Ethics and Public Policy

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
06 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA LV21 Modern History and Politics,
BA LV22 Modern History and Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA LV28 Modern History and Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA LV2C Modern History and Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BA LV25 Philosophy and Politics,
BA LV26 Philosophy and Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA LV2H Philosophy and Politics (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA LV2M Philosophy and Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BA LV8M Philosophy and Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA 0A56 Political Theory and Public Policy (Including Year Abroad),
BA 7L29 Political Theory and Public Policy,
BA 7L30 Political Theory and Public Policy (Including Placement Year),
BA L219 Politics with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA L2M9 Politics with Human Rights,
BA LFM9 Politics with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL23 Sociology and Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL24 Sociology and Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA LL32 Sociology and Politics,
BA P580 Journalism and Politics,
BA P581 Journalism and Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA P582 Journalism and Politics (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

Should murderers be executed? Should cocaine and heroin be legalized? Is torture ever morally justified? Is abortion morally wrong? Should pornography be banned? Should prostitution be legal? Are laws permitting the slaughter of animals unjust? This module assesses these and other questions in an intellectual search for the moral principles that ought to govern public policy.

Module aims

To introduce you to, and to stimulate your interest in, the study of ethics and public policy.
To equip you with an understanding of the relevance of theoretical debates about ethics to public policy controversies.
To encourage you to question your own beliefs about what ethical public policy requires.

Module learning outcomes

To understand the nature of ethical argumentation and its value to the study of politics.
To engage in clear verbal and written normative argumentation. You will acquire a greater confidence and ability to express your ethical beliefs.
To scrutinise arguments made by politicians and other prominent figures in the media about ethics and public policy.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The module will feature an hour of lecture per week and an hour of class per week. The lecture will be largely interactive, so students should come having done the readings and prepared to participate.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Essay 1 18/02/2020 50%
Coursework Essay 2 24/03/2020 50%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr James Christensen
Module Supervisor: Dr Christensen, james.christensen@essex.ac.uk Module Administrator: Lewis Olley govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Arzu Kibris
Associate Professor
Available via Moodle
Of 73 hours, 55 (75.3%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
18 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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