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Course content

Our Global Ethics and Human Values MA is the most wide-ranging and philosophical programme in its field, allowing you to study the most pressing ethical issues of our time, from globalisation and climate change to war, terrorism, poverty, inequality, justice and human rights.

Key benefits

  • A wide-ranging programme covering challenging contemporary philosophical topics and urgent ethical issues.
  • Taught by distinguished academic staff whose areas of expertise include a very wide range of topics in ethics and political philosophy.
  • Based in the heart of London, close to the Houses of Parliament, the Royal Courts of Justice, multinational corporate headquarters and international NGOs.
  • Open to students from law, the humanities and social sciences as well as those with relevant work experience.
  • Generous scholarships are available to support the brightest and best students.


Our Global Ethics & Human Values programme will encourage and develop your thinking about the complex theoretical and practical issues confronting the world, and equip you with the analytical skills to address those issues with philosophical rigour. It draws extensively on branches of philosophy, politics and international relations and will introduce you to a wide range of ideas, concepts and problems within those areas.

You will examine theoretical perspectives within ethics, such as deontology, consequentialism and virtue, and explore how these perspectives can be used to understand important and emotive issues such as religious and political conflict, nationalism, abortion, sexual perversion. You will also study the works and insights of major political philosophers to consider how concepts such as liberty or equality have been interpreted to shape the world we live in.

Our course is equally suited for students with a background in philosophy, politics, economics, history or social sciences, or those already working in government, international aid or NGOs, or in corporate social responsibility in the commercial sector.

You will study three compulsory modules and choose three optional modules. In the first semester, you will be exposed to a range of philosophical approaches within epistemology, ethics and political philosophy, which will be applied to relevant topics in a globalising world. In the second semester, you will be asked to apply the philosophical techniques and conceptual frameworks of the first semester to various global issues, ranging from terrorism to environmental concerns, human rights, world poverty and international justice.

In the final months of the course, you will choose a global issue of special interest to you and research it to write a 12,000-15,000-word dissertation.

Course format and assessment

All modules are run as seminars, with a mixture of formal presentation by the instructor and active discussion among members of the seminar. Instructors are also available outside of seminars, and during the dissertation phase students will have personal guidance from a specific instructor.

Full time

There will be 6-8 hours of lectures, seminars and feedback per week. Students are expected to spend 32-34 hours per week engaed in self-study.

Part time

There will be 4-6 hours of lectures, seminars and feedback per week. Students are expected to spend 14-16 hours per week engaged in self-study.


You will be assessed through a combination of examinations and an extended essay. The required modules are assessed together by one 3-hour exam. The optional modules are assessed by a 3,000 word essay. The exception is the Internship module which candidates are assessed by a proposal, a short journal and a 4,000 word project.

Career destinations

Our programme has broadened students' awareness of global issues. Many of our graduates have gone on to do research degrees and work for governmental and non-governmental organisations.

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Visit the Global Ethics & Human Values - MA page on the King’s College London website for more details!






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