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Course content

Applied ethics deals with specific moral problems of fundamental importance for today’s individual and society. This branch of ethics covers areas such as animal rights, medical ethics, environmental ethics and corporate ethics.

In the course we shall discuss questions such as: Do humans and animals have a different moral status? Can eating meat be morally justified? Are there any moral reasons for allowing euthanasia?  How should one balance different values and demands in care work when it comes to the sharing of resources? Are we morally obliged to fight climate change? How should we as individuals deal with the environmental as well as the economic changes which the globalization makes us face? Can today’s economic system be justified?

The content of the course may vary from one semester to another, something which means that often different topics will be discussed each time the course is given. Applied ethics also covers methodological questions regarding how to discuss and conclude as far as moral problems are concerned.

Learning outcome

After having completed the course you are expected to

  • be able to demonstrate a thorough insight in problems of applied ethics, and also be able to discuss different views critically in writing
  • be able to demonstrate an overview of differences, similarities and connections between different views within applied ethics and to give critical assessments of the different views  


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

We recommend that you complete FIL1003 - Introduction to ethics before signing up for this course.


24 hours of seminars and lectures.

Compulsory tuition activities:

  • A written abstract for the term paper of about 1000 words
  • One short commentary article of about 800 words
  • Participation in online discussion and chat forums (further information on this will be given at the start of the course)

Obligatory written assignments are to be submitted in Canvas.

In order for you to qualify for the final exam, all compulsory tuition activities must be approved (accepted as satisfactory) by the teacher.


A term paper of approximately 10 pages à 2300 characters excl. references.

You submit your paper in Inspera.

Assessment guidelines fall 2019

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


All courses are subject to continuous evaluation. The Department's assessments of courses are
available at our web-pages but generally only in Norwegian

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language