MA in Ethics: Theory and Practice

Apply to UCD‌                                                    

In association wih the UCD Centre for Ethics in Public Life (CEPL), UCD School of Philosophy is offering an MA that provides philosophical training in Ethics, as well as enabling students to experience a context for professional Ethics through inter-disciplinary elements of the programme.  Ethics is understood broadly as the study of how to behave well, and includes elements of moral philosophy and political/social theory.  As graduates of this module you will be well-placed to understand and help deal with ethical issues in areas such as government, healthcare, business, agriculture, planning, education, law and journalism. But you will also have had the opportunity to develop a theoretical understanding of the nature of Ethics and its place in human life more generally.  Having an understanding of Ethics, both at the level of theory and in its practical contexts is of obvious benefit in a very wide variety of career paths.

The programme is available over 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time. There is one core module entitled:  'Ethics: Theory and Practice' (PHIL41510).  In addition you must select two modules from a list of Philosophy Ethics modules (see below), as well as any other two MA Philosophy modules and one module from a list of modules provided by other disciplines (see below). These are indicative list of modules and there may be some minor changes:

Philosophy Ethics modules:

  • PHIL41000 Aristotle's Ethics and Politics (Tim Crowley)
  • PHIL40430 Philosophy of the Emotions (Rowland Stout)
  • PHIL40840 Autonomy as a philosophical problem (Brian O'Connor)
  • PHIL40420 The Good Society (Maeve Cooke)
  • PHIL41500 Buddhist Ethics (Tatjana von Solodkoff)
  • PHIL41280 Feminist & Gender Theory (Katherine O'Donnell)

Modules from other disciplines:

  • IS30370 Information Ethics
  • LAW30300 Law and Penology
  • POL30370 Justice in Education
  • POL41030 Theory of Human Rights
  • PSY40270 Ethics in Psychological Research
  • EQUL40200 Disability and Equality 
  • EQUL40070 Human Rights and Equality
  • MKT 30150 Responsible Marketing 

In addition, all students must complete a 12-15,000-word dissertation by August 2019. The admission requirements are the same as those for the MA Philosophy (general programme)


For further information, please contact the programme co-ordinator Professor Rowland Stout.

All administrative enquiries should be sent to the School Manager:

UCD School of Philosophy
Newman Building
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Tel: +353 1 716 8186

Admissions Requirements

Candidates may apply for admission to the MA Degree Programme if they have obtained one of the following:

(i) A BA degree with at least Second Class Honours, Grade I in Philosophy (or in a subject where the degree programme contained a significant proportion of philosophical components)
(ii) A Joint-Honours BA degree with at least Second Class Honours, Grade I in Philosophy (or in a subject where the degree programme contained a significant proportion of philosophical components) and at least Second Class Honours, Grade II in the second subject
(iii) Second Class Honours, Grade I (or equivalent standard) in a relevant postgraduate diploma
(iv) Where the programme is interdiscplinary, applicants should have obtained the above in one of the core subjects of the MA programme.

However, all applicants will be assessed on a case-by-case basis so that in certain exceptional cases an award at a lower level or a 2.2 classification may be considered. 

Fluency in English is a requirement.  Candidates who have not completed their primary (bachelor's) degrees with English as the language of instruction will need to satisfy the University College Dublin's English Language Requirements.

Please note that all applications should be made online. After completing the online application and paying the application fee, applicants should upload the following supporting documents:

1. Transcripts of any previous degrees, including bachelor's and/or master's level.

2. Letter of academic reference.  This may be uploaded online or contact the School Manager if you wish to submit it by post or electronically.

3. Philosophical writing sample.  Maximum length - 4,000 words

4. English language requirement, if necessary.

5. Statement of interest (OPTIONAL). Maximum length - 1,500 words


Information on the UCD School of Philosophy Newman Trust MA Scholarships.