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Why study bioethics?

7 reasons to study bioethics at the University of Sydney

A degree in bioethics offers a deep understanding of ethical issues in medicine, health and the life sciences. It's the ideal way to develop your existing career or move into a new field of interest.

The Bioethics program at the University of Sydney provides you with the knowledge to help develop your skills in analysing areas as diverse as the impact of new biotechnologies, legal issues in mental health, euthanasia and end-of-life care, human and animal research ethics, doctor-patient relationships, the nature of health, medicine and disease, health care systems, public health and global health, and how we live our lives within the context of political, socio-economic and environmental determinants.

It is a multidisciplinary field which includes controversial topics that impact the future of humanity and society that are discussed every day in the media. 

Here are 7 reasons you should study bioethics at Sydney School of Public Health: 

1. Add value to your existing career

Studying bioethics allows you to broaden your knowledge in your chosen health or research area and add value to an existing career. The study of bioethics is suitable for people from a wide variety of backgrounds, such as philosophy, arts, humanities, social science, law, science, medicine, nursing, allied health professions, psychology and health management. 

2. Learn from experts in bioethics at Australia’s top ranking Sydney School of Public Health

The Bioethics program is part of the Sydney School of Public Health, ranked number 3 in Australia and 35 in the world for public health in the 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities. The course is designed and taught by experts in the field who have national and international experience. They include:

  • Professor Ainsley Newson works at the forefront of ethics and emerging technologies. She is interested in the ethical application of methods such as DNA sequencing to benefit both individual and population health.
  • Professor Angus Dawson seeks to transform bioethics by exploring issues in public and global health. He is increasingly focused on working with bodies such as the World Health Organization and Médecins Sans Frontières to implement ethics into the real world.
  • Professor Ian Kerridge is an internationally recognised scholar in bioethics and the philosophy of medicine. His research focuses on the philosophical, moral and socio-cultural concepts, frameworks and issues that underpin health, health policy and biomedicine in public health, research and clinical care.

3. Tailor your work-load balance with our flexible study options

Our Bioethics program is the only one in Australia offered completely online. This means you can tailor your study load to suit your professional demands. The program is also available for part or full-time study. With flexible study options, you can choose your course load and change your enrolment mode each semester to meet your working demands and life commitments.

4. Improve your non-technical skills

Our course involves many different disciplines and perspectives with a focus on critically engaging with issues and methods. As well as enhancing your understanding in bioethics, you will also improve your problem solving and critical thinking abilities, skills that are valuable in professional and academic careers. 

5. Receive professional recognition/accreditation

The study courses are also designed to meet the Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP) continuing professional development standards, contributing 50 credits per semester under "Category 4: structured learning projects."

6. Discover a new and rewarding career path in health

You don’t have to come from a medical or health background to study Bioethics at the University of Sydney. Our students come from a wide range of professions, such as scientists, researchers, nurses, clinicans and those in health policy or services. The structure of the program will train and equip you with new skills in bioethics and prepare you for a highly rewarding new career in or related to health. 

7. Study unique content

We offer topics of study offered nowhere else in Australia, such as the ethics of mental health. Overall, the program structure is diverse and covers a range of topic areas that will enable you to confront bioethical issues in new and challenging ways. 

Still have questions?

Email the course coordinator at

18 May 2018

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