You will take three core modules:
This module introduces you to the contemporary philosophical debates about human rights. It focuses more on human rights understood as moral rights, rather than as legal rights written in international law. We will begin from the very basic question of what human rights are. We will also consider questions such as ‘What kind of human rights are there?’, ‘Which beings can have human rights?’, 'Are human rights inalienable?', and ‘What happens when human rights conflict?’. The first half of the module focuses on exploring different philosophical justifications for human rights; we will cover justifications based on the dignity of human agency, international politics, and human flourishing. The second half of the module will focus on philosophical debates about the nature of specific human rights - looking first at some general rights, for autonomy, liberty and wellbeing, and then at more concrete rights to life and privacy. We will also consider objections to human rights based on relativist and utilitarian views in ethics.
Global Ethics I
This module introduces you to key concepts and debates in global ethics. This module explores the nature of ethics and provides the theoretical tools necessary for you to analyse the arguments of others and create robust ethical arguments of their own.
Research Skills and Methods
This module consists of ten sessions of core skills, which will include generic research skills as well as looking at discipline-specific topics.
You will also choose three optional modules from within the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion. Options available include:
Development Ethics explores the ethical dimension of human social development. Students will be encouraged to question the notion of development and to consider how development relates to concepts such as well-being and economic growth. Issues to be addressed include the relationship between development and exploitation, and the place of culture, religion and history in development.
Global Bioethics introduces you to some key issues, including some concerned with genetics, reproductive technologies, commodification, and research in the developing world. Bioethical dilemmas, whether they arise from scientific and technological developments or from the research practices of pharmaceutical companies, raise questions which cannot be effectively addressed at national or regional levels, and which therefore s offer ethical insights into issues of global injustice.
Global Ethics II
This module develops your understanding of key global ethical issues, in particular human rights, poverty, distributive justice, cosmopolitan democracy, governance and humanitarian intervention.
Global Ethics Placement
You will undertake a placement in an organisation of your choice, such as a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) or policy-making organisation. This module allows you to explore the practice of global ethics. Previous students have enjoyed placements with Oxfam, development NGOs in Tanzania and UK-based Human Rights and activist organisations.
Philosophy of Health and Happiness
This module will examine debates at the forefront of current research in the philosophy of health and happiness. You will explore conceptual problems (e.g. what ‘health’ and ‘disease’ are) and question contemporary lifestyle issues (for instance, regarding how health, happiness and meaning relate, as well as whether there is a correlation between income and life satisfaction). You will also be asked to consider how technological advances (such as those in genetics) are changing these understandings.
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2013/14 are as follows:
Home/EU: £5,130 full-time
Overseas: £13,200 full-time
Part-time programme fees are one half of the full-time programme fees.
Learn more about fees and funding
Scholarships and studentships
As part of the College of Arts and Law scholarships scheme, four Philosophy scholarships are available which cover Home/EU tuition fees for Masters level programmes. The deadline for applications is Thursday 25 April 2013. For further information, visit the College of Arts and Law scholarships page.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.