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Philosophy, Business and Society


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This short course, Philosophy, Business and Society, will introduce you to a variety of ethical frameworks so you can better navigate the moral implications of the strategies and actions taken in your day-to-day work. You will gain a deeper understanding of the main philosophical frameworks used to think clearly about the role of ethics and professional life.

As business managers, civil servants, advertisers, sales representatives and employers, we are all practical philosophers. We may not think explicitly in terms of philosophical arguments and theories, but every strategic decision we make is based on philosophical assumptions that can be articulated and assessed.

This postgraduate-level short course examines some of the central philosophical issues that arise in the course of professional life, including truth, manipulation, trust, freedom, integrity, responsibility and detachment.

Philosophy, Business and Society is suitable for any professional who makes decisions that affect others and wishes to be able to reflect on the ethical aspects of their professional role. No prior philosophical training is required to take this course. We introduce each topic without any theoretical prerequisites and our discussion is illustrated by concrete examples from actual professions and real life.

We will cover some of the following themes:

  • Who cares? The ethics of professional detachment
  • Ethics for adversaries: thinking ethically in a competitive environment
  • Jobs for your friends? Nepotism and discrimination in professional life
  • Customers, clients and their desires: the ethics of advertising
  • Being trustworthy: the values of trust in professional life
  • Business and integrity: success, character and personal accountability
  • Ethics and organisations: individual, collective and corporate agency
  • The corporate citizen: social responsibility and business values

A background in philosophy is not necessary for this course, however it is taught at postgraduate level so you should have some previous experience with higher education study.

This course is non-credit bearing, so carries no credit points.

  • 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.