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Morality, Society and Politics


There are no classes currently available for registration.


Our Morality, Society and Politics short course will introduce you to some of the most central problems in ethics and political philosophy, as well as some of the philosophical techniques typically used for dealing with them. We address a selection of questions such as: What is morality? Can claims about value ever be objectively true or false? Is immoral behaviour irrational? Are moral practices beliefs relative to one's culture? What, if anything, grounds the claim that all humans are equal? What does morality demand of our treatment of each other? What is justice? How do we address conflicts between different rights? What is the source of political obligation? Do democratic decisions possess a moral authority or legitimacy that other decisions lack, and if so why? What is the proper role of expertise in democratic decision-making? Should you obey laws with which you disagree, and if so why? When is civil disobedience justified?

The course explores these issues through a combination of both influential historical texts and contemporary writings. We will cover:

  • The nature of morality
  • Objectivity of value
  • Rationality of immoral behaviour
  • Cultural relativism
  • Equality
  • Ethical obligation
  • Justice
  • Liberty
  • Rights
  • Political obligation
  • Democratic legitimacy
  • Expertise in decision-making
  • Civil disobedience

Assessment is via a 1000-word writing assignment (50%) and 1000-word examination (50%).

This can be taken as a standalone short course or as a part of:

30 credits at level 4

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    This short course has no prerequisites.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.