This course is discontinued

INF5013NSA – Cyberethics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

Philosophy is love of wisdom, a suitable extension to engineering that deals with knowledge. Ethics is one of the fundaments of philosophy, discussing concepts like good and bad, right and wrong. In a modern context this is extended to all humanity, and our world itself. We should do good work, in the sense of Aristotle, and make the world a better place, at least not destroy it. Our engineering plans should target ecology, utility and prudent use of technology, as part of sustainability of our organisation and our natural habitat. Ethics should help vision and strategy. Indications are that organisations with this basis do better than others, but this is not yet fully proved.

To complement ethics, other parts of philosophy are presented, like philosophy of science, and theory of knowledge. This is to prepare for a global, interconnected world where complexity and even chaos is expected. Some of the biggest challenges will be to counteract the effects of human activity, at the same time technology can contribute to a better life, even for people that today have no future.

  • Ethics and morals in an international context.
  • Compliance and positive ethics. How ethics can avoid mistakes, and contribute to good work.
  • Principles of ethics and how they are applied. Organisation ethics.
  • Privacy and openness: laws, regulations, standards and security concerns.
  • Ethics for decisions, decision theory, ill-defined problems.
  • Philosophical systems, philosophy of science, theory of knowledge.
  • Professional ethics, codes of ethics. Professionality.
  • Management ethics. Stakeholder theory. Balancing needs. Sustainability.
  • Human rights. Formal international ethics, agreements, conventions, standards.
  • Applied ethics in international organisations, including Red Cross and business.
  • Governance, how to implement ethics and good organisation guidelines.
  • Future ethics, with major challenges in ecology, finance and world government.

Learning outcome

The course will enable students to perform the following.

  • Evaluate projects and technologies from a philosophical or ethical viewpoint.
  • Argue for or against ethical choices, orally and in written English.
  • Know how to implement ethical principles in computer programs.
  • Know principles of openness and privacy, being able to implement a suitable level of both in professional life, and computer programs.
  • Choose appropriate theories for technology, management, research or projects. Know strengths and weaknesses of those theories.
  • Establish ethical principles for international management, or be able to evaluate such principles.
  • Know ethical principles for investment, and current challenges for a wider use of such principles.
  • Be able to include ecology in technology planning and evaluation.
  • Know basic principles of governance, and how these may be implemented in computer programs.


Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

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


Formal prerequisite knowledge

No obligatory prerequisites beyond the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway.


2 hours of lecture per week. Weekly reading assignments selected from the relevant literature.


Class participation (at least 80%) and a final written which counts 100% of the final grade.

Examination support material

Dictionary: own language-English, English-own language. No other exam resources are allowed.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.


It is strongly recommended to attend the first lecture since it will be given important information.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

The course is held for the last time in Autumn 2018.


Every autumn

The Exam will be arranged Autumn 2019 and for the last time Autumn 2020

Teaching language