BIOING1205 Bioethics, communication and public health


Learning outcomes

Upon passing this course, the graduate will have achieved the following learning outcomes:


The student

  • has knowledge of philosophical, ethical, juridical and biological aspects of current bioethical issues
  • has knowledge of consequence and risk assessment as well as ethical argumentation
  • has knowledge of legislation in this area and the major parties and authorities to which the researcher must relate
  • has knowledge of ethical issues and challenges as a result of medical and health technological development/innovation
  • has knowledge of selected ethical theories and reflection models
  • has knowledge of conflict and conflict management
  • has knowledge of selected epidemiological and demographic subjects of public health work
  • has knowledge of selected strategies for disease prevention and health protection


The student

  • can find  and describe ethical aspects of the medical laboratories and the medical biotechnological work
  • can apply a model for systematic ethical reflection
  • can find and describe qualitative and quantitative population data related to health and wellbeing
  • can master to identify ethical and communicative challenges in meetings with different patient groups and colleagues at the hospital
  • can master working in teams and can reflect on her/his own and others' role in collaboration
  • can reflect on his/her professional actions

General competence

The student

  • has insight into relevant ethichal issues related to public health issues and can exchange views and experiences of these in a critically reflective manner
  • can present key subject matter such as theories, issues and solutions both in writing and orally
  • has insight into  applicable laws and regulations
  • can update his/her knowledge within bioethics, communication and public health, and can further develop its readiness for action in various interaction situations.
  • can reflect and critically analyze problems involving animal ethics as well as environmental ethics as related to biotechnological products, and to see them in a larger scientific context


Course content

  • ethics and ethical assessment
  • risk assessment, legislation to patenting laws in various countries
  • the Biotechnology Act and acts concerning the use of animals in research
  • ethical, environmental, legal and social aspects of modern biotechnology
  • research-based knowledge in the field
  • legislation in the field of biotechnology, and information about which relevant major parties and authorities to which researchers must relate
  • ethical theories and dilemmas
  • the Gene Technology Act and Biotechnology Act – in Norway and some global perspectives
  • research ethics
  • intraprofessional collaboration and communicative challenges
  • public health

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Organization and Methods of Instruction

  • lectures
  • discussions, individual and in groups
  • case-based learning
  • term assignments: synopses of these assignments are presented by students in short lectures to the instructors and the remaining students.

The course can be taught in English if international students are enrolled.



Obligatoriske krav som må være godkjent før eksamen kan avlegges

Requirements necessary to take the exam

  • 80% attendance of scheduled classes
  • active participation in group discussion and case-based learning
  • two to five assignments: oral or written presentation (in Englsih or in Norwegian)
  • two-four seminars



  • 3-day individual written home exam (in Englsih or in Norwegian)

The grading system is based on the letters from A-F, where E is the minimum passing grade.

Course evaluation – quality assurance system

Normally all courses shall receive a formal evaluation during each semester of instruction. The timing and method for evaluation is determined in concert with elected student representative. It is the responsibility of the course instructor to ensure the evaluation is completed.

Tillatte hjelpemidler til eksamen

Allowed resources when writing the exam

All aids are allowed.