Ethical Theory and Practice

Subject PHIL90004 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

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. The first class will meet on Saturday 15 March 2015.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Admission into the Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics or MC-EMA Executive master of Arts or 344AB Master of Public Policy and Management or ANZSOG Executive Master of Public Administration or another Masters by Coursework programme at the University of Melbourne with coordinator approval.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request 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:


Assoc Prof Christopher Cordner


Associate Professor Christopher Cordner

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to a range of concepts and ideas that have been central in philosophical thinking about ethics, and also explores ways in which these ideas inform everyday thinking and practice. Historically important approaches to ethics will include those of Plato, Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill. As well as reflection on some contemporary writing in philosophical ethics and moral psychology, the subject will also involve critical reflection on various specific issues of contemporary ethical importance in society.

This class meets on 5 Saturdays during semester, the exact dates to be determined in the first meeting.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • appreciate the issues raised by a range of ethical dilemmas in professional and applied ethics
  • have developed their capacity to think clearly, imaginatively and critically about these issues
  • have an understanding of some of the key literature on ethical issues in the area of applied and professional ethics
  • be able to bring to bear the thinking they have done in this subject on their own professional and personal lives

A 1500 word assignment, 30% (due during the semester) and a 3500 word essay, 70% (due at the end of the semester)

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to pass this subject. Regular participation in class is required. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised in accordance with Faculty policy. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available online.

Recommended Texts:

Alexandra, A., and Miller, S., Ethics in Practice UNSW Press (2009).

Coady M., and Bloch S., Codes of Ethics and the Professions, Melbourne: MUP (1996).

Cocking D and Oakley J., Virtue Ethics and Professional Roles. Cambridge Uniuversity Press (2001).

Raimond Gaita, A common Humanity (Melbourne Text Publishing, 1999).

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

This class meets on 5 Saturdays during semester, the exact dates to be determined in the first meeting.

Related Course(s): Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)
Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Ethics
Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Ethics
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics
100 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
150 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
200 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
200 points Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics
Professional Ethics
Professional Ethics

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