Ethics for Scientists (St Katharine’s Study)

This is a one-year course for students who study at least two science subjects at A level (biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and psychology). It provides the opportunity to research, discuss and write about ethical issues in science and how to deal with them in practice.

Why choose Ethics for Scientists?

The course is ideal for students who are interested in the relationship between science and ethics, who would like the opportunity to explore how ethical decisions are made and how these impact individuals and society as a whole. The course supports university applications for science subjects.

Topics studied

You will study the basic principles of ethical decision-making. This includes applying different ethical theories to concrete situations, as well as considering ethical principles such as patient consent or autonomy. You will also consider the value of human and non–human life. The content will vary depending on your own areas of interest. We will cover the following topics:

  • Medical ethics
  • Non-human animal ethics
  • Environmental ethics
  • Artificial intelligence and technology ethics
  • Research ethics

Within each of these topics you will study ethical issues scientists are faced with and apply ethical principles to case studies. You will then be given a choice of articles to look at and/or conduct your own research, choosing publications that are linked to your other subjects or the university courses you aim to apply for. The skills you will work on are:

  • Debating
  • Research
  • Deep reading and analysing scientific publications
  • Essay writing
  • Project presentation


You are assessed on each of the skills mentioned. There is no formal qualification at the end of the course.

“Ethics for scientists is the highlight of my week. The lessons are engaging and I love that the topics are directed to the interests of the class with lots of time to discuss and learn about new and old scientific dilemmas.”
“I find ethics for scientists really fascinating, it is a perfect extra class to supplement A-levels and helps you to stay up to date on current affairs regarding ethics and science.”

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