PHIL90015 Issues in Professional & Applied Ethics

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Commencement Date & Location:
2014, Parkville
This subject commences in the following study period/s:
Semester 1 - Taught on campus.

Saturday seminars

Timetable can be viewed by searching for this subject at http://sws.unimelb.edu.au or by viewing the timetable 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.


Admission into 102EU Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics or MC-EMA Executive master of Arts or 344AB Master of Public Policy and Management or Masters by Coursework programme at the University of Melbourne with coordinator approval. Exceptions may be made for students at honours level, who may enrol with the approval of both their discipline coordinator and the subject coordinator.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


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: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Assoc Prof Christopher Cordner


A/Prof Chris Cordner


Subject Overview:

This subject 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, climate change, treatment of animals 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 developing coherent position on the controversies discussed.

Learning Outcomes:

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.

Written work totalling 5000 words; comprising a class presentation equivalent to 1500 words and a 3500 word esssy (due at the end of semester).

Hurdle Requirement: The class presentation must be of a satisfactory standard in order to pass this subject. 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 at 2% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed 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: http://philosophy.unimelb.edu.au/
Related Course(s): Master of Arts in 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
200 points Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics
Tailored Specialisation
Tailored Specialisation

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