PHIL20240 Applied Ethics

Academic Year 2022/2023

Syllabus: Applied Ethics 20240

This course will examine a range of perennial and contemporary ethical problems facing us individually and collectively. One of the most fundamental ethical questions we can ask is what do we owe each other? What do we owe those suffering hunger, poverty and injustice? Do we have a duty to open our borders to those seeking a better life? What do we owe future generations? Do they matter to the extent that we ought to radically alter how we live and consume natural resources?

While these questions have been around for a long time there are newer issues impacting us today that we will go on to explore. What kind of ethical considerations do we owe each other in our daily digital interactions and entertainment? Is it acceptable to turn private images into a commodity to be used and consumed by others? Is it acceptable to upload explicit pornographic material into the public domain? If privacy is something we consider important and valuable in our lives then does the growth of Big Data pose any ethical concerns for us? These are just some of the questions that we will be exploring during this course when we think about what we owe each other.

It seems obvious that we owe each other, and perhaps even future generations, some sort of moral consideration, but just how far does our ethical concern stretch? A key activity of this course is to examine this issue and look at where our moral consideration ends. So we will ask whether we only have duties to human beings or whether we owe other animals special consideration also. But if we owe animals special consideration, then what about other living things? What about ecosystems or rivers or mountains, do we owe them anything? If we think we do owe them consideration directly then the implication is that if we want to live an ethical life then we may have to fairly radically change how we live.

Topics for 2022 are as follows:

1. World hunger and international justice
2. Ethical issues posed by immigration
3. Doing ethics: an introduction to moral theory
4. The moral status of animals
5. Environmental ethics
6. Our digital lives: privacy, trust and big data
7. Pornography and freedom of expression

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this module students will have gained a good understanding of the range and depth of practical ethical problems facing us today. A general aim of this module is to teach students to approach difficult and often emotive topics in a structured and analytical manner focusing on the critical assessment of arguments.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module will comprise lectures and small-group tutorials 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: First essay of 1500 words Week 6 n/a Graded No


Essay: Second essay of 1500 words Week 9 n/a Graded No


Examination: At-home online exam on whole module 2 hour End of Trimester Exam Yes Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given on each of the essays

Name Role
Ms Karina Halley Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Andrew Doyle Tutor
Mr Benjamin Modarres Tutor
Ms Aisling Phipps Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Fri 10:00 - 11:50
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31 Thurs 11:00 - 11:50
Tutorial Offering 2 Week(s) - 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31 Thurs 15:00 - 15:50
Tutorial Offering 5 Week(s) - 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31 Thurs 10:00 - 10:50
Tutorial Offering 6 Week(s) - 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31 Wed 14:00 - 14:50
Tutorial Offering 7 Week(s) - 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31 Wed 13:00 - 13:50