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Level 5

5AANB015 Topics in Applied Ethics and Politics


Credit value: 15
Module Tutor: Dr Mirjam Müller


  • Summative assessment: 1 x 2,500 word essay (100%)
  • Formative assessment: 1 x 2,000 word essay


  • Summative assessment: 2 x 2,000 word essays (50% each)
  • Formative assessment: 1 x 2,000 word essay

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Teaching pattern: one one-hour weekly lecture and one one-hour weekly seminar over ten weeks.
Pre-requisites: none

 A typical selection of problems would include: freedom of expression and hate speech; the justification of punishment, and capital punishment in particular; the permissibility of physician assisted suicide; the right to privacy; the criminalization of drug use; the right to bear arms; the permissibility of torture.

Students completing the module will have studied a range of contemporary philosophical texts, and will have an enhanced ability to support and challenge views and positions, by constructing arguments and by citing relevant sources.  They will also be able to expound their own philosophical views, and defend them in the light reasonable criticism.

Further information

Module aims

This module aims to promote an informed and thoughtful critical response to some pressing problems of contemporary applied ethics and politics.  

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills appropriate to a Level 5 module, and in particular will be able to demonstrate an advanced ability to:

  • analyse texts and arguments;
  • summarize and present arguments;
  • research, plan and present essays to specified deadlines.

Core reading

  • Ethics in Practice, 4th edition ed. Hugh LaFollette (Wiley Blackwell 2014)
  • Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics, 2nd edition, ed. Andrew I. Cohen and Christopher Heath Wellman (Wiley Blackwell 2014)

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The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

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