Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Master Topic in Moral Philosophy

Main content

Level of Study


Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

Students will become familiar with some key debates in contemporary ethics concerning, for example, how we should live, how we should treat others, and what it means to act ethically. Central theories in philosophical ethics will be explored through applied topics such as issues surrounding life and death, the environment, and global ethical challenges. The course is intended for all students who wish to reflect deeply on these issues and to strengthen their expertise in ethics. The course will also give students the opportunity for focused attention on a selection of topics in contemporary ethics.

Learning Outcomes


After completing the course, the student should have:

  • An overview of some central themes and debates in contemporary ethics and moral philosophy;
  • A familiarity with key theories and scholarly literature related to these themes and debates;
  • An understanding of concepts and arguments relevant to these themes and debates; and
  • An understanding of how these themes and debates connect to each other and to current ethical and social issues.
  • A deep understanding of at least one of the themes covered in the course, including familiarity with an expanded range of related scholarly literature.


After completing the course, the student should be able to:

  • Describe key concepts, positions, theories, and traditions in ethics and moral philosophy;
  • Recognize the role these concepts, positions, theories, and traditions play in scholarly and public debates;
  • Reconstruct and evaluate arguments advanced in support of different positions or theories in ethics and moral philosophy;
  • Recognize practical implications of theoretical positions;
  • Reflect on, and form well-reasoned judgements about themes and debates in ethics and moral philosophy;
  • Communicate understanding and ideas related to the course content both orally and in writing.
  • Formulate research questions related to the themes and debates covered in the course.
  • Identify scholarly literature, from the course reading list and beyond, in preparation for answering a research question.
  • Outline, propose, and write a research paper that engages with relevant scholarly literature.


After completing the course, the student should be competent to:

  • Participate in scholarly debates in ethics and moral philosophy.
  • Contribute philosophical insights to public debates about ethical and social issues.
  • Study ethics and moral philosophy at a more advanced level.
  • Conduct supervised research in ethics and political philosophy, e.g. at the doctoral level.

Required Previous Knowledge

Bachelor degree with 90 credits specializing in philosophy or equivalent.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

A good proficiency in English is necessary since it ought to be assumed that much of the prescribed reading will be in English.

Access to the Course

This course is open to students who have been admitted to the Master's programme in philosophy. All other students require permission in order to register for this course. Please contact studieveileder@fof.uib.no to apply.

Teaching and learning methods

Students will spend approximately 20 hours in class over the course of the semester, and approximately 10 hours per week outside of class working on course-related tasks. Class time will involve lectures or presentations by the instructor, discussions, and group work.

Students will be provided with supervision of the semester assignment. Over the course of the semester, there will be various opportunities for students to receive feedback on smaller formative assignments from the instructor and/or their peers.

The number of gatherings may be reduced if the number of students attending the course is less than 4. In that case, the students will be compensated with individual or group tutoring.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

An approval of compulsory requirements is valid for three semesters, including the semester in which the approval is given.

  • Students must complete at least 7 formative assignments (around 500 words each). Deadlines are set by the department.
  • Students must submit a proposal and draft of their semester assignment. Deadlines are set by the department.
  • Students must attend a supervision session with the instructor.

Forms of Assessment

An essay of 4000- 6000 words (not including table of contents, list of references etc.) The topic of the essay must be approved in advance by the teacher of the course instructor. The essay will be assessed at the end of the semester.

Exams in the course are held every semester.

The compulsory activities have to be formally approved before one can take an exam in the course.

The compulsory requirements have to be formally approved in a semester in which there is teaching in the relevant course in order to register for the examination in a semester in which there is no teaching in that course.

Grading Scale

From A to F

Course Evaluation

The teaching will be evaluated in every semester the course is taught


Department of Philosophy

Contact Information

Department of Philosophy

Email: studierettleiar@fof.uib.no

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Supervised paper

    Submission deadline
    14.11.2023, 13:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam
    • Digital innlevering, Inspera