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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

IDEA5333M Ethical Issues at the End of Life (Online)

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Carl Fox

Taught: 1 Jan to 28 Feb View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

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

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning82.0016.00
Independent online learning hours34.00
Private study hours100.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

On-Line Learning = online tutor-led discussion.

Independent Online Learning = working through exercises online.

Private Study Time = students be assigned set readings, and will be given teaching materials to work through at their own pace. These materials will set the readings in context, at certain points provide prompts for carefully structured online discussions, which will be supported by tutors.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Essay plan (400 words).
Contribution to online discussions will be assessed (on participation rather than content) to encourage regular, active participation.
There will also be an online personal tutoring system to review progress on completed modules and identify any areas where further support is

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 words90.00
Group DiscussionParticipation in online discussions10.00
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: 07/06/2024 15:34:54


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