Issues in Professional & Applied Ethics

Subject PHIL90015 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Saturday seminars

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Five 4 or 5 hour seminars held on Saturdays at regular intervals throughout the semester, 24 hours in all.
Total Time Commitment: An average of 10 hours each week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the MA in Professional and Applied Ethics, or by permission of the course co-ordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Knowledge gained in a 3 year undergraduate degree or equivalent.
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :


Mr Andrew Alexandra


Andrew Alexandra

Subject Overview:

This course will examine some of the central debates in applied ethics. Topics discussed may include ethical issues associated with intellectual property, self-regulation and meta-regulation, social responsibility of the professionals, defamation, racial vilification, problems raised by new developments in biotechnology, treatment of asylum seekers and suspected terrorists and the ethics of war and military intervention. The course will also introduce students to normative ethical theories as an aid to the developing coherent position on the controversies discussed.


Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • have developed an understanding of the fundamentals of philosophical argumentation and theory.
  • be able to demonstrate a substantial knowledge of one or more areas in the study of professional and applied ethics.
  • understand the theoretical sources of the key concepts in these areas of study.
  • understand the application of these concepts to their professional field or study area.
  • have developed research and analysis skills to enable further study in the area of applied ethics at a higher academic level.
  • present theories and arguments concisely and critically.
Assessment: A 1500 word essay 30% (due at the end of the fifth week of the semester) and a 3500 word essay 70% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts:

A booklet of prescribed readings will be issued to students.

Recommended Texts:

A booklet of prescribed readings will be issued to students.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • understand and analyse complex ethical issues.
  • detect ambiguity, vagueness, inconsistency, and other weaknesses in the expressions of ideas.
  • distinguish different types of question, claim or argument, and respond to them appropriately.
  • distinguish what is relevant to a given issue from what is not.
  • see ways in which an argument or explanation could be improved.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)
Master of Arts (Science, Communication and Society)
Master of Environment
Master of Environment
Master of International Business
Master of International Business
Master of Public Policy and Management (Coursework)
Postgraduate Certificate in Environment
Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Ethics
Postgraduate Diploma in Environment
Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Ethics

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