Teaching Ethics to Bioscience Students — A survey of Undergraduate Provision

C. JR Wilmott, Andrew A Bond, John A Bryant, S J Maw, H J Sears, Jackie M Wilson

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A survey has been carried out to investigate the provision of ethics teaching to students following Bioscience programmes at UK Universities. We report that 69% of undergraduate programmes described by respondents included an ethical component, although it may not be appropriate to extrapolate this value nationally. When ethics is taught, it is a little more likely to appear in the second year of a degree than in the third year, but with only limited use being made of the first year. In the vast majority of cases this teaching is carried out by bioscience staff from within the institution, but with the frequent involvement of staff from other Departments (e.g. Philosophy) and/or invited experts from outside the University. The majority of bioscience respondents were aware of the requirements for ethics in subject benchmark statements. A certain level of apprehension about teaching ethics was noted. Requests were made for additional teaching resources, including case studies, audio-visual material and briefing documents on the key issues, along with their collation via a bespoke website.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBioscience Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioscience
  • Undergraduate
  • Ethics
  • Teaching
  • Survey


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