Environmental Ethics: right and wrong in the age of climate crisis ADED11257

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

How should we balance the need to produce cheap food with environmental damage? Should we be using low-cost airlines? Is it now immoral to have children? Should animals be granted the same rights as human beings? The climate crisis gives rise to many daily and long-term moral questions concerning how we should live and behave. This course introduces students to environmental ethics, the branch of philosophy concerned with how our moral values and decisions impact the natural world. Through a series of talks and discussions, this course will grapple with the difficult environmental moral dilemmas we face as humans and encourage students to reflect and consider how we face these challenges.


Block 4,

2 hours, 10 weeks

Wednesday, 19:00-21:00

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Choice of one form of presentation:

■ 5 min recorded oral presentation

■ 500 word written commentary

■ 500 word, 1-page poster (25%). 


Essay (1,500 words) (75%).

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce students to some of the key debates in environmental ethics

■ Develop students' analytical skills through critical engagement with several key texts and approaches

■ Discuss how they could be applied to 'real-world' dilemmas

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Identify and describe some of the key debates in environment ethics

■ Analyse and compare environmental ethical debates with reference to key texts

■ Apply an environmental ethical approach to a 'real-world' dilemma and discuss their findings

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.