Skip to main content


Postgraduate Module Descriptor

ANTM111: Animal Ethics

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Module Aims

This module aims to introduce students to the ethics of non-human life. By covering key topics in ethics and philosophical argumentation the module seeks to grant students from any background an understanding of how philosophical approaches can be applied to the problems associated with human interactions with other living things. The module aims to give students a good general knowledge in animal ethics and also the conceptual limits which define this field (what is an animal?). Through this module you will gain an understanding of the range of ethical problems which our life with non-human organisms gives rise to and to the possible responses which have been and might be offered to these problems. This module aims particularly at ensuring you will gain a good understanding of the concepts of sentience and personhood and how these might be employed in our thinking about non-human life.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the ethical questions associated with human interactions with non-human organisms.
2. Analyse critically issues relating to personhood and sentience.
3. Articulate clearly stances for and against potential positions in animal ethics.
Discipline-Specific Skills4. Articulate, in written form, valid ethical arguments.
5. Demonstrate a clear understanding of systematic analysis and philosophical problem solving.
6. Demonstrate an understanding of the breadth of philosophical debate and the place of ethics within philosophy and its relationship with other academic disciplines.
Personal and Key Skills7. Communicate effectively (orally and in writing) valid arguments.
8. Engage calmly and effectively in debate concerning highly sensitive topics.
9. Evaluate effectively an opposing stance when assessing the value of arguments.