Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code PHIL271
Coordinator Dr TM Bunyard
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 5 FHEQ First Semester 15


To introduce and explain major contemporary perspectives on corporate behaviours.

To introduce moral perspectives as they relate to managerial decision-making and corporate structures.

To make students familiar with a range of recurrent ethical problems arising in business. To improve students' skills in identifying and analyzing ethical issues that managers and employees face.

To give students practice in formulating, defending, and planning the implementation of action plans managing ethical dilemmas.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to discuss the main theories concerning the place of ethics in business.

(LO2) Student will be able to explain assess the main approaches to normative ethics.

(LO3) Students will be able to state and discuss the relationship between ethical theory and business practice. And use theory to decide on moral courses of action in business scenarios.

(S1) Students will enhance their ability to identify the issues that underlie debates.

(S2) Students will develop confidence in considering previously unfamiliar ideas and approaches, and their ability to identify presuppositions and to reflect critically upon them.

(S3) Students will enhance their ability to marshal arguments and present them orally and in writing.

(S4) Students will develop their ability to work in groups.

(S5) Students will develop their ability to sift through information, assessing the relevance and importance of the information to what is at issue.

(S6) Students will develop their problem-solving skills.

(S7) Students will enhance their capacity to participate, in a dispassionate and respectful manner, in debates about controversial and profound matters.

(S8) Students will develop their willingness critically to evaluate and reflect upon arguments, beliefs, proposals and values, both their own and those of others.

(S9) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – argumentation

(S10) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S11) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

(S12) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – persuading

(S13) Working in groups and teams - Listening skills

(S14) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Report writing

(S15) Critical thinking and problem solving - Synthesis

(S16) Working in groups and teams - Group action planning

(S17) Working in groups and teams - Negotiation skills

(S18) Skills in using technology - Information accessing

(S19) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)



Basic Theory: Consequentialism and Deontology.
Choosing an Ethical Career
Exploitation, the Value of Autonomy, and the Significance of Rights (Example, Sweatshops)
Distributive Justice and Executive Pay
The Moral Limits of Markets (Example, Organ Trading)
Implicit Bias and the Workplace
Cost-Benefit Analysis and Safety Regulations
Are you allowed to “nudge” your employees?
Whistle-Blowing (Dealing with the non-compliance of others)
Environmental Ethics
Ethics and the Sharing Economy

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: 18 x 1 hour lectures. Lectures are tutor-led activities, offering a map of the syllabus and a framework for independent enquiry-led research. Students are encouraged to engage actively with lectures through, for example: (i) taking opportunities to ask questions during the session; (ii) reflecting on and responding to questions posed to them; (iii) producing questions and notes on issues for subsequent group discussion in workshops.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 2 - Workshop
Description: 2 x 2 hours. Students in small groups analyse, discuss and prepare draft responses to a chosen case study with the support of tutors. This is a formative exercise based on the case study assessments.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Self-directed learning: Reading primary and secondary texts and online support materials. Preparing for workshops. Preparing the written assignments after the workshops.

Delivery notes:

a) mixed, hybrid delivery, with social distancing on campus: Lectures on-line; workshops on-campus

(b) fully online delivery and assessment: Lectures on-line; workshops on-line

(c) standard on campus delivery with minimal social distancing: Lectures on-campus; workshops on-campus

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 18


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 128


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Examination (based on case studies like those discussed at workshops) There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment.  24    60       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Essay (based on workshop work). There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment.    40       
Online tests         

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.