Education: Master of Health Science (MHSc) in Bioethics

Bioethics is concerned with finding practical answers to difficult value-based questions faced by patients and families, health professionals, health researchers, health administrators and health policymakers. The aim of the field of bioethics is to improve health. Interdisciplinary in nature, bioethics draws from many areas across the humanities, and health and social sciences. The University of Toronto’s MHSc in Bioethics program reflects this interdisciplinarity, making it an exemplary model of interprofessional education.


The MHSc in Bioethics, offered through the Institute of Medical Science (IMS) and administered by the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, is a professional master’s program for health practitioners, researchers, and administrators. The goal of the MHSc program is to enhance students’ core knowledge and skill competencies in bioethics research, education and practice, ideally to strengthen ethics capacity in their health organizations. The MHSc in Bioethics is conducted in modular format and has no thesis requirement, allowing high achieving professionals to earn a master’s degree without interrupting their careers. The MHSc program exposes students to the breadth of clinical, organizational, and research ethics issues facing our health system today, with a strong emphasis on interprofessional exchange and practical experience informed by theory (including a practicum component).

The goals of the program include:

  1. To provide qualified students with an interprofessional education in the theory and practice relevant to bioethics;
  2. To provide students with opportunities to apply knowledge and skills in health settings; and
  3. To foster attributes, attitudes and interpersonal skills suitable for individuals engaging in bioethics activities.


The MHSc in Bioethics program attracts students not only locally but also throughout Ontario, across Canada, and internationally. This unique program is a leading developer of practitioners engaged in bioethics education, consultation, policy, research and leadership activities.* MHSc graduates have an impressive publication record as contributors of articles to peer-reviewed major academic and professional journals – over 85% of MHSc graduates have published at least one article based on their program. Numerous MHSc graduates are now leaders in bioethics research, education, policy and practice, in both academia, health and research institutes, government and industry.

(*Please note that the MHSc in Bioethics program does not prepare/qualify individuals to be practicing bioethicists in health organizations. As the field of bioethics practice takes steps toward professionalization, many organizations have requirements beyond graduate education in the field, e.g., a fellowship in healthcare ethics practice.)


Who should apply?

  • Health Practitioners
  • Health Administrators or Research Ethics Administrators
  • Ethics Committee Members or Research Ethics Board Members
  • Lawyers, Journalists, Policy Analysts, Privacy Officers, Regulators, Educators, and Researchers focusing on health