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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

How do we know right from wrong? What are our responsibilities towards others? How should we engage with social and political problems and issues? What constitutes a good life? This course provides an opportunity for students to explore the rich tradition of Western ethical reflection and moral formation. It does so by surveying the various ways in which ethics and morality have been understood and approached by major figures in the Western tradition. 

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Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Michael Laffin

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Programme Level 2

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course provides an opportunity for students from any or no religious background to explore the Christian and Western philosophical tradition of moral reflection and formation. It does so by surveying how moral questions have been approached by various figures throughout the Western tradition, including Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Kant, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and more. Students will also examine how attending to the views of such theologians and philosophers on their own terms might shed light on contemporary questions and moral dilemmas.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st attempt:

1. 40% continuous assessment (Five short assignments)
2. 60% 2 hour invigilated exam


100% 2 hour invigilated exam

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment occurs orally throughout the course based on the students' participation in the tutorials (preparation and contribution to the discussions).


Feedback will be provided via written comments on tutorial assignments.

Course Learning Outcomes


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