Ethics & Public Policy - PEP00005H

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  • Department: Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Josh Milburn
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

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 cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20

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, drug policy, health and disability, immigration, and global justice.

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.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Coursework
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

Students have the opportunity to submit (optional) formative work by the end of week 7.

To best prepare you for your summative essay, this formative work should consist of a draft excerpt of up to 500 words that presents a central argument or objection that you plan to make in your essay. (No background details needed here, instead imagine that you are just pulling out the most important paragraph or two from your final paper.  These should be the paragraphs where you make your most original critical contribution -- the point that could earn your paper a 'First' or a high 2:1, depending on your ambitions.)

Submit it via email to the lecturer whose topic it is that you are writing on.

Students will receive feedback on their essay excerpt in writing and/or in person.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Coursework
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 six weeks after submission; student 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.