Module VPR-2202:
Applied Ethics

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Joshua Andrews

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of the module is to examine the relevance of ethics to debates concerning controversial issues in contemporary society. This will be done in relation to some of the following issues: responsibility for alleviating world poverty; responsible care for the environment; problems relating to euthanasia; the issue of abortion and women’s rights; and the justification for war. The purpose will be to enable students to view various sides of the argument in each case and come to their own considered conclusions.

Course content

The module will begin with a brief outline of the various ethical challenges which face contemporary society. It will then consider the following issues: (a) world poverty (is it the responsibility of individuals or governments or both to alleviate world poverty?); (b) the arguments justifying an environmental ethic; ethical considerations to be considered in the case of voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia; the issue of abortion and the notion of reverence for human life; war and peace (the just war theory; ethics and nuclear weapons etc).

Assessment Criteria

threshold

D- - D +. Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows:

 Generally accurate but with omissions and errors.  Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.  Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions.  Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.

good

Good C- - C +. Submitted work is competent throughout and occasionally distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates:  Good structure and logically developed arguments.  At least in parts draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.  Assertions are, in the main, backed by evidence and sound reasoning.  Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

Very Good B- - B+. Submitted work is competent throughout and distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates:  Very good structure and logically developed arguments.  Draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.  Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.  Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

excellent

A - - A*. Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways:  Has originality of exposition with the student’s own thinking being readily apparent.  Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study.  Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.

Learning outcomes

  1. engage critically with arguments and counter-arguments relating to issues of contemporary moral concern

  2. present coherent arguments, with supporting evidence, in essays, examinations and seminars

  3. demonstrate a grasp of basic study skills, including the ability to read critically and display an acceptable degree of competence in written assignments

  4. show an awareness of the complexity and ambiguity involved in presenting moral arguments relating to issues of contemporary concern

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Essay 50
CASE STUDY Case Study 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

Lectures: two hours a week for 9 weeks

Seminars: two hours a week for 2 weeks

12
Seminar 12
Private study 176

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Courses including this module