Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

IDEA1000 Professional Ethics: Challenges and Crises

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Elizabeth Ellis

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is an introduction to professional ethics and examines some of the challenges and crises that might arise in professional working life. Each fortnight, we will consider a topic in professional ethics through the lens of a current issue. Topics might include: the public interest, the nature of integrity, privacy and confidentiality, intellectual property, whistleblowing and trust. Current issues are obviously subject to change! Examples of current issues in professional ethics include: the extent to which the media ought to respect the privacy of figures in the public eye, the exploitation of tax loopholes, ethical challenges surrounding big data and emerging A.I. technologies, professional responsibilities in the face of the climate crisis, and whistleblowing. The module will be delivered by weekly lectures and also fortnightly seminars where students will be encouraged to debate the issues.This module is aimed at all students who would like to develop the skills needed to deal with ethical issues that may arise in their working lives.It forms part of the "Ethics, Religion and Law" Discovery Theme. Skills developed on this module include ethical awareness, critical thinking, professionalism, creative problem solving and communication skills.No previous knowledge is required.


The module will make students aware of the ethical challenges that face professionals in their working lives.

The module will also allow students to develop and practise the reasoning skills needed to handle challenging situations in their own working lives and/or to reach judgments on decisions made by others.

This module is intended to form part of the "Ethics, Religion and Law" Discovery Theme. It is suitable for those following a variety of pathways through the theme, e.g. it is suitable for students interested in the themes of professionalism and regulatory compliance and equally suitable for students interested in ethics more generally.

The module could also form part of other themes; for example, "Personal and Professional Development", "Enterprise and Innovation", "Media, Culture and Creativity" and "Technology and its Impacts".

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to demonstrate:

- The relevance of ethics to professional life;
- The ability to critically engage with arguments in professional ethics;
- The ability to apply the arguments in professional ethics to complex decisions where judgment and justification are required;
- The ability to critique judgments made by others;
- An awareness of current issues in professional ethics;
- The ability to manage, organise and utilise set reading materials; and
- Knowledge of essay-writing techniques


The module will be comprised of:
- 11 lectures
- 5 seminars

Lectures to start week 1.
First seminar to start week 3 and re-occur fortnightly.

The first lecture will be an introduction to professional ethics. There are likely to be 5 professional ethics topics, covered in 4 2 week blocks.
Topics might include, for example:

- The Public Interest
- Integrity
- Privacy and Confidentiality
- Intellectual Property
- Trust

Each topic will be examined through the lens of a current issue in professional ethics. Thus exact topics are subject to change as current issues in professional ethics change.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours84.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Readings are set for each seminar. Students will be required to complete all the reading and to prepare answers to the set questions in advance of each seminar. (45 hours).
Students will also be expected to spend time preparing their assessed essays. (39 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

You will have the opportunity to write a detailed 500 word essay plan and receive feedback on this.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1500 word essay (end of semester100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit is by exam in August.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:19:42


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019