Ethics Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Ethics?

Ethics can be defined as a system of moral principles that are concerned with what is good for individuals and society. Ethics can also be described as moral philosophy.

Ethics is based on well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues of law, religion or courtesy.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Ethics courses in the following subject areas:

  • Business Ethics – A Study of the ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment.
  • Work Ethics – Improve your ability to recognise and facilitate ethical choices, and to recognise unethical actions and behaviours in the workplace.
  • Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business Law – A study of the ethical, corporate fundamentals of governance and business law.
  • MA in Ethics: Corporate Responsibility – Gain the knowledge and skills needed to design and manage the ethical, social and governance aspects of business decision-making and operation.
  • Diploma In Ethics And Corporate Governance – The study of the importance of ethics in operating a business and maintaining its reputation.
  • Diploma in Business Ethics and Law – A study of the importance of business ethics within any industry.
  • Diploma in Business Ethics and Corporate Governance – A study of the underlying ethical philosophies and theories and values in individuals and organisational settings.
  • Business Ethics Diploma – Gain knowledge and skills in public relations, the global business environment and environmental issues in business.
  • Ethics at Work: Professional Ethics in the 21st Century – This course is designed to support professionals who encounter complex, important and topical ethical issues in their practice.
  • Ethics in Real Life – The study of ethics and decision-making relevant to everyone, such as end of life issues, plagiarism and copyright, and the responsibilities of companies and shareholders.

Studying Ethics in college

There are many Ethics courses that take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

Career options

After completing a course in Ethics you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of Ethics. Whatever career area you’re interested in, finding some short-term paid or voluntary work will improve your prospects of getting a job and can give you a valuable insight into how a company or institution operates. It may also help you decide whether you want to work in the public, private or voluntary sector.

The profession you ideally want to enter will determine the type of work experience you could consider. If you want to become a teacher, you’ll need some classroom experience so contact local schools for opportunities. For other areas, such as marketing, PR or HR, you may be able to get a summer internship or some paid part-time work at an entry-level. This not only gives you a taste of what the work will be like but also helps to build useful contacts.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Related jobs include:

  • Social Worker
  • Human resources officer
  • Local government officer
  • Marketing executive
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Policy officer
  • Psychotherapist
  • Recruitment consultant
  • Social researcher
  • Solicitor
  • Paralegal
  • Further education teacher
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Business analyst
  • Chaplain
  • Civil Service Servant
  • Health service manager

Further study

After completing a course in Ethics you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as advancing Health and Social Justice, pursuing Law, Compliance, and Policy in the Public Interest, empowering and educating youth, incorporating values into Academic Research, Scholarships, and Higher Education making change through Public Service, Non-Profit Work, and Philanthropy.


What are the 3 types of ethics?

The three schools of thought in Ethics are: virtue ethics, consequentialist ethics, and deontological or duty-based ethics. Each approach provides a different way to understand ethics.

Why is ethics important in life?

There is a framework of ethics underlying our lives on a daily basis, helping us make decisions that create positive impacts and steering us away from unjust outcomes. Ethics guides us to make the world a better place through the choices we make. Ethics in business is just as important as ethics in personal life.

What skills could be helpful for a career in Ethics?

If you are interested in starting a career that involves Ethics you will need to have the ability to analyse and construct sound arguments, distinguish fine differences between views and find common ground and present ideas convincingly through well-constructed, systematic arguments.

You should also be able to write clearly and persuasively, generate ideas and come up with solutions to problems and be open to new ideas and ways of thinking.

Some general transferable skills that are helpful to most careers are self-motivation and the capacity for independent study and thought, the ability to prioritise work and meet deadlines, flexibility and creativity, critical thinking, the capacity to identify, absorb and sift complex information and good teamwork skills.

Where can I study Ethics?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • Business ethics refers to the standard of behaviour that an organisation adopts concerning morals and ethics. In other words, behaviour that is considered or perceived to be “right or wrong”.
  • Morality refers to the rightness or wrongness, as of action, while Ethics refers to a study of judgments of value, of good and evil, right and wrong, desirable and undesirable.
  • Relativism is the view that there is no absolute knowledge, that truth is different for each individual, social group or historic period, and is therefore relative to the circumstances of the knowing subject.
  • Friedrich Hegel, Charles Darwin, and Karl Marx believed that all living forms and social systems are the mere result of progressive transformations over time, and man is shaped by either evolutionary processes and/or the culture that surrounds him. They rejected the idea that man is born with some innate nature.

Mariza Halliday

Hotel and Hospitality Operations
Culture and Colonialism Courses


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