Postgraduate study in Global Ethics

Students at a laptop in a cafe

Studying global ethics gives students the opportunity to explore the leading ethical issues of our time in a dynamic and reflective way. Students can choose one of the many possible options, all of which provide the analytical tools and practical knowledge necessary to address key ethical dilemmas in depth.

What can I study?

In order to allow students from many backgrounds, and with different needs, to study global ethics, we offer qualifications at various levels and with flexible modes of study. For example, the degrees are suitable for those contemplating a career with a non-governmental organisation (NGO) or development organisation, those working in public and private organisations who wish to develop their careers, and those who wish to work in research, both academic and professional.

Taught courses

The Masters course in Global ethics was the first of its kind in the UK. It was designed around the central conviction of the centre according to which ''theory without practice is impotent and practice without theory is blind". The course introduces those without a theoretical background to the theories of ethics and human rights and then explores the applications of these. Those with theoretical backgrounds will learn how to connect theory to real work practice. The course aims to bring together those intending to proceed to research with those who wish to work in policy and NGOs. It also encourages mature students to take a career break and bring their experience to enrich the course.

The types of question you will explore while doing a Masters in Global Ethics include:

  • Do Values belong to different cultures or are they universal?
  • Is development a form of Imperialism?
  • Do we have the same duties to all globally - or more/different duties to those close to us?
  • Do people have a right to sell their organs?
  • Can torture be justified?
  • Can 'terrorism' ever be just war?
  • Is there a right to health and what does that mean?
  • Is abortion a basic right?

For more information about our PGT courses, see Global Ethics MSc/Diploma/Certificate and International Law, Ethics, and Politics MA (a joint course with Law School). We are also in the process of starting another new joint MA course with Law School. This programme will be called Health, Bioethics, and Law and it will begin in September 2013 (more details to follow).

The College of Arts and Law's Graduate School offers four scholarships each year for Global Ethics and Philosophy Masters-level students. These scholarships are fees-only awards for Home students. You can find more information about these scholarships and how to apply for them from the CAL Graduate School's funding pages

Doctoral research

Herjeet Marway "The Global Ethics course allows space to grapple some of the most pressing global problems in the modern world in a robust philosophical way. I found the combined applied and theoretical approach particularly useful and illuminating, and most suited to my interests in global justice and moral and political philosophy more broadly. It was an excellent experience that led me to continue onto a PhD (in women, violence, and autonomy focusing on female suicide bombers) in the department"