FLME40130 Forensic & Legal Medicine

Academic Year 2023/2024

Forensic & Legal Medicine is a blended module (online and in-person) which will present the ethical and legal framework of the doctor's relationship with patients, colleagues, the Medical Council, employers, government departments, the legal profession, the courts and the coroner, illustrated by relevant practical examples. The module also addresses key ethical concepts and professional issues that all medical students and doctors are expected to know and understand.

The above will be delivered in a blended learning environment, with the intention of delivery of some face-to-face content in live seminars. All lectures will be recorded and provided for you daily on Brightspace with each lecture folder consisting of an introduction to key learning points, lecture notes and associated readings. Students are required to complete all readings and read the accompanying notes. All assessments will be provided online too.

For the overall module, students will be directed to read and understand the Irish Medical Council's "Guide to Professional Conduct and Ethics" and relevant chapters from Simpson’s Forensic Medicine (Irish edition) which is available as an e-book via the UCD Library.

Also students, please note, that professionalism is integral to this module. Any behaviour which is considered to be in breach of professional behaviour as set out in the School's Statement on Fitness to Practice (in addition to the University's policy) will be formally noted.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

The core curriculum for this module sets out the essential knowledge skills and attitudes which medical students must have in this area of undergraduate training by the time they graduate. On completion of the module, the student doctor will have an on-going working knowledge of;
1. Medico-legal matters pertinent to present day and future medical practice, including the legal and ethical obligations of registered medical practitioners.
2. The relationship between the practice of medicine and human rights law.
3. An understanding of the intrinsic relation of medicine, ethics, law and professionalism.
4. The various statutes, possible reforms of the law in relation to medical practice and relevant cases from the courts and European Union laws.
5. An understanding of death certification, thanatology and forensic pathology to include changes found after death, the doctor's role at the scene of death, and the findings in suspicious deaths.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Students will complete two mini-quizzes in the form of continuous assessment MCQs at two points during the module. The mini-quizzes are worth 30% of the module’s final grade. These mini-quizzes will allow students to test their knowledge in the form of an open book examination where a grade of 100% on each quiz must be obtained. Students are encouraged to test their learning and understanding of each question until they achieve the right answer. These mini-quizzes will help students prepare for the end of module MCQ (which is worth 70% of the module’s grade).

The end of module one hour MCQ (also open book) will test student knowledge in the form of single best answer. A single question or case scenario will be posed with five alternate answers, from which students must choose the best answer. Therefore, it will be in all student’s best interests to take their time at the mini quizzes and gain a comprehensive understanding of the module’s content as it progresses throughout the trimester. While this is an open book exam, the questions are detailed, and student knowledge will be paramount. In one hour, there is not a lot of time to go searching for answers if the core knowledge is absent to begin with.

In this module, the end of module MCQ will be graded in accordance with the MCQ gradescale that is made freely available and published on the module’s Brightspace page. All MCQs for this subject are designed to test knowledge and competency so that the student doctor is deemed to have acquired both the necessary basic legal and ethical requirements to work in a hospital environment.

Lastly, students are expected to make themselves available for the mini quizzes and final MCQ at the specified times. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Clincal 1

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Forensic & Legal Medicine (MDSA40130)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Class Test: Open book mini quiz MCQ 100% (A+) required. Unspecified n/a Other No


Class Test: open book mini quiz MCQ. 100%( A+) grade required. Unspecified n/a Other No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: End module MCQ 1 hr based on medico-legal, ethical, and forensic questions. 1 hour End of Trimester Exam n/a Other No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 1 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

From the start of the module, students are provided with detailed grading rubric which sets out the standards they must work towards to achieve the grade. All gradescales are also provided in advance. When students get their grades, they will be able to match their grade to all key competency areas.