Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Centre for Human Bioethics


Dr Peter Douglas



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


  • Second semester 2016 (Online)


This unit focuses on the full range of ethical issues that arise in research involving humans, including medical, scientific and social research. It covers topics such as acceptable and unacceptable risks to research participants, conflicts of interest, informed consent and waiver of consent, surrogate decision making, biobanks, commercialization of medical and scientific research, and research conducted on vulnerable people. Throughout the unit use will be made of case studies, ethical frameworks and principles, and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. Participants will have ample opportunity to discuss their own experiences with human research ethics.


  1. To obtain a comprehensive grasp of the full range of ethical issues that can arise with research involving humans
  2. To understand the ethical frameworks and principles relevant to human research
  3. To be able to use ethical principles and reasoning to arrive at well-argued conclusions about particular ethical dilemmas in human research
  4. To obtain a thorough understanding of The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and how it is applied in concrete cases
  5. To obtain a good understanding of international guidelines on human research ethics.
  6. To be able to critically engage with the bioethical literature around the ethics of research involving humans and construct arguments for novel conclusions in relation to that literature


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


APG4393, APG5393 or equivalent



Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: