About the Centre

Our expert research on ethical issues shapes healthcare, science and policy.

About us

Founded in 1986 by two of the leaders in the field, Professor John Harris and Professor Margaret Brazier, the Centre continues to be at the forefront of research in this area both nationally and internationally. We have dual commitments to: 

  • Undertake world-leading, interdisciplinary ethico-legal research in health. 
  • Provide research-led teaching in healthcare ethics and law to current and future practitioners in healthcare and law as well as policy-makers and regulators in the area. 

The Centre has an impressive record in collaborative research with many large international research projects. Coordinated by our staff and regular small funded workshops to explore ethical and legal issues.

Recently, the Coronavirus pandemic has illuminated the importance of healthcare law and ethics in society.

Staff publish on a variety of issues in this often controversial and challenging field. Such as the ethical and legal issues around topics like:

  • assisted suicide and euthanasia;
  • the role of the criminal law in medicine and health care;
  • mental health and capacity issues;
  • reproduction;
  • the uses of human organs and tissues;
  • public health law and ethical questions arising in the pandemic.

Master's Courses

We offer postgraduate taught courses on campus and distance learning:

PhD Programmes 

Our PhD by publication Bioethics and Medical Jurisprudence programme allows students to conduct independent research in all areas of healthcare ethics and law. All our students are an important and integral part of our research community and contribute to research and teaching in the Centre.

Professional Development

We also offer a number of short Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses in ethics and law. They are taken online and are available to health care professionals and non-health care professionals alike, giving you access to study that fits around your schedule. We also offer an online via FutureLearn course 'Introduction to Medical Ethics: The Impact of Disability Screening'.