Courses and Workshops

The Ethox Centre provides and contributes to a number of different kinds of ethics courses and workshops. Details of the more regular courses are provided below. If you are interested in attending any of these courses or are interested in Ethox team members providing ethics training and education of other kinds, please contact the centre administrator on


Global Health MSc Students 2008-9

Msc in Global Health Science

The Ethox Centre provides core teaching on international research ethics on the University of Oxford Nuffield Department of Population Health MSc in Global Health Science. Ethox also provides a ten week optional module on international research ethics. The objectives of the teaching are to help students to:

    • understand ethical frameworks underpinning debates in research ethics
    • develop a critical appreciation of current controversies in international research ethics
    • understand relevant international guidance and regulation
    • identify and analyse ethical issues raised by research protocols and develop appropriate responses

Topics covered in the course include:

    • Ways of thinking about ethics
    • Ethics and global public health
    • International guidance and regulation
    • Current controversies in international research ethics
    • Evaluating risks and benefits
    • Good research practice
    • Consent to research
    • Engaging research communities
    • Post-trial access to research interventions and benefit-sharing
    • Ethical review of research
    • Capacity-building, policy-development and empirical ethics research

The ethics module is led by Dr Susan Bull and Professor Michael Parker. More information about the MSc in Global Health Science can be obtained from the Nuffield Department of Population Health website at . If you would like more information about the ethics content of this course contact


Summer School 2009

Research ethics for biomedical researchers

The Ethox Centre regularly runs a short course in research ethics for biomedical researchers in Oxford. This course is led by Dr Mark Sheehan. Each session is based around a case study designed to elicit discussion and to stimulate reflection.  There is an element of small group work, and time at the end for participants to raise cases and issues within their own research.

The course includes sessions on the following topics:

    • Introduction to research ethics (Mark Sheehan)
    • Ethical issues in informed consent (Mark Sheehan and Matthew Liao)
    • Confidentiality in research (Mark Sheehan and Mike Parker)
    • Harms and benefits in research (Mark Sheehan)
    • Ethical Issues in International Research (Mark Sheehan and Jantina de Vries)
    • Ethical issues in the use of human tissue (Mark Sheehan and Jane Kaye)
    • Ethical issue in the use of biobanks (Mark Sheehan and Jane Kaye)
    • Ethical issues in questionnaires and interviewing (Mark Sheehan and Catherine Heeney)
    • Research involving vulnerable or non-competent subjects (Mark Sheehan and Michael Dunn)
    • Ethical issues in qualitative research (Mark Sheehan and Michael Dunn)

For more information about the course content and about dates and venues contact


Courses for medical students

The Ethox Centre is responsible for teaching medical ethics and law to all medical students in the Oxford Medical School, both on the standard course and the Graduate Entry course. The textbook for these courses is Medical Ethics and Law: the Core Curriculum (2nd Edition), Hope, T, Savulescu, J. and Hendrick, J. (2007) Edinburgh: Churchill-Livingstone. The teaching materials and tutor notes for this course are available here.

The Ethox Centre also runs a one-month optional Special Study Module for medical students in the fourth year of their course.


E-learning materials

Together with Global Health Reviewers, the Ethox Centre is developing free e-learning materials for members of research ethics committees, particularly those in low income country settings. The first e-learning module is on the ethics of genomics research in such settings. The course can be accessed free by following this link and logging in.


Clinical ethics workshops

The Ethox Centre runs workshops for members of clinical ethics committees and those considering setting up a committee. These workshops can be designed for the needs of a particular committee. These might include, for example:sessions focussing on the role of the clinical ethics committee in providing education, policy development and case consultation and/or sessions which aim to provide delegates with skills for identifying and analysing ethical issues arising in health care practice and management. If you would like to speak to someone at the Ethox Centre about organising or attending a workshop, please contact Centre Administrator on


Other workshops and courses

In addition to the above, the Ethox Centre also runs occasional seminars and workshops on other topics. These are announced as events on the Ethox Centre homepage.