Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)

Course 102EU (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Year and Campus: 2011 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 053352D
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.
Course Overview:

This course is offered by the ARC Special Research Centre in Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE) and the Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics) and is available through the School of Philosophy, Anthropology and Social Inquiry in the Faculty of Arts.

Organisational change, political change, wars, globalisation, new technologies and practices, corporate collapses, corruption, scandals in the health and research sectors, environmental disasters, conflicts of interest, all raise distinctive and pressing issues of policy and practice. Finding practical and ethically sustainable solutions requires a thorough understanding of both the ethical and the empirical aspects of the situation.

Completion of this course will equip graduates to conduct research on and analyse key ethical concepts and arguments in their field of specialisation, enabling them to contribute to policy discussion and development in a wide range of professional, institutional and industry settings. There is scope for students to follow their own interests, with a substantial thesis component and specialisations such as the ethics of health care, computing, business, politics and criminal justice; as well as the broad themes of bioethics and global justice.


Students who have completed this program will be able to:

  • 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.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:
  • two compulsory subjects

  • one of the following options:


  • A thesis (37.5 points)

  • 3 elective subjects



  • A thesis (50 points) and

  • 2 elective subjects

Total 100 points. Subjects are 12.5 points each unless otherwise stated.

For policies that govern this degree, see Academic Services Policy in the University Melbourne Policy Framework. Students also should also refer to information in the Student Policy Directory.

Subject Options:

Compulsory subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011

Thesis subject (one of):

Note: the thesis requires two consecutive semesters of enrolment.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2011

Elective subjects available at the University of Melbourne:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Not offered in 2011
Not offered in 2011
Not offered in 2011
Not offered in 2011

Elective subjects available from Australian National University (ANU)*:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
*Students wishing to take subjects offered by ANU are required to enrol on a Complementary Course basis. Please contact the Graduate School of Humanities & Social Sciences for more information.
Entry Requirements:

The minimum entry requirement is:

• a four year Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant area of study with at least H2B (70%) average; or
• an undergraduate degree or equivalent in a relevant area of study with at least H2B (70%) average and two years of documented relevant professional experience.

Documented evidence of relevant professional experience:

Applicants seeking admission on the basis of an undergraduate degree and two years professional experience must provide the following documentation in support of their application:
• brief curriculum vitae, detailing work experience;
• contact details of two referees ;
• a covering letter outlining the applicants professional background and how this prepares them to successfully undertake the program.

In some cases, an interview and/or two reference letters from employers/managers detailing the period of employment and areas of responsibility, and/or evidence of written work or reports undertaken during the period of employment may be requested.

Admission process

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 course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills 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:

Further Study: Students who complete the thesis may be eligible to enter the PhD.
Graduate Attributes:
Links to further information:

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