Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The aim is for students to be able to assess bioethical problems and understand the normative aspect of ethical evaluation. The teaching is largely determined by current public debate, national and international laws and bills and recent biotechnological developments. Topics such as testing of hereditary traits, gene therapy, cloning, stem cells, assisted reproduction, xenotransplantation, use of animals in research and food production, the precautionary principle and DNA analyzes in investigation and the judiciary will be discussed. Understanding of ethical principles is reviewed. Emphasis is placed on active participation from the students in the teaching. The subject is suitable for students from all faculties and with different backgrounds.

Learning Outcomes


The student

  • can explain philosophical, ethical, juridical and biological aspects of current bioethical issues
  • knows the basis for normative ethics
  • has knowledge about national and international laws concerning biotechnology and bioethical issues
  • has an overview of current trends in biotechnology
  • has an overview of important ethical issues including gene therapy, inheritance, in vitro fertilization, stem cells and cloning, xenotransplantation, use of animals in research and food production, and genetic modification of plants



The student

  • can recognize ethical dilemmas in public discussions

¿ can present bioethical issues orally and in writing to others


General competance

The student

  • can communicate knowledge about bioethical problems and questions.

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


This course has a limited capacity, enrolment is based on application. The application deadline is Wednesday in week 2 for the spring semester. Please see this page for more information. You will receive confirmation of whether you received a seat in Studentweb no later than Monday the week after the deadline.

It is compulsory to attend the first lecture/orientation meeting, or you risk losing your seat. If you are unable to attend the first lecture, you must contact the Study Section ( The time of the first lecture/orientation meeting can be found in the schedule on the course website or on Mitt UiB.

Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
MNF220: 3 ECTS
Access to the Course
The course is open to all students at the University of Bergen.
Teaching and learning methods
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Lectures and practical task, and a term papers.
Forms of Assessment
Approved term papers.
Grading Scale
Pass/fail mark.
Assessment Semester
Course Evaluation
Students will evaluate the teaching in line with UiB and the department's quality assurance system.
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
Course Administrator
The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Department of Biological Sciences has responsibility for the course and programme.