Are you looking to explore Global Justice topics such as international trade, climate change, war and violence and terrorism and apply ethical theories to these areas?
This flexible programme offers a range of modules in the field of ethics, in addition to the opportunity to participate in a research seminar or undertake a placement with an NGO or the equivalent. The programme is designed to accommodate those wishing to study part-time around other commitments. It is equally suitable for recent graduates or post-experience students, for those wishing to go on to further research in one or more of the topics, or for those with a personal interest in the field of global ethics.
The programme allows for multi-disciplinary entry. You need an upper second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in Philosophy or another relevant subject (e.g. Theology, Sociology) or a Joint Honours degree of which Philosophy or another relevant subject is a component.
For international students:
Academic requirements: We accept a range of qualifications
English language requirements: You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
by holding an English language qualification to the right level
by taking and successfully completing one of our English courses for international students
You will study three core modules:
Global Ethics I: This module aims to introduce you to key concepts and debates in global ethics. First, we will explore several prominent traditions in ethical theory; next, we will apply these normative ethical theories to concrete ethical questions. In investigating these theories and applications, you will be encouraged to question your presumptions about the nature of ethics and moral values. The module also develops critical reasoning and argumentative skills through philosophical discussion and writing. The theoretical tools of analysis and argument can be applied in all aspects of global ethics.
Global Ethics II: This module develops your understanding of key global ethical issues, in particular human rights, poverty, distributive justice, cosmopolitan democracy, governance and humanitarian intervention.
Research Skills and Methods: This module is an introduction to the methods of contemporary philosophy. It identifies key philosophical reasoning tools and styles of argument, providing opportunity to apply these to classical philosophical debates. It also highlights the great variety of philosophical theorising on offer by contrasting so-called ´armchair´ and empirically-informed philosophy, as well as theoretical and applied philosophy. Throughout there will be an emphasis on honing essential practical skills, namely reading and writing philosophy at postgraduate level. This module will also be useful as a basic refresher course for those who have studied some philosophy already. The sessions are taught by a member of the Department of Philosophy, focusing on discipline-specific topics.
Your remaining three modules are optional, and can be chosen from within the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion. Modules available include:
Bioethics: Global Bioethics introduces you to some key issues, including some concerned with genetics, reproductive technologies, commodification, and research in the developing world. Bioethical dilemmas, whether they arise from scientific and technological developments or from the research practices of pharmaceutical companies, raise questions which cannot be effectively addressed at national or regional levels, and which therefore s offer ethical insights into issues of global injustice.
Global Ethics Placement: You will undertake a placement in an organisation of your choice, such as a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) or policy-making organisation. This module allows you to explore the practice of global ethics. Previous students have enjoyed placements with Oxfam, development NGOs in Tanzania and UK-based Human Rights and activist organisations.
God, Freedom and the Meaning of Life: The module provides an introduction to a number of philosophical issues that have a relevance to the philosophy of religion, such as: Are there sound arguments for/against the existence of God? Is freedom compatible with God´s foreknowledge? Why is there something rather than nothing? Is life meaningless without God? Can there be morality without God?
Human Rights: This module introduces you to the contemporary philosophical debates about human rights. It focuses more on human rights understood as moral rights, rather than as legal rights written in international law. We will begin from the very basic question of what human rights are. We will also consider questions such as ‘What kind of human rights are there?’, ‘Which beings can have human rights?’, ´Are human rights inalienable?´, and ‘What happens when human rights conflict?’. The first half of the module focuses on exploring different philosophical justifications for human rights; we will cover justifications based on the dignity of human agency, international politics, and human flourishing. The second half of the module will focus on philosophical debates about the nature of specific human rights - looking first at some general rights, for autonomy, liberty and wellbeing, and then at more concrete rights to life and privacy. We will also consider objections to human rights based on relativist and utilitarian views in ethics.
Philosophy of Health and Happiness: The module will examine debates at the forefront of current research in the philosophy of health and happiness. You will explore conceptual problems (e.g. what ‘health’ and ‘disease’ are) and question contemporary lifestyle issues (for instance, regarding how health, happiness and meaning relate, as well as whether there is a correlation between income and life satisfaction). You will also be asked to consider how technological advances (such as those in genetics) are changing these understandings.
Philosophy of Mental Health: The module provides an overview of contemporary debates in philosophy psychiatry and Mental Health. In each seminar a new issue will be investigated, but there will be three interrelated threads throughout the module. One is about the nature of psychiatry. The second is about the sense in which psychiatric disorders are disorders of the self. The third is about how we should respond to people with psychiatric disorders, considered from a wide range of perspectives, including interpersonal, clinical, ethical, legal and public health policy These themes will be addressed by reference to different aspects of psychiatry (classification, diagnosis, aetiology, research, treatment, etc.) and different psychiatric disorders (addiction, anorexia, dementia, dissociation, schizophrenia, personality disorders, psychopathy, etc.) and different disciplinary frameworks. The module will also have a practical element involving structured, outcome-focussed deliberation about difficult cases highlighting these threads and their interrelations.
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by the employability skills training offered through the College of Arts and Law Graduate School. The University also offers a wide range of activities and services to give our students the edge in the job market, including: career planning designed to meet the needs of postgraduates; opportunities to meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs, employer presentations and skills workshops; individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.
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