Skip to Content


Last modified: 27 Feb 2018 18:18

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.  Download Course Guide

Course Details

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

Qualification Prerequisites


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

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • DR2565 Virtue and Freedom: Exploring the Tradition of Western Ethics (Passed)

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.

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • Bachelor of Divinity (with Honours)

Contact Teaching Time

32 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


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.

Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.