Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics

Course MC-ARTPAE (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Year and Campus: 2014 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 200 credit points taken over 24 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Associate Professor Christopher Cordner



Office of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts


Course Overview:

This program is offered by the Centre in Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE) and is available through the philosophy discipline in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies 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 program 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.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete the Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics should:

  • 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:

200 point program

Duration: 2 years full-time / up to 4 years part-time

The Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics 200 point program requires:

  • four core subjects (50 points)
  • PHIL90017 Longer Applied Ethics Thesis (50 points)
  • eight electives, including 25 point Internship option (100 points)

Please note: the thesis requires two consecutive semesters of enrolment.

100 point program

Duration: 1 year full-time / up to 2 years part-time

The Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics 100 point program requires:

  • two core subjects (25 points)
  • two electives (25 points)
  • PHIL90017 Longer Applied Ethics Thesis (50 points)

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.

Entry Requirements:

The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant’s ability to pursue successfully the course using the following criteria:

200 Point program:

An undergraduate degree (equivalent to an Australian undergraduate degree) or equivalent, with at least H2B (70%) average.

100 Point program:

An honours degree (equivalent to a four year Australian Honours Degree) or equivalent, in a cognate discipline, with at least H2B (70%) average;


An undergraduate degree (equivalent to an Australian undergraduate degree) or equivalent, in a cognate discipline, with at least H2B (70%) average, and at least 2 years of documented, relevant work experience or equivalent.

Documented evidence of relevant professional experience: Applicants seeking admission on the basis of 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.

The Selection Committee may conduct interviews or tests and may call for referee reports and employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

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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