Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Advanced Communication and Ethics MED5596

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Cancer Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

Topics covered will include difficult conversations, communicating with professionals, advance care planning and communication with the bereaved. There will be a focus on ethical practice and navigation in clinical practice.


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

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





i) Reflection on posts (500 words approx) 20% 

ii) Case reflection (1500 words approx) 50% 

iii) Oral assessment 30%

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 aim to give a more detailed and extensive range of communication scenarios - critical reflection, group discussion, debate, self-directed learning and use of online learning. There will be opportunity to discuss and debate ethical principles and apply to clinical scenarios in each student's own practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

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

■ 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

■ Critically appraise ethical issues in their own practice 

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

■ Critically appraise the impact of bereavement reactions

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.