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Ethics & Public Policy - PEP00005H

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  • Department: Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Gabriele Badano
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This module examines the relationship between ethics and public policy. In particular, it investigates the ethical dimensions of a number of public policy debates.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

Many issues of public policy have a critical ethical dimension. Consider, for example, whether euthanasia ought to be legal, or how scarce medical resources should be distributed. In this module the philosophical and political elements of public policy are examined not merely with respect to what these disciplines can bring to decision about policy, but also as a means to consider the disciplines themselves. Indicative topics include abortion, animal rights, artificial intelligence, corruption, drug policy, health and disability, immigration, global justice, and punishment.

Module learning outcomes

  • To explore the selected key areas of mutual concern to scholars of philosophy and politics. Within these areas, to compare the analytical methods and assumptions of the two disciplines.
  • To develop critical and argumentative skills through seminar discussion and analysis of philosophical texts.
  • To build confidence in approaching political questions from a philosophical point of view.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutors' feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 20 working days after submission; students will have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Preliminary Reading: Jonathan Wolff, Ethics and Public Policy, Routledge 2011

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.