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Global Ethics & Human Values MA

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Our Global Ethics and Human Values MA is the most wide-ranging and philosophical course in its field, allowing you to study the most pressing ethical issues of our time, from globalisation and climate change to war, terrorism, poverty, inequality, justice and human rights.

Key benefits

  • A wide-ranging programme covering challenging contemporary philosophical topics and urgent ethical issues.

  • Taught by distinguished academic staff whose areas of expertise include a very wide range of topics in ethics and political philosophy.

  • Based in the heart of London, close to the Houses of Parliament, the Royal Courts of Justice, multinational corporate headquarters and international NGOs.

  • Open to students from law, the humanities and social sciences as well as those with relevant work experience.

  • Generous scholarships are available to support the brightest and best students.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake 17 (FT)

Course leaders Dr Alan Coffee

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, King’s College London Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty The Dickson Poon School of Law



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Course detail


Our Global Ethics & Human Values course will encourage and develop your thinking about the complex theoretical and practical issues confronting the world and equip you with the analytical skills to address those issues with philosophical rigour. It draws extensively on branches of philosophy, politics and international relations and will introduce you to a wide range of ideas, concepts and problems within those areas.

You will examine theoretical perspectives within ethics, such as deontology, consequentialism and virtue and explore how these perspectives can be used to understand important and emotive issues such as religious and political conflict, nationalism, abortion and sexual perversion. You will also study the works and insights of major political philosophers to consider how concepts such as liberty or equality have been interpreted to shape the world we live in.

Our course is equally suited for students with a background in philosophy, politics, economics, history or social sciences, or those already working in government, international aid or NGOs, or in corporate social responsibility in the commercial sector.

You will study three required modules and choose three optional modules. In the first semester, you will be exposed to a range of philosophical approaches within epistemology, ethics and political philosophy, which will be applied to relevant topics in a globalising world. In the second semester, you will be asked to apply the philosophical techniques and conceptual frameworks of the first semester to various global issues, ranging from terrorism to environmental concerns, human rights, world poverty and international justice.

In the final months of the course, you will choose a global issue of special interest to you and research it to write a 12,000-15,000-word dissertation.

Course format and assessment

All modules are run as seminars, with a mixture of formal presentation by the instructor and active discussion among members of the seminar. Instructors are also available outside of seminars, and during the dissertation phase students will have personal guidance from a specific instructor.

Full time

There will be 6-8 hours of lectures, seminars and feedback per week. Students are expected to spend 32-34 hours per week engaed in self-study.

Part time

There will be 4-6 hours of lectures, seminars and feedback per week. Students are expected to spend 14-16 hours per week engaged in self-study.


The three required modules are assessed together by one three-hour exam and optional modules are assessed by a 3,000 word essay. The exception is the Internship module for which candidates are assessed by a proposal, a short journal and a 4,000 word project.


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. You will normally take modules totalling 180 credits.
Required Modules
You are required to take the following modules:
  • Ethics (20 credits)
  • Contemporary Political Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Ideological Conflict, Belief and Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Dissertation – Global Ethics and Human Values (60 credits)
Optional Modules

In addition, you are required to take 60 credits from a range of optional modules, which may typically include: 

  • Citizenship and Corporate Responsibility (20 credits) 

  • Ethics of Culture (20 credits) 

  • International Justice & Human Rights (20 credits) 

  • Topics in Global Ethics (20 credits) 

Part-time students are advised to take 80 credits in the first year and 100 credits (which includes the 60 credit dissertation) in the second year of their course of studies.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Global Ethics & Human Values Entry requirements
Minimum requirements  2:1

2:1 bachelors degree in a relevant discipline such as philosophy, politics, law, economics, history, or social science. Relevant professional qualification and experience will also be considered.

In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal apply.kcl.ac.uk and a non-refundable application fee of £70 applies.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Global Ethics checklist
Personal statement Yes

A personal statement is required. This can be entered directly into the online application form (maximum 4,000 characters) or uploaded as an attachment to the online application form (maximum 2 pages).

Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes One academic reference is required. A professional reference will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our first application deadline is the 31 March 2020. After this date, applications will remain open if places are available, but programmes will be closed as soon as they are full. For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 31July 2020 or from UK/EU nationals after 28 August 2020.

Please note you will not be eligible for an application fee refund if you apply after the first application deadline and places are filled before the final deadlines above and we are unable to process more offers.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home/EU fees: £9,990 per year (2020/21)
  • Full time overseas fees: £22,350 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time Home/EU fees: £4,995 per year (2020/21)
  • Part time overseas fees: £11,175 per year (2020/21)

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2021/22.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer before 1 June 2020, payment is due by 30 June 2020.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2020, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer between 1 July 2020 and 31 July 2020, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer on or after 1 August 2020, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

  • If you receive an offer in late August, payment is due within 2 days of receiving the offer.

    If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to the costs above, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Our course has broadened students’ awareness of global issues. Many of our graduates have gone on to do research degrees and work for governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Career destinations


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download our guide in PDF format or order a copy.

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