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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2021 - 2022

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module will introduce students to the field of bioethics, supplying them with a critical understanding of the bioethical arguments, controversies and theories. Students will gain an understanding of key bioethical concerns and issues, as well as learning about the latest developments in bioethical discourse.

Learning Outcomes

1. demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of a number of critical contemporary bioethical issues and themes from a philosophical and theological perspective.
2. construct arguments using the conceptual tools of bioethics and apply these to contemporary issues;
3. identify and evaluate a range of potential moral viewpoints and arguments regarding bioethical questions, within the context of pluralistic society.
4. develop their research skills in bioethics and associated areas.
5. apply and assess key principles to case studies in bioethics.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture20No Description
Lecture75Independent learning / CA preparation
Online activity30No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to Bioethics

From Medical Ethics to Bioethics

Four Principles of Bioethics (Beauchamp & Childress)

Theological Principles of Bioethics

Reproductive Technologies

Abortion & Personhood

Stem-Cell Research/Genetics

Withholding/withdrawing Treatment

Euthanasia & Physician-Assisted Suicide

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Beauchamp, T. L. and Childress, J. F.: 2019, The Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 8th, Oxford University Press, New York,
  • Caplan, Arthur L. and Arp, Robert (eds): 2014, Contemporary Debates in Bioethics, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester,
  • Kuhse, Helga and Singer, Peter (eds): 2016, Bioethics: An Anthology, Wiley Blackwell, Chichester,
  • Moskop, John C.: 2016, Ethics and Health Care: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Scott, P. Anne (ed.): 2017, Key Concepts and Issues in Nursing Ethics, Springer,
  • Singer, Peter A. and Viens, A. M. (eds.): 2008, The Cambridge Textbook of Bioethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes