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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Theology and Ethics

Undergraduate Course: Ethics and Society (THET08015)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryStudents will be introduced to philosophical, biblical and theological approaches to Christian ethics. They will discover the distinctive resources of Christian theological ethics for describing human flourishing and sustaining Christian worshipping communities. They will explore the distinctiveness of the moral life of the Church, and its significance for contemporary moral dilemmas.
Course description Academic Description:
The course combines philosophical and theological approaches to ethics, encouraging critical engagement with each of these. By reading excerpts from key texts, students gain knowledge of the history of ethics and its concepts. Comparing and contrasting different approaches, they are encouraged to reflect upon and justify their own forms of ethical reasoning and their stances on particular ethical issues, as well as respecting difference and recognising its intellectual grounds. The course provides a valuable preparation for ethics courses at level 10.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The course opens with a survey of five possible sources of ethics: tradition, nature, scripture, reason and relationships. The following weeks focus on particular ethical methods and concepts that have emerged from these: virtue, command, conscience, utility, freedom, community, narrative and purpose. Throughout the course, there will be the opportunity to consider and debate current ethical issues using these sources, methods and concepts. Guidance will also be offered to improve learning, study skills and performance in assessed work.

Student Learning Experience Information:
Each week there are three one-hour lectures and a small group tutorial. Major ideas are explored by means of key texts, which students read in their own personal study time. In the lectures an audience voting system is used to check understanding and gain responses to ethical questions. There is the opportunity to ask questions and debate ethical issues in small groups, in which each student gives a presentation. The assessment comprises the presentation and seminar participation, a coursework essay and a written exam.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  158
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 150 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) COURSEWORK : Seminar presentation/participation (10%), AND
Essay (30%),
EXAM : Degree exam (60%).
In order to pass this course, students must obtain a minimum of 40% in both the coursework (combined mark) and the degree exam.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Gain knowledge and critical understanding of key ethical texts.
  2. Compare and contrast different ethical sources, methods and concepts.
  3. Reflect upon and justify preferences in ethical reasoning.
  4. Deploy ethical reasoning to address practical issues.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr David Grumett
Tel: (0131 6)50 8970
Course secretaryMs Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900
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