Ethics, Society and the Good Life - RSST3490

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module provides a cross-cultural introduction and exploration of philosophical, religious and cultural traditions which have shaped and informed historical and contemporary ethical judgements and notions of the good life. From ancient Asian, Greek, Jewish, Christian and Islamic philosophies inspired by thinkers such as the Buddha, Plato, Jesus and Mohammed, to modern secular philosophies such as humanism and Marxism, humans have articulated a variety of approaches to ethics, politics, spirituality, and the relationship of the individual to society, in many cases developing legal frameworks for the regulation of issues of ethical concern in areas such as human rights, wealth distribution, medical ethics, the environment and human sexuality.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay (2,000 words) – 50%
Examination (2 hours) - 50%

Reassessment methods
Essay 3,000 words) – 100%

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate an understanding of the key values, worldviews, beliefs, assumptions and presuppositions which shape and inform specific ethical perspectives;
2 Provide an account of specific philosophical discussions related to ethics within one philosophical/religious tradition examined in this module;
3 Compare and contrast ethical approaches in two or more philosophical/religious traditions and/or contexts;
4 Demonstrate a general understanding of social construction theory and the influence historical, social and cultural factors may have on ethical judgement and reflection;
5 Apply these theoretical frameworks to the understanding of specific ethical judgements related to particular themes or issues.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate a capacity to engage with a variety of scholarly resources to extend the understanding, evaluate evidence and construct a persuasive argument;
2 Present information in an intelligent and coherent fashion in writing;
3 Present arguments in written form in a time-limited context.
4 Use basic electronic resources to further their research skills;


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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