APG5617 - Human research ethics - 2017

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

Monash Bioethics Centre


Professor Michael Selgelid

Not offered in 2017


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.


Upon successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. obtain a comprehensive grasp of the full range of ethical issues that can arise with research involving humans;
  2. understand the ethical frameworks and principles relevant to human research;
  3. use ethical principles and reasoning to arrive at well-argued conclusions about particular ethical dilemmas in human research;
  4. obtain a good understanding of international guidelines on human research ethics;
  5. 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: