Module Catalogue 2018/19

HSS1002 : Philosophy and Ethics

  • Offered for Year: 2018/19
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ian Ground
  • Owning School: Philosophical Studies & Combined Honours
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

Available to Study Abroad students only.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



•       To introduce students to the philosophical study of ethical values and conduct
•       To outline major theoretical perspectives in moral philosophy
•       To develop students’ ability to analyse and evaluate the relevance of these perspectives to current ethical debates

Where do our moral values come from? How should we behave toward one another? In this module we will examine some answers to these questions and assess their significance for current ethical debates over issues such as euthanasia, stem cell research, punishment and the environment. We will consider the role of reason, religious beliefs, emotion and story-telling in forming and justifying moral beliefs and practices, and critically reflect on the implications of these for private and public morality. Major philosophers of the Western tradition such as Kant, Hume and Mill will be introduced along with material from postmodern and feminist writers.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Assessing values and conduct
•       Reason and the Soul
•       Duties and Rights
•       Utility and Liberty
•       Reason and Sentiment
•       Foundations and Narratives
•       Justice and Care

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

As a result of the module students will have

•       been introduced to ethics as a field of philosophical study
•       gained an understanding of the major perspectives in moral philosophy

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students will have gained

•       skills in rigorously analysing and critically evaluating key ethical concepts
•       the ability to examine current ethical issues in the light of alternative theoretical perspectives

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Present
    • Data Synthesis : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Assessed
  • Self Management
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
      • Decision Making : Assessed
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Initiative : Assessed
      • Independence : Assessed
      • Problem Solving : Assessed
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Relationship Building : Present
      • Negotiation : Present
  • Application
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study182:0082:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will present information and provide students with guidelines on further reading and exercises to prepare for seminars. Seminars will provide students with an opportunity to apply information from lectures and reading to specific topics and develop skills in analysis and rational discussion.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1001500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of moral philosophy and skills in presenting and analysing its application to ethical issues


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2018/19 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2018/19 entry will be published here in early-April 2018. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.