PHIL 2045 - Professional Ethics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

It is essential for professionals in any field to have an understanding of the ethical problems and principles in their field. But anyone, no matter what their job, must deal with many other professions as well. Part of professional ethics is the understanding of the ethics of other professions: how they interact and what can be expected from them as correct ethical behaviour. In turn, any professional will benefit from a critical scrutiny of their own ethics by those from other professions. The general principles of professional ethics will be examined, as well as the distinctive problems of the different fields. The course is taught in six modules of four lectures and two tutorials each, covering the ethics of several major professions: Business Ethics, Media Ethics, Police Ethics, Medical Ethics, Legal Ethics, and Research Ethics. Topics covered will also include: the nature of a profession, professional codes of ethics, confidentiality, whistle-blowing, the responsibility of business to the environment, uses and abuses of human research, and animal ethics in research.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHIL 2045
    Course Professional Ethics
    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
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level 1 ARTS including 3 units of Philosophy; exceptions for students from Faculty of Engineering, Education, Law and Science or by permission of course coordinator
    Incompatible PHIL 2023 or PHIL 3023
    Assessment Essay 1 (2000 words) 40%, Essay 2 (2000 words) 40%, Tutorial presentation & written summary 20%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Denise Gamble

    Lecturers Dr. Denise Gamble
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    LO 1 Understanding of the nature of professionalism and ethical challenges inherent   in professionalism

    LO 2 Knowledge and understanding of prominent normative ethical theories and   frameworks – consequentialist, deontological, contractualist, and virtue based

    LO 3  Ability to identify  specific ethical challenges  and dilemmas confronting members of a range of professions (business, media,   police, law, medicine, research)

    LO 4 Ability to engage in ethical analysis and reasoning in relation to case studies exemplifying ethical dilemmas in specific professions

    LO 5 Ability to engage effectively in small-group learning activities organised around case-study analyses

    LO 6 Ability to research  appropriate material in relation to set questions in writing essays meeting  the highest standards of rigor and clarity

    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 6
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Text: Ethics for the Professions. John Rowan & Samuel Zinaich, Jnr. Wadsworth. 2003
    Reading material for lecture background and case analyses will also be scanned and posted online.
    Recommended Resources
    Joan C. Callahan, Ethical issues in professional life, Oxford University Press, 1988.
    Alan H. Goldman, The moral foundations of professional ethics, Rowman and Littlefield, 1980
    Ruth F. Chadwick, (ed.) Ethics and the professions, Avebury, 1994.
    Justin Oakley, Dean Cocking, Virtue ethics and professional roles. Cambridge University Press, 2001
    Online Learning

    Lectures will be posted on Canvas prior to weekly workshops.
    A Guide to writing  essays in Philosophy is posted on Canvas.
    Essay topics will be posted on Canvas.
    Case studies will be posted weekly on Canvas for case analyses in Workshops.
    Weekly MCQ mini-tests will be posted (and marked) on Canvas.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    A weekly 3-hour workshop will incorporate (1) review of lecture material/content already posted online in Canvas prior to the session;
    and (2) case analysis and/or tutorial type discussions on set questions in small groups where topics are related to lecture material.  Some sessions will also include guest speakers.
    Assessed mini-tests on provided reading associated with each workshop to be completed online within a week of the workshop.

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

    To complete the course successfully students will be required to (1) attend each 3-hour workshop where attendance record will be kept (3 hours); (2) read material relevant to completing weekly online mini-test (2 hour); (3) reading and research in relation to two major essays (7 hours or 3.5 hours for each essay). [An average of 12 hours per week or 144 hours over semester.]
    Learning Activities Summary
    Weekly 3-hour Workshop - Review pre-posted lecture and engage in small group activity in the form either of tutorial-type discussion in relation to pre-set questions, or case study analyses.  Workshop schedule to be posted online prior to commencement of course.
    Weekly online minitest on reading in relation to weekly workshop lecture and reading.



    Deep discipline knowledge

    1, 2, 6

    Critical thinking and problem solving

    3, 4

    Teamwork and communication skills


    Career and leadership readiness

    1, 3, 4

    Intercultural and ethical competency

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5

    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    3, 5

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Weekly workshops will utilize activities around case studies and ethical reasoning as small group discovery activities.
  • 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
    Participation in at least ten weekly workshop small-group discussions and case analyses (1 mark to make a maximum total of 10 marks).
    Completion of ten weekly online mini-tests. Mini-tests will take the form of Multiple Choice Questions with a maximum of 5 marks per test available. The final mini-test assessment mark will be the average of best ten results.
    Two major essays of 2500 words on set questions coverning the two halves of the course, each essay worth 40% of total mark.

    Contribution to workshop
    Formative 10% 3,4,5
    Completion of
    online mini-tests
    Formative and
    10% 1,2,3
    Two 2500 word research
    Summative 80% (Each essay
    weighted at 40%)
    Assessment Detail
    Guidelines on writing an essay in Philosophy will be provided.
    Essays will be electronically uploaded and marked on Canvas.
    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.

    Students will receive extensive formative feedback on their first essay, as well as opportunities for consultation, and less extensive feedback but opportunities for consultation in relation to second essay.

    A response to SELTS indicating actions that will be taken regarding the conduct or modifications of the content or assessment of the course if any are considered justified after consideration of student evaluation of the course.
  • 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.

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