100 Point Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)

Major/Minor/Specialisation !MC-ARTPAE-SPC+1001 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Year and Campus: 2016


Associate Professor Christopher Cordner

Email: ccordner@unimelb.edu.au


Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Currently enrolled students:

Future students:


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, as well as the ever-present potential for injustice and disregard for individual human beings that lies within the bureaucratic and hierarchical structures of institutions, all raise distinctive and pressing issues of practice and policy. Finding ethically good and and practical ways of responding to these issues requires a thorough understanding of both the ethical and the empirical aspects of the situation.

Completion of this program will help graduates to be more aware of the ethical dimensions of all the issues they encounter in their professional lives, and also to be able to reflect 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 (Professional and Applied Ethics) should:

  • better appreciate the ethical dimensions of all they do in their professional lives;

  • 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; and

  • see ways in which an argument or explanation could be improved.

Structure & Available Subjects:

100 point program

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

  • two core subjects (25 points)
  • PHIL90031 Applied Ethics Thesis (50 points)
  • elective subjects (25 points)

Capstone Requirement:

All students are required to complete the Capstone Requirement for the program. Students must complete the following capstone -

Capstone: PHIL90031 Applied Ethics Thesis (50 points)

Purpose: To conceptualise, plan and execute a substantial, independent, research-based project in the form of a minor thesis in applied or professional ethics, demonstrating high level skills in interdisciplinary and comparative research, analysis and critique, underpinned by a thorough understanding of academic protocol and presentation.

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:

Core Subjects

2 core subjects (25 points)

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Thesis Subject

PHIL90031 Applied Ethics Thesis (50 points)

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

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2

Elective Subjects

25 points

Please note: the program coordinator may give permission for graduate subjects other than those listed as elective subjects, provided that:

  • the subject/s is at an appropriate level;
  • they are relevant to the program; and
  • permission to enrol has been given by the program/subject coordinator
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Not offered in 2016
Semester 1
Semester 2
Links to further information: http://shaps.unimelb.edu.au/
Related Course(s): Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)

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