Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Virtue Ethics PHIL5101

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

One approach to answering the question, 'How should we live?' focuses on the traits of character that contribute to a well-lived life, including qualities like courage, wisdom, generosity and perseverance. Theories that take this approach are known as virtue theories. This course will look at important examples of virtue theory.


16 x 1hr lectures; 4 x 1hr seminars as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Philosophy and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





Essay (5000 words) - 100%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce students to the academic study of virtue

■ Highlight key features required in a normative ethical theory

■ Provide students an opportunity to continue developing their ability to read challenging texts and to construct and critique arguments.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Compare and critically assess different ways of defining the virtues

■ Explain important attempts to define right action in terms of virtue

■ Evaluate attempts to define right action in terms of virtue

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.