This MA investigates the ethical dimension of public policy and corporate behaviour, a dimension that is of increasing importance. Amongst the areas that may be considered from this perspective are health policy, the environment, international relations, business investment and planning, employment relations, and the financing of public policy. Students on the MA may choose from modules in philosophy, politics, law and sociology.
Modules and Options
The lists of modules below represent the range of options available for each year of study. This may not be a complete list of the options you will study, and may be subject to change, so please contact the department for further details.
BRITISH POLITICAL PARTIES
CENTRAL ISSUES IN UNITED KINGDOM PUBLIC LAW
COLONIALISM, CULTURE AND GLOBALIZATION
Compulsory: ETHICS, POLITICS AND PUBLIC POLICY: MA SEMINAR
CONTEMPORARY THEORIES OF JUSTICE
Core: DISSERTATION: MA IN ETHICS, POLITICS AND PUBLIC POLICY
CURRENT ISSUES IN UK HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
DEMOCRACY, CITIZENSHIP AND CONSTITUTIONS
EUROPEAN COMPETITION LAW
EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
EUROPEAN UNION LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS
FREE MOVEMENT OF GOODS AND SERVICES IN THE INTERNAL MARKET
GENDER, JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT
HUMAN RIGHTS ACROSS NATIONS AND CULTURES
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEVELOPMENT
HUMAN RIGHTS FOR WOMEN
HUMAN RIGHTS IN PHILOSOPHY AND LAW
HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE NEW EUROPE
INTERNATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES
INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND HUMAN RIGHTS
INTRODUCTION TO THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICTS
PHILOSOPHY AND RIGHTS IIB
POLITICAL PRINCIPLES, HUMAN RIGHTS AND PUBLIC POLICY
SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
SOCIETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: THE GLOBAL CHALLENGE
SOCIOLOGY OF DEVELOPMENT IN THE AGE OF GLOBALISATION
SOCIOLOGY OF HUMAN RIGHTS 2: SELECTED SPECIAL TOPICS
THE CONTEMPORARY NATION STATE
THE PROTECTION OF REFUGEES AND DISPLACED PERSONS IN INTERNATIONAL LAW
THEORIES OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Teaching and Assessment Methods
A: Knowledge and Understanding
A1 : Current public policy debates concerning the environment, including the ethical issues raised by the treatment of animals.
A2 : Current public policy debates covering a range of issues concerning public participation, justice in the distribution of resources and paternalism in public policy, but with special focus on bioethics.
A3 : Controversies within Anglo-American philosophy concerning the application of normative ethical theories.
A4 : Controversies within contemporary social science about the proper theoretical approaches to public policy issues.
Outcomes A1-4 are achieved through attendance and participation in the compulsory module and the MA Seminar in Ethics, Politics and Public Policy. In the MA Seminar students are directed to study public policy documents, and extensive case-study material. Each session of the Seminar involves discussion, including discussion of student presentations.
The aims above are also achieved by occasional presentations from those active in the public policy process.
Knowledge of A1-4 is formally assessed in the MA Seminar and in the compulsory module. A number of methods of assessment are used: essays, including extended essays, formal term-end or year-end 3-hour examinations, class presentations, or all 3, and a dissertation.
B: Intellectual/Cognitive Skills
B1 : Deal constructively and in an orderly way with complex policy issues, even when information is incomplete.
B2 : Communicate their conclusions clearly.
B3 : Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and in collecting and commenting on complex information, including evidence given to commissions of inquiry and parliament.
B4 : Learning how public policy practice might be extended by integrating ethical analysis into relevant deliberations.
Skills B1-3 are acquired in all modules and in the MA Seminar by means of teaching, discussion and assigned oral presentations on topics agreed with students.
Skill B4 is developed in essays for modules and in work on the dissertation which engage live public policy issues.
Skills B1-4 are formally assessed through the marking of essays and the dissertation. Students are required to give a public policy briefing as a presentation, which is subsequently written up.
C: Practical Skills
C1 : Retrieve, evaluate and select for relevance and credibility, information from a wide range of sources.
C2 : Plan, undertake and report a bibliographically-based piece of research.
C3 : Develop techniques for assessing practical proposals.
Graduates learn how to read and appraise sophisticated public policy reports. They are also directed to relevant government and NGO material, some in the library, some available over the internet. Several sessions of the MA Seminar are devoted to dissertation preparation. Some sessions of the MA Seminar allow students to present their ideas for dissertations to one another, and to get advice, criticism from colleagues and staff.
Skills C1-3 are developed through formal supervision and marking of the dissertation, as well as comments and marking of coursework essays.
D: Key Skills
D1 : Write succinctly and to the point about complex policy matters.
D2 : Ability to use relevant technology to research and present written work (including library catalogues, searchable databases and internet sources).
D4 : Apply the techniques of several different bodies of theory to the same policy problems.
D6 : Students should have become able to: -organise their work within deadlines; -select and organise their reading in relation to specific topics; -reflect on their own learning and performance and make constructive use of feedback; -learn independently.
D1: All modules require students to participate actively in discussion, and co-operate with colleagues in arriving at shared results on exercises. All modules in the scheme require students to work independently on essays, and there is a dissertation component rigorously monitored for plagiarism. Supervisors warn students against being too derivative. There is an emphasis in the MA Seminar and in most of the modules on case studies that illustrate the practical and political realities of policy formulation and implementation.
D2: Students are directed to important sources of policy deliberation.
D4: The MA Seminar requires an interdisciplinary approach.
D6: Work on essays and the dissertation is valuable preparation for doctoral work.
Skills D1, 2, 4 and 6 are assessed through coursework and the dissertation.