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Research Ethics - an Introduction, Certificate

  • Application Deadline
  • 42 days
University rank #51 (ARWU) Online
Volunteers are often asked to take part in medical research in order to improve the health and well being of other people, now and in the future. However noble the aim, this raises many ethical questions.


How can we ensure that participants give their genuinely informed consent? What should be provided to control groups during clinical trials? How can we weigh the risks and benefits of various studies? How can we ensure scientific integrity in research? When should we conduct research with vulnerable populations, such as children and people in low- and middle-income countries? How should we interpret the Tuskegee syphilis study from a historical perspective?

There’s never a shortage of questions; it’s the answers that are harder to determine. For example, what type of consent is appropriate for biobanking research? When are the risks and benefits of research appropriately balanced? What special protection mechanisms are needed to include “vulnerable” study populations? How can we ensure scientific integrity in research? During this course, you will tackle these and other issues, while learning to apply theoretical insights to recent cases.


As this is a university course, it is covered by academic accreditation. Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive a recognized certificate from Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 42 days
    • Intensity 7 hrs/week
  • Credits
    1 ECTS
    1.5 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    • Time flexibility
      Fully structured
    • Attendance
      No Attendance
    • Student interaction
      Individual work/assignments (with online group discussions), Online group works/assignments

Programme Structure

Course Topics
  • Introduction to research ethics
  • Informed consent and the ethics of randomized clinical trials
  • Risk-benefit assessment and the role of ethics committees
  • Scientific integrity
  • Vulnerable groups: children and participants in developing countries
  • Biobanks, stem cells and genetic research ethics

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Academic Requirements

To enroll in this course, you need:
  • A Bachelor’s degree 
  • Sufficient proficiency in English reading and writing
Please note that you do not need to have a background in Philosophy or Ethics to follow this course.

Technological Requirements

Since our courses are offered online, you do need access to a computer with internet connection (preferably with a broadband speed of 2-5 mb per second) to access the Virtual Learning Environment, to follow lectures, open documents, to complete assignments and communicate with fellow participants.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    385 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 385 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 42 days.
  • National Applies to you

    385 EUR/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 385 EUR for the full programme and a duration of 42 days.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.


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