UCL Medical School


Teaching Ethics and Law in Clinical Education (PGMEG020)

Module Overview

Using a combination of interactive distance learning and face-to-face seminars this module will provide participants with an up to date knowledge of the practice of teaching ethics and law in medical education. Participants will be introduced to the legal and ethical underpinnings of medical practice and to contemporary debates on the challenges of teaching ethics and law to future clinicians. Most importantly, this module focuses on developing participants’ skills and confidence to develop and/or improve their own ethics and law teaching.
Participants will be required to participate in at least one online virtual seminar and submit one written assignment. Participants will also be required to present a draft outline of their assignment in the second face-to-face seminar.


This module aims to give participants the knowledge and skills to:

  • Draw out the legal and ethical aspects of clinical cases and integrate teaching of these in their clinical teaching
  • Design and assess teaching sessions on at least four topics included in the Institute of Medical Ethics’ core undergraduate curriculum and the Foundation Programme ethics and law curriculum

Module Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Outline the ethical/legal principles and concepts widely seen as underpinning healthcare decision-making
  • Describe how to make legally, professionally and  ethically justified decisions in clinical practice
  • Critically evaluate current discourse on teaching medical ethics and law to clinicians
  • Explain how to develop an effective ethics and law curriculum for medical students and Foundation doctors
  • Demonstrate how to engage participants in ethics and law teaching 
  • Describe how to assess knowledge and skills in relation to ethics and law
  • Explain how to include recent developments in medical law and professional guidance into their teaching

Mode of Delivery

This module will be delivered primarily through a VLE (Moodle 2) with two days of face-to-face contact, one at the beginning and one at the end of the module.
The first face-to-face session will allow participants to meet module tutors, orientate themselves in person at the beginning of the module and help them gain a clear sense of the scope and expectations of the module.

This approach combines educational methods that encourage self-directed learning, reflection on personal experience, critical thinking and access to extensive online resources. This will enable students to engage in collaborative learning and to be in regular contact with module tutors for a high level of academic support.

During this module participants will work through course materials and readings, undertake directed learning activities and participate in asynchronous virtual seminars.

The second face-to-face day will allow participants share their work and questions with peers and tutors. Participants will benefit from constructive feedback, discussion and a clarification of assignment goals.

Teaching dates 2017/18

This module runs once a year (subject to a minimum of 10 students) in the following teaching block:

Teaching BlockStartEnd Face to Face session (compulsory)Assignment due dateClosing date for applications
Block 3Monday 5 March 2018Friday 11 May 2018

Thursday 8 March 2018;

Thursday 10 May 2018

Thursday 21 June 20188 January 2018

If you have any queries please contact uclms.postgraduate@ucl.ac.uk.

Additional module choices