Languages for All
Short Courses
Your basket
Your account

Applied Ethics (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

Mondays from 15th January 2024 (Code PH091-207) Mondays from
15th January 2024 2:10pm - 4:00pm • (10 classes)
B1.08 Outreach Centre, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Elizabeth Drummond Young MA MSc PhD
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

A study of a range of moral issues of topical concern – from terrorism to world poverty. We will examine current philosophical thinking on these issues, and its implication for public policy choices.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

The course is intended to be suitable both for newcomers to the subject and those who have some prior experience of philosophical study.

Content of Course

1. Abortion

2. Euthanasia

3. Equality and Affirmative Action

4. Environmental Ethics

5. Animals and Non-Humans

6. Business Ethics

7. AI and technology

8. War

9. Punishment and Torture

10. World Poverty

Teaching method(s)

Readings from the set text will be prescribed in advance of each class; these will be optional for non-credit students, and mandatory for credit students. Questions for students to consider will be made available, and tutorials will consist principally in discussion of students’ and the tutor’s responses to these questions.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Read and critically evaluate a philosopher’s argument;

  • Explain the central elements in a range of philosophical positions in applied ethics;

  • Identify the wider philosophical and socio-political significance of these positions.


Core Readings


  • Frey, R.G. and Wellman, C.H. eds., 2005. A Companion to Applied Ethics. Oxford: Blackwell.

Class Handouts

Handouts will be made available on a weekly basis.


10 credit courses have one assessment. Normally, the assessment is a 2000 word essay, worth 100% of the total mark, submitted by week 12. To pass, students must achieve a minimum of 40%. There are a small number of exceptions to this model which are identified in the Studying for Credit Guide.

Studying for Credit

If you choose to study for credit you will need to allocate significant time outwith classes for coursework and assessment preparation. Credit points gained from this course can count towards the Certificate of Higher Education.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.