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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

IDEA5313M Ethical Issues at the End of Life

15 creditsClass Size: 30

In light of the effect of COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions on students' learning experiences, the School of PRHS have made the decision to modify assessment in Semester 2 modules in the 2020-21 academic year. Changes may involve reducing the number of assessment points (e.g. assessing one essay rather than two) or reducing word counts where it is possible to do so whilst protecting the integrity of the module's Learning Outcomes. Information on any changes to assessment is available to enrolled students in the Minerva module area, and can also be sought from the module leader or the PRHS SES team.

Module manager: Dr Carl Fox

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Module replaces

IDEA5303M Abortion, Euthanasia, Life and Death

This module is not approved as an Elective


The module aims to provide philosophical basis for critically examining the moral issues at the end of life, considering background theory as well as more specific issues, such as:
- Theory: examining the morality of killing and the value of human life; quality of life; the implications of consequentialism as applied to the morality of killing – the difference between killing and letting die, and alternatives to consequentialism; slippery slopes.
- Applied: Palliative care; suicide; active and passive euthanasia; withdrawing treatment.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:

- Display understanding of a number of key philosophical texts relating to end of life decisions;
- Explain and evaluate competing approaches to central concepts in debates around end of life issues;
- Explain and evaluate arguments put forward in debates about end of life issues, and relate them to key theoretical positions.


Will include topics such as:
- The wrongness of killing
- Consequentialism and non-consequentialism
- Suicide and assisted suicide
- Palliative care
- Quality of life and best interests
- Withdrawing treatment
- Active and passive euthanasia

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours134.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Detailed study of required readings plus advance preparation of discussion questions for seminars. Preparation of answers to set coursework assignment questions. Independent reading and research for the preparation of assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Essay plan (400 words).

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:22:24


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