Medical decision-making: Ethics and law

This Royal College of Physicians-accredited online course explores all aspects of medical and healthcare decision-making. It is suitable for all healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in this area. It requires no previous training.

About the course

Each course unit walks you through the main issues, then leads you to a summary of these issues to consolidate your study, finishing with a short multiple-choice quiz to check on your progress.

You can enrol anytime and will have a year to complete the course, which we estimate will take around 33 study hours in total. We do provide further reading suggestions for those who wish to spend extra time following up areas of interest, and you will get full access to all the University resources, including online journals and databases.

The nine-course units provided in this package are:

  • Introduction to Health Care Ethics and Law (6 study hours approx)
  • Introduction to law and legal research (1.5 study hours approx)
  • The moral and legal importance of the principle of respect for individual autonomy (3 study hours approx)
  • The importance of valid legal consent (3 study hours approx)
  • How much information is enough? (3 study hours approx)
  • Mental capacity, competence and consent (4 study hours approx)
  • Refusal and withdrawal of treatment (3 study hours approx)
  • Treating children and adolescents (5 study hours approx)
  • Confidentiality (4 study hours approx)


This package has been granted accreditation from the Royal College of Physicians.

  • You should check with the CPD guidance for your profession but it should be possible to claim CPD credits for the hours you spend on the course including any extra reading you do.
  • When completing your CPD profile your certificate of completion of the course and printouts of the course content can be used as supporting evidence.
  • If you need any further information about CPD accreditation for these courses please contact

Course fees

The cost of this course is £600. University of Manchester alumni are eligible to receive a 10% discount on course fees.

For help and advice with your enrolment please contact Professor Rebecca Bennett or Leanne Tuite.