Taught course

Contemporary Ethics

Heythrop College · Pastoral and Social Studies

Entry requirements

An honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) or equivalent in an appropriate subject

Months of entry


Course content

The MA Contemporary Ethics is a timely and challenging programme that has you explore questions such as ‘what is the good life’, ‘how should we act’, ‘what does moral living require of us as human beings in various contexts of life’ You will be introduced to different schools of ethics and will learn how to formulate coherent moral arguments.

This degree attracts people whose work requires ethical reflection, such as teachers, healthcare practitioners, those in social and public service, ministers of religion and business professionals.

The programme consists of four taught modules and a dissertation:

Foundations in Ethics

In this introduction to themes in ethical theory, you will study major influences on ethical debate (relativism, utilitarianism, Kantianism, virtue ethics), the distinctive contributions of Christian ethics, law and morality, conscience and human rights.

Moral Development, Reasoning and Decision Making

Investigate the meaning, role and patterns of moral growth through the study of selected psychological theories of ego, cognitive and affective development, and ideas of moral growth in virtue ethics. You will test the models of moral development and decision-making against chosen stories of moral life, real or fictional.

Optional modules include:

  • Ethical Issues Today
  • Bioethics and Sexual Ethics
  • Moral Imagination, Art and Spirituality
  • Spirituality, Religion and Ethics in Contemporary Healthcare
  • Market Economy, Ethics and the Meaning of Life

Information for international students

If English is not your first language, you are required to provide evidence of your proficiency in English. Please visit our website to find out about our language requirements. Our International Students section has additional information for students from outside the UK.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Heythrop is proud to offer our students generous scholarships and bursaries. We have four scholarships available for postgraduates:

  • Student Support Scholarship
  • Alumni Scholarship
  • Qualified Teacher Scholarship
  • Academic Excellence Scholarship

Please visit our website for full details.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
0 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions
+44 (0) 20 7795 4202
+44 (0)20 7795 4200