Advanced Communication and Ethics MED5596

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Cancer Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

Communication is a central theme and includes complex conversations and advanced care planning. Medical ethics and their application in clinical practice will be explored with a focus experiential learning. A grounding in medical ethics will equip the learner to discuss and debate ethical principles and apply to clinical scenarios within their practice.


This course consists of lectures and tutorials in semester 1 (year 2 of the programme).

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





1. Oral Assessment (30 minutes) - 50% (ILO 1,2 & 3)

2. Essay (2000 words) - 50% (ILO 4 & 5)

Course Aims

This course aims to give a more in-depth experience of communications skills for healthcare professionals. It will highlight the range of communication skills required for caring for patients with life threatening illness. Through a range of teaching and learning, this course will develop and assess advanced communication skills and ethical debate using critical reflection, group discussion, debate, video examination and self-directed learning.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Appreciate the interplay of patient and clinician factors that impact on communicating sensitive and significant information to patients and their support networks.

2. Critically evaluate, assimilate and use communication strategies for a variety of clinical scenarios to help patients and their families adjust and cope with changing clinical conditions and challenging emotional situations.

3. Reflect on the challenges faced in discussing advanced care planning, future planning and managing uncertainty

4. Critically appraise ethical issues in their own practice 

5. Reflect on ethical dilemmas and synthesise arguments from the theoretical frameworks they have encountered to reach workable ethical solutions 

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.