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Students who commenced study in 2016 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirments; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your area of study.

Monash University


Commencement year

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2016 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook.

Any units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Arts component of any bachelors double degrees.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Managing faculty

Faculty of Arts

Offered by

Centre for Human Bioethics


Professor Michael Selgelid


Faculty of Arts

Centre for Human Bioethics


Caulfield, Clayton

The growth of scientific knowledge and technical ability in medicine, genetics and the biological sciences has led to a number of ethical problems which perplex all of us, but especially those in the health care field. Is genetic enhancement of humans ethically justified? Is it unethical to select embryos for implantation on the basis of sex? Should research designed to find 'gay genes' be conducted given that the results of such work might be used against homosexual people? Is human embryonic stem cell research justified by the prospect it offers of alleviating some of the most debilitating diseases? Should we proceed with research trying to clone people? Does the fact that we can prolong the life of a patient in a permanent vegetative state mean that we should do so?

The minor in Bioethics will assist students to develop ethical thinking so as to keep pace with advances in biomedical technology, anticipate future developments and assess what might be done if and when these anticipated developments become a reality.

Students will investigate issues around law and public policy responses to advances in medicine and biotechnology; whether killing is ever justified; and issues around the international commercialisation of the human body.

The completion of a Bioethics minor is especially valuable for students planning a career in life sciences, healthcare, or law and public policy. Students may also want to explore careers specifically involving bioethics, such as:

  • clinical and research ethics at hospitals or other healthcare/research institutions
  • roles with non-government organisations or advocacy groups
  • science policy
  • education
  • science/medicine journalism.


Bioethics is listed in A2000 Bachelor of Arts at Caulfield and Clayton and 0202 Bachelor of Letters at Clayton as a minor.


Minor requirements (24 points)

No more than 12 points at level 1 may be credited towards the minorminor (

Students complete:

(a.) Two level 1 gateway unitsgateway units ( (12 points) chosen from:

  • ATS1263 Bioethics: Current controversies
  • ATS1264 Bioethics, justice and the law
  • ATS1371 Life, death and morality (Introduction to philosophy A)

(b.) The following level 2 cornerstone unitcornerstone unit ( (6 points):

  • ATS2637 The human body and the international marketplace

(c.) One level 2 or 3 unit (6 points) from the elective list below.

Elective list

Units are 6 points unless otherwise stated.

Relevant courses


Single degrees

Successful completion of the minor can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the following single degrees:

  • A2000 Bachelor of Arts
  • 0202 Bachelor of Letters

Students in other single bachelor's degrees may be eligible to complete the minor by using 24 points of their free electives.

Double degrees

Successful completion of the minor can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts component in the following double degrees:

  • A2005 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Art
  • A2004 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music
  • B2019 Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Arts
  • B2012 Bachelor of Business Specialist and Bachelor of Arts
  • B2020 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts
  • B2024 Bachelor of Commerce Specialist and Bachelor of Arts
  • D3002 Bachelor of Education (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts
  • E3002 Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts
  • C2002 Bachelor of Information Technology and Bachelor of Arts
  • L3003 Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts
  • S2006 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts