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Prof Cert in Ethics Micro-credential


Subject Area Philosophy 
Credits 10
Start Date January 2024
Time Wednesdays 18:00 - 19:50 (Subject to change.)
Duration 12 weeks
Mode of Delivery Hybrid
Lead Academic Dr. Silvia Ivani
Fee €1275
Application Deadline TBC

While Legal and Regulatory Frameworks play a key role in defining how organisations conduct themselves, ethics can enhance these frameworks by guiding the behaviours and decision-making processes of employees that are beyond Legal and Regulatory Control. We are all likely to face ethical situations at work that we might not encounter anywhere else in our lives, and the decisions we take at work might have an impact that goes beyond our work environment, affecting individuals, local communities, society and the environment. Even small decisions may have a significant impact and being able to act and make decisions in an ethical manner is important from the perspective of personal integrity, but it is also of enormous value to the success and good governance of the organisations for which we work. Good ethical decision-making can enhance an organisation’s reputation with customers, regulators, and other important stakeholders. Good ethics also provide a strong foundation for effective Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) (now referred to as ESG: Environmental, Social and Governance) and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) practices, at the individual and organisational levels.

In this micro-credential, we will explore ethical challenges that arise in a range of situations, professional environments and institutions. You will be introduced to key notions and views in ethics, such as paternalism and knowledge disparity, as well the basis of good decision-making practices, problem-solving and ethical forms of reasoning. You will develop an in-depth understanding of the responsibility that being a professional or expert involves and how to best implement EDI and ESG practices and policies.  

Key Features

Professionals who are currently working in, or who have previous experience of working in, the public sector or private sector, at the national or international level. It is aimed at those who wish to learn from leading UCD academics and practicing professionals experts about ethical practices and decision-making, and acquire competitive skills relevant to anyone who wishes to contribute to creating a healthy work environment and grow as a responsible professional.

On successful completion of the course students will have a grasp of some of the most important theoretical frameworks for our ethical thinking.

  • They will be able to construct their own lines of argument concerning these frameworks.
  • They will be able to critically assess some of the most important contributions to these debates in the philosophical literature.
  • They will have an understanding of how these frameworks are applied in practical contexts.
  • They will have a detailed understanding of the issues involved in thinking about a range of practical ethical issues.

In the first part of the micro-credentials, we will analyse challenges concerning freedom of speech and freedom of action. Topics covered will include respect and toleration in public debates, the moral dimension of trust, paternalism and freedom of action. We will discuss these topics through specific case studies, such as mandatory vaccinations, sex work, and climate change. In the second part of the module, we will focus on the ethics of expertise. We will explore what it means to be an expert in contemporary society, and we will discuss a range of issues, such as the social responsibility of professionals and scientists, academic freedom, and the ethics of technology.

On completion of this micro-credential, you will be equipped with key knowledge and skills relevant to ethical decision-making, which can be applied at various levels in your professional practice.

Two-hour seminars with lecturer presentation, student presentation and class participation on Wednesdays 18:00 - 19:50. You can participate in person or dial in. This is a 10 ECTS micro-credential and involves approximately 200 hours of learner effort, including lectures, discussions, required readings and autonomous learning.

A good undergraduate degree (minimum level of GPA 2.7 or international equivalent).

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate proof of English proficiency as per UCD's minimum English language requirements.

This micro-credential is also a module on the UCD Sutherland School of Law’s Professional Diploma in Arbitration.

Please note that learners seeking to stack/use ECTS credit gained via micro-credentials for another UCD programme/award, will need to provide documentary evidence that they meet the relevant entry requirements for that programme/award, for example, academic transcripts.

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