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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Ethics
Module Code TP103
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Alan Kearns
Semester 2: Alan Kearns
Autumn: Alan Kearns
Module TeachersAlan Kearns
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module provides an introduction to philosophical and theological foundations of Ethics. The module introduces participants to the study of Ethics and considers in a systematic manner fundamental questions such as how do I determine what is right or wrong, good or bad? Does having a bad intention matter if I do something good? Does morality depend on religion? Are there any objective moral values and principles? Does the end always justify the means? The module examines how philosophical ethical theories and reflection can influence moral decision-making. It also focuses on ethical reflection and deliberation within theological ethics.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of a number of theories, concepts and methods in philosophical and theological ethics.
2. Synthesise and communicate a range of potential moral viewpoints and arguments supported by relevant academic sources.
3. Critically analyse, evaluate and interact with a variety of ethical questions and issues supported by relevant ethical sources.
4. Demonstrate an ability to communicate an understanding of philosophical and theological ethics within the context of a pluralist, multi-cultural Irish society.
5. Develop and further their skills and self-confidence in appraising ethical issues and challenges.
6. Apply and assess the application of an ethical theory to a case study.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture20No Description
Independent Study53Students do research for essay.
Independent Study66.5No Description
Assignment Completion48No Description
Total Workload: 187.5

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to Ethics

Moral Development

Sources of a Moral Act

Ethical Theories

Ethics and Religion

Sources of Theological Ethics

Natural Law


Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Adkins, Brent: 2017, A Guide to Ethics and Moral Philosophy, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh,
  • Cahn, Steven M. (ed.): 2016, Exploring Ethics: An Introductory Anthology,, 4th edition, Oxford University Press, New York,
  • Hannon, Patrick (ed.): 2006, Moral Theology: A Reader, Veritas, Dublin,
  • Hinman, Lawrence M: 2008, Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach to Moral Theory, Thomson/Wadsworth, Belmont CA,
  • Gibson, Kevin: 2013, An Introduction to Ethics, Pearson,
  • Gill, Robin, (ed.): 2001, The Cambridge Companion to Christian Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK,
  • Gilligan, Carol: 1993, In a Different Voice, Harvard University Press Cambridge, Mass,
  • Graham, Gordon: 2004, Eight Theories of Ethics, Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group, New York,
  • Gula, Richard: 1989, Reason Informed by Faith, Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ,
  • Hannon, Patrick: 2005, Moral Decision Making, Veritas, Dublin,
  • Hauerwas, Stanley, and Wells, Samuel, (eds.): 2006, The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics, Blackwell, Oxford UK,
  • Irwin, Terence: 2011, The Development of Ethics, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Kim, Andrew: 2015, An Introduction to Catholic Ethics Since Vatican II, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Kohlberg, Lawrence: 1973, Collected Papers on Moral Development and Moral Education, Harvard: Center for Moral Education,
  • McCay, Declan: 2009, Religious Ethics: Principles, Practice and Society, Colourpoint Books, Newtownards,
  • MacNamara, Vincent and McDonagh, Enda: 2009, An Irish Reader in Moral Theology: The Legacy of the Last Fifty Years, Vol. I: Foundations, The Columba Press, Dublin,
  • Mathewes, Charles T: 2010, Understanding Religious Ethics, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA,
  • May, W. E: 2003, An Introduction to Moral Theology,, O.S.V.P, Huntington,
  • Odozor, Paulinus I: 2003, Moral Theology in an Age of Renewal, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame,
  • Persson, Ingmar: 2017, Inclusive Ethics, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Selling, Joseph A.: 2016, Reframing Catholic Theological Ethics, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Schweiker, William: 2008, The Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethics, Blackwell, Oxford,
  • Sterba, J. (ed.): 1998, Ethics: The Big Questions, Blackwell, Oxford,
  • Thompson, Mel: 2008, An Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics, Hodder Education Group,
  • Warnock, Mary: 2006, An intelligent person's guide to ethics, Duckworth, London,
  • Wells, Samuel and Quash, Ben: 2010, Introducing Christian Ethics, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA,
  • Willems, Elizabeth: 1997, Understanding Catholic Morality, Crossroad Publishing, New York,
Other Resources

46679, E-Journal, 0, International Journal of Ethics, 46680, E-Journal, 0, The Journal of Religious Ethics,
Programme or List of Programmes
BAJHBachelor of Arts (BAJH)
BAJPBachelor of Arts (BAJP)
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)

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