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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHIL2906 Do the Right Thing: Topics in Moral Philosophy

20 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Gerald Lang

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

PHIL1080 The Good, the Bad, the Right, the
Wrong or PHIL1555 Philosophy for PPE

Module replaces

PHIL2322 Moral Philosophy

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module introduces students to central concepts, theories, and debates across moral philosophy, thereby providing them with a framework for thinking seriously about ethical issues and assisting them in developing their analytical thinking skills. The philosophical topics, approaches, and texts covered throughout the module supplies students with important tools for thinking about how we ought to live and what we morally owe to one another.


Students taking this module will gain a solid understanding of central issues, arguments, and theories in moral philosophy and engage with key debates across moral philosophy through classroom discussions, independent research, and the careful study of key texts. The module provides students with key skills in interpreting and evaluating opposing views across moral philosophy.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

1. Construct rationally persuasive arguments for or against moral conclusions.

2. Apply knowledge of concepts, theories, and ideas from moral philosophy in new contexts.

3. Clearly communicate an understanding of key ethical texts and issues through accurate description of source material in written work.

4. Demonstrate an independence of mind by critically investigating, analysing, and critiquing ideas and theories in moral philosophy in innovative ways.

Skills Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:

5. Communicate ideas and understanding clearly and concisely, using appropriate academic language (Academic and Work Ready skill)

6. Critically analyse source material and demonstrate independence of thought (Academic and Work Ready skill)

7. Search for appropriate material to support knowledge and analysis of topics (Academic, Work Ready, Digital and Sustainability skill)

8. Conform to standards of academic integrity including when and how to appropriately acknowledge someone else’s work (Academic and Work Ready skill)


The module covers a variety of questions and issues across moral philosophy. For example, the module may cover topics such as the nature of well-being, the badness of death, our duties to future generations, collective wrongdoing, supererogation, moral luck, and forgiveness.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours176.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative assessment in this module is designed to facilitate (i) differentiated instruction, (ii) active student reflection on skills development, and (iii) student choice. In addition to the formative feedback available to students in office hours and seminar-based activities, students are invited to complete one piece of formative work which will receive written feedback. In this module, students are given three options:

1. Essay plan
2. Literature review
3. Exposition and critique of a philosophical argument or position

By giving students a choice, this formative assessment takes account of variations in prior knowledge and skill development, and it enables the instructor to respond to students’ individual needs. It also builds students’ academic self-conception and encourages them to take ownership over their intellectual development. To do this, and to ensure that students get the formative feedback they need, each student is required to select an option after critical reflection on the skills that they judge they most need to work on. They are asked to read and reflect on (i) the feedback they received in previous summative assessments, (ii) the PRHS marking criteria for their upcoming summative assessment, and (iii) the specific guidance provided on the summative assessment in this module. These exercises encourage students to engage with previous feedback, think about current expectations, and take an active role in honing their knowledge and skill development.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000-word essay100.00
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: 29/04/2024 16:19:43


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