Skip to main content


The Mason Institute offers a wealth of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development opportunities at the University of Edinburgh for those with a legal, medical or social science background who wish to start or advance a career in medical law or ethics.

Mason Institute - Teaching

Medical law and ethics is taught in Edinburgh Law School at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including a vibrant PhD programme. Medical Law and Ethics is one of the strongest fields in Edinburgh Law School for doctoral study with over 25 doctoral graduates in the area. Supervisors have expertise across a wide range of topics including interdisciplinary areas (e.g. medical sociology, medical anthropology and science & technology studies). The Mason Institute is attached to several high profile university centres such as the Centre for Law and Society, the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society, the Usher Institute, the Innogen Institute, the Global Justice Academy and the Global Health Academy.

The LLM in Medical Law and Ethics is offered both on-campus and online. These attract an ever-expanding range of candidates from diverse disciplines including law, bioethics, medicine, life sciences, nursing, dentistry, pharma, and the medico-legal regulatory sectors.

Edinburgh Law School programmes aim to put our LLM candidates at the leading edge of issues affecting medical law and ethics.

Learn more about the LLM in Medical Law and Ethics (on-campus) at Edinburgh Law School

Learn more about the LLM in Medical Law and Ethics (online) at Edinburgh Law School


Introduction to the LLM in Medical Law and Ethics - Postgraduate Online Learning Open Day 2021

Below is a recording of an online information session for the LLM in Medical Law and Ethics by online learning offered by the University of Edinburgh's Law School. The session was hosted on the 26th May 2021 as part of the University's Postgraduate Online Learning Open Day and information provided during the session was correct at the time of the recording.


For our PhD programme, staff welcome doctoral applications particularly in the following areas: health research regulation, global health justice, privacy and confidentiality, health research commercialisation, medical negligence and medical product liability, new health technologies, theoretical and applied bioethics, health equity and distributive, arts humanities and bioethics, and gender and reproductive health.

Learn more about the research degrees at Edinburgh Law School

Edinburgh Law School has been offering online courses in law and medical ethics since 2006. This online course covers all of the fundamental aspects of contemporary health care and law required to assist all areas of counsel, issues in staff and patient management, and assist successful patient contact.

Learn more about CPD and short courses at Edinburgh Law School

The Mason Institute provides an excellent platform for students seeking to develop their knowledge, presentation, research and enquiry skills in relation to developments at the interface between medicine, life sciences and the law. MI offers a wealth of opportunities for student-led events, internships, scholarships, and for speaking and publishing.

If you would like to write a student blog post, contribute to a student-led event, or ask any questions about our MI student opportunities, we’d love to hear from you at

J Kenyon Mason Institute Essay Competition

2021-22 Competition

The J Kenyon Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and the Law (MI) is pleased to invite undergraduate and postgraduate students to submit an essay for the annual J Kenyon Mason Institute Essay Competition. The essay competition has a submission deadline of 23:59 BST (UK time) on Friday 1st April 2022. Winners will be announced via email or at the MI Annual Lecture in April/May 2022. See the full competition information here

Any and all questions regarding the competition may be sent to


2020-21 Winners

The Mason Institute is delighted to announce the winners and runners-up in both the undergraduate and postgraduate categories for its annual Essay Competition (2020-21 academic year). If you are interested in participating, please stay tuned for next academic year’s call, likely to be announced in September 2021.

Undergraduate Winner

Katie Feltham: an essay on ABC v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust and whether there should be a legal right to be informed about a family member’s genetic disorder

Undergraduate Runners-up

Heather McAdam: “How Psychiatry as a Profession is Represented in the Film ‘Girl, Interrupted’: An Analysis of the Role of Institutionalisation in Mental Illness”

Maia Webb: “Is it time that the UK had a no-fault redress scheme for harm caused by medical products?”

Postgraduate Winner

Emma Nance: “Answering the ‘Real Question’ of COVID-19 Challenge Trials: Are Researchers Authorised to Intentionally Expose Research Participants to A Dangerous Pathogen?”

Postgraduate Runners-up

Matt Jordan: “In allocation of scarce, acute care resources, should priority be given to those predicted to have the highest quality of life upon recovery?”

Eve Vandevelde: An essay on the scope of the right to reproductive autonomy in light of access to reproductive technologies


The Great Medico-Legal Debate 2022

Topic and format to be announced in due course.

24 February 2024 | 16.30 - 20.30 | Venue TBC, University of Edinburgh

The Mason Institute is delighted to announce the re-launch of the Great Medico-Legal Debate for 2022. In a new format this year, the event will take the form of a debate competition featuring teams from Glasgow universities against Edinburgh universities, debating motions of the theme of ‘children, medicine and the law’.

See full event details here