Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCentre for Human Bioethics
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Michael Selgelid


Previously coded CHB1010


This unit investigates ethical issues raised by current and likely future developments in biotechnology and genetics. The unit examines ethical controversy surrounding the following topics, outlining the latest research in each case: genetic engineering and 'enhancement' of human traits; preimplantation and prenatal genetic diagnosis and selection; therapeutic and reproductive cloning; stem cell research; genetic modification of organisms; synthetic biology; and biological weapons.


On successfully completing this unit, students will have: a familiarity with contemporary and historical debates about new technologies in bioethics; skills that enable them to think critically about some key ethical issues raised by current and future developments in biotechnology and genetics; and the ability to make informed judgements about those ethical issues.


Written work: 60%
2-hour exam: 35%
Tutorial performance: 5%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

2 one-hour lectures and a one-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: