FIL4320 – Ethics with long essay

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

The course consists of an in-depth study of a central problem within a field of moral philosophy – metaethics, normative ethics or applied ethics. Which problem the course focuses on may vary from one semester to another. Particular emphasis will be given to in- depth study, active reading, analysis and critical examination of texts. Certain semesters it might be relevant to analyze the connection between ethics and political philosophy.

Learning outcome

After having completed the course you are expected to

  • have good knowledge of the core texts for the course
  • be able to acquire knowledge of and critically relate to the latest research contributions within the topic of the course
  • be able to discuss the problems addressed in the course in a critical and professional  manner, both orally and in writing
  • be able to write an essay of about 25-50 pages answering a precise question in such a way that the essay has a clear and self-developed argumentative structure and demonstrates an updated acquaintance of the field


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.

Only master degree students in Philosophy (master's two years) can formally enroll, and take the course for credits. The 30-credits version of the course is available only for students who choose to write a MA-essay, FIL4091 – Master's essay in philosophy, instead of a Master's Thesis, FIL4090 – Master's thesis in philosophy, and therefore need further 30 credits.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with FIL4300 – Ethics


Teaching takes place from week 34 till week 37 with three double sessions per week. Regular and active participation in class is expected. The course has the following compulsory tuition activities:

  • An obligatory draft for the term paper
  • Mandatory presence at the seminars (you must be present minimum 11 out of 14 times). We expect active participation in class discussions from all the students.

The draft must be accepted as satisfactory in order to be able to hand in the term paper.




An essay of 25-50 pages à 2300 characters excl. bibliography. You submit your essay in Fronter.

When you write an essay you are entitled to receive individual tutoring. However, this requires that you submit a draft to your teacher which must be approved. An exact deadline will be announced on the semester pages. Submitting a draft is obligatory in order for the studentes to have the right to sit the exam.


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.

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.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language