Research course

Global Ethics (on-campus or by distance learning)

University of Birmingham · Centre for the Study of Global Ethics

Entry requirements

Students applying for an MA by Research have normally obtained a good (usually Upper Second) undergraduate degree, while students applying for a PhD have either a very good undergraduate degree (First Class) or a postgraduate degree. Work-related experience is also taken into account for registration.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Within the Department of Philosophy, we offer promising candidates the opportunity to carry out research and explore the leading ethical issues of our time in a dynamic and reflective way. Our research interests cover a wide variety of topics; including ethics and global public health; ethics, war and terror; poverty and financial exclusion; and ethics of borders and immigration.

The PhD – the most advanced research degree – requires you to undertake independent research (under the expert supervision of an academic member of staff) that leads to a dissertation of up to 80,000 words on a subject of your choice. We provide training opportunities to help you in your studies, such as modules from the Global Ethics MSc programme or research skills training. You can study for a PhD on campus or by Distance Learning.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days (Friday 13 November 2015 and Friday 4 March 2016). Register to attend at:

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit:

Department specialisms

Ethical issues raised by biomedical research and clinical practice, psychiatric disorders, philosophy of mind and psychology, applied ethics, philosophy of science Moral theory – utilitarianism, Kantianism, Virtue ethics. Consent, autonomy and free will. Wellbeing and happiness. Philosophy of medicine: health, illness and disease. Moral theories, population ethics, global warming, happiness and wellbeing, morality and poverty, global distributive justice, multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism. Global ethics; global justice; bioethics and public health; commodification of the body; ethics of sex and beauty; women's rights; reproductive rights; ethics of war and terror; communication across value-frameworks and belief systems; and all aspects of virtue ethics and moral theory. Moral and political philosophy, and applied ethics, especially bioethics, the ethics of killing (including the ethics of war), theories of rights, justice, legitimacy, and public justification.

Information for international students

International students can find details of scholarships at

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,121 FT - £2,061 PT
International students
£13,680 FT - £6,840 PT (DL only)

Please visit:

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months
distance learning
36-72 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiry Service
0121 414 5005