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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2021 - 2022

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module examines a range of contemporary ethical issues and challenges affecting various aspects of life and society in a systematic manner. The module explores key debates and arguments about everyday broad ethical questions such as: Should we always tell the truth? Is cheating always wrong? Can stealing ever be justified? The module will also focus on ethical issues that emerge in the area of business and the economy, the environment and sustainability, science and technology, warfare and terrorism, crime and punishment, information technology and social media. Diverse normative assumptions and backgrounds that informed ethical issues are analysed and examined from the perspective of competing ethical theories and principles. Course participants are given the opportunity to reflect on a number of ethical concerns in a critical way to enable them to further their skills of ethical analysis and discernment.

Learning Outcomes

1. Display a critical awareness of a broad range of contemporary ethical issues that affect society and organisations.
2. Identify and formulate the main questions and arguments that are aligned with these ethical issues and have a sensitivity to the complexity of some issues.
3. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of such issues and discussions that is informed by an ethical perspective.
4. Develop their skills of applying and analysing a range of issues from various ethical theories, principles and positions.
5. Continue to self-evaluate and take responsibility for continuing academic and professional development within the field of ethics.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study226Completion of assignments over the semester.
Total Workload: 250

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

Interrelated Ethical Topics in Society: Lying, Cheating, Stealing, Gossiping

Ethical Issues in Crime & Punishment

Ethical Issues in Information Technology & Social Media

Ethical Issues in Business

Ethical Issues in the Care of the Environment

Ethical Issues in Technology

Ethical Issues in Science & Research

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • Alter, Adam: 2017, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked, Penguin, New York,
  • Bostrom, Nick: 2015, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Brereton, Patrick: 2016, Environmental Ethics and Film, Routledge, New York,
  • Brooks, Thom: 2018, Punishment, 2nd edition, Taylor and Francis, London,
  • Cahn, Steven M. and Markie, Peter J.: 2009, Ethics: History, Theory and Contemporary Issues, Oxford University Press, New York,
  • Floridi, Luciano (ed.): 2010, The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Floridi, Luciano: 2013, The Ethics of Information, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Hudson, Barbara: 2003, Understanding Justice: An Introduction to Ideas, Perspective and Controversies in Modern Penal Theory, 2nd edition, Open University Press, Maidenhead, Berkshire,
  • Johnson, Deborah G.: 2008, Computer Ethics, Pearson Education,
  • Latour, Bruno: 2017, Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climate Regime, Polity Press, Cambridge,
  • Midgley, Mary: 2002, Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature, Routledge, New York,
  • Murphy, Patrick J.: 2017, The Media Commons: Globalisation and Environmental Discoursea, University of Illinois Press,
  • Roberts, Julian V.: 2015, Criminal Justice: A Very Short Introduction, OUP, download,
  • Rooksby, Emma: 2014, Email and Ethics: Style and Ethical Relations in Computer-Mediated Communications, Taylor & Francis,
  • Singer, Peter: 1993, A Companion to Ethics, Blackwell, Oxford,
  • Singer, Peter: 2015, Animal Liberation, Bodley Head,
  • Spinello, Richard A.: 2016, Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace, Jones & Bartlett Learning, New York,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes