the ethics and regulation of the
    ownership of biotechnological knowledge and 
    inventions,as well as with the ethics and regulation
    of biotechnological research and applications.

MABLE is also distinctive in being genuinely inter-
disciplinary, with inputs of about 50% from lawyers,
ethicists and social scientists and 50% from clinicians 
and scientists.

Aims of the Course

MABLE is offered as an MA and as a Diploma. The common 
aims of the MA and the Diploma are 

  to provide students with expert information about 
    current and likely future developments in 
  to provide students with expert information about 
    current regulation of biotechnology;
  to acquaint students with the legal and ethical 
    problems generated by current and likely 
    future developments in biotechnology;
  to provide students with a thorough grounding in law 
    and ethics to enable them 
      (1) to critically evaluate existing regulation of 
      (2) to provide legally and ethically informed 
          advice on the future regulation of 

The MA also aims to prepare students to undertake 
research degrees in the field of legal and ethical issues 
of biotechnology.

Structure and Content:

MABLE can be taken full-time over 1 year, or part-time 
over 2 years. Students may study for the award of a 
Diploma, or for the award of an MA.
The course is designed for both International students as 
well as those from the UK, and its treatment of Law takes 
into account the diverse backgrounds of the students.
Students may study Full or part-time.

The following units are compulsory for both Diploma and
MA students:  

    Moral Theory	
    Understanding Law          
    Developments in Biotechnology
    Current Regulation of Biotechnology
    Research Skills	
    Intellectual Property & Biotechnology
    Product Liability & Safety Law and Biotechnology	
    Research Ethics

Students are required to take four options from amongst:

    Issues in Biological Forensic ;
    Issues in Human Genetics I: Clinical Developments 
    Issues in Human Genetics II: Population Genetics  
          Frontiers and Limits 
    Artificial Organs, Prosthetic Devices, and Life-
          Support Systems
    Issues in the Transplantation of Organs (including 
          blood transfusion) 
    Issues in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
    Issues in Plant and Food Technologies 
    Issues in Laboratory and Industrial Biotechnology 

Students may also take as an option one unit from any 
other Masters course in the University, provided that 
this unit has the approval of the Course Co-ordinator. 

Students taking the MA are, additionally, required to do a Dissertation of
15,000 - 20,000 words (22,000 words maximum permitted length, including
footnotes and citations, but excluding the bibliography) on an agreed
topic Dissertations may be on any aspect of 4 law/ethics in relation to
biotechnology as a whole or any aspect of law/ethics in relation to
particular developments in any area of biotechnology for which a suitable
supervisor is available. 

For Further information, please contact:
The Postgraduate Admissions Secretary
			Faculty of Law
			University of Sheffield
			PO Box 598
			Crookesmoor Building
			Sheffield S10 1FL
			United Kingdom
			Tel: (0114) 2826770
			Fax: (0114) 2721319

Or send e-mail to
Dr. J. Kinderlerer, Department of Molecular Biology & 
Biotechnology, Sheffield University 
(J.Kinderlerer at 


Dr. D. Beyleveld, Department of Law, Sheffield University 
(D.Beyleveld at

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