PHIL 1103 - Morality, Society and the Individual

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2024

Morality plays a part in everyone's life. But what exactly is it, and why is it important? Are there any objective, universal moral truths, or are moral rightness and wrongness in some way relative to societies, or to individuals? Can morality be grounded in religion, or in facts about human nature? This course will ask what constraints a society is morally entitled to impose on its individual members, and what kinds of freedom from interference individuals are entitled to claim from their society. It will also ask how it is possible that anything really matters, if the universe does not itself have a purpose. The course will introduce you to some of the most influential answers that philosophers have given to these questions, and to the arguments they have used to defend their views. But its main aim is to help you to answer them clearly for yourself.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHIL 1103
    Course Morality, Society and the Individual
    Coordinating Unit Philosophy
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Tutorial active participation, Online logic and reading quizzes, In class essay assessment, Major essay
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Stephanie Sheintul

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of some of the major positions in normative ethics and metaethics.
    2. Analyze and engage critically with both contemporary and historical work in moral philosophy.
    3. Express, develop and defend their own views, through written work and through constructive discussion with others.
    4. Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which moral philosophy can be relevant to real-world moral problems.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Required reading for the course will be made available at the commencement of the course through the course website on MyUni.

    Recommended Resources
    Topic-specific reading recommendations will be supplied at the commencement of the course.

    Students wishing to do some initial background reading for the course, or to assess their interest in the course content, should look at James Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy (McGraw-Hill, 2014).
    Online Learning
    All essential course information (including lecture slides and recordings, tutorial questions, further readings, and assessment information) will be available online via MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be taught by a combination of lectures (two per week) and tutorials (ten over the course of the semester). Details of lecture and tutorial topics will be provided in the Course Guide, which will be available on the course website on MyUni at the commencement of the course.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    In Philosophy study, there is an emphasis on careful reading and clear writing. A relatively small quantity of reading will be set each week (two chapter-length pieces of reading related to your classes, plus reading for assignments) -- but you will be asked to study this carefully.

    The information below is provided as a guide to the time commitment that will allow you to engage appropriately with the course requirements.

    Hours per week Hours per semester
    2 x 1-hour lecture 24 hours
    1 x 1-hour tutorial 10 hours
    3 hours lecture preparation and revision (reading, taking notes, reviewing lectures) 36 hours
    3 hours tutorial preparation (reading, taking notes, preparing tutorial questions) 30 hours
    4 hours assessment work (research, planning, and writing) 48 hours
    13 hours 148 hours

    Hours per week are approximate and averaged over the semester. The actual hours required will vary from week to week, and are likely to be higher in the weeks leading up to the submission of an assignment.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

    Specific Course Requirements
    Details will be supplied in the Course Guide, available at the commencement of the course through MyUni.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Course assessment will have the following components:

    Two essays of 1,500 words each (60% in total)
    Ten shortly weekly quizzes, testing your comprehension of the material covered in lectures (20% in total)
    Tutorial preparation and attendance (20% in total)

    Modified arrangements have been made to assessments and the details provided here reflect recent updates.
    1. Attendance has been removed. Now tutorial preparation - 20%
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.