Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit increases students' awareness and critical thinking skills related to a diverse range of ethical dilemmas. The unit is designed to arm students with thinking skills and knowledge in ethics to enable them to respond in respectful ways in the workplace and in their personal lives to a variety of ethical issues. As such, this is a multidisciplinary unit involving Philosophy; Animal Biology; Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology; History; and Pharmacology across three faculties of this University (Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education; Faculty of Science; and Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences). Teaching in Philosophy includes different approaches to ethical theory and the code of ethics relating to various fields of study or professions. Humans interact with animals in a range of areas including research, teaching, as pets and livestock. Animal Biology explores animal ethics and welfare using current dilemmas such as genetically modified animals, the use of animals in research, farming systems and entertainment industries. Teaching in Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology highlights issues involving human reproduction. History focusses on issues such as war, tyrannicide and whistleblowing. Pharmacology explores issues such as drug discovery, development, marketing and use in developed and developing nations. Guest speakers also contribute to occasional lectures in the unit. It is envisaged that such speakers offer a life and/or workplace view on current ethical dilemmas. Speakers are selected from across the University and surrounding areas. Visitors from interstate or overseas may also be invited to contribute in this manner.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Artificial Intelligence major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) recognise ethical issues in their fields of study or profession; (2) understand theoretical frameworks used to analyse ethical practice; (3) identify core values of ethical practice relating to their fields of study or profession; (4) demonstrate moral sensitivity to competing interests in diverse contexts; (5) engage in informed discussion and ethical reasoning to reach morally defensible decisions; and (6) communicate orally and in writing on ethical issues in a logical, organised manner that clearly and accurately conveys their thoughts, arguments, evidence, reasoning and conclusions.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorials and (2) project. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Lynette Fernandes
Unit rules
completion of 48 points of prior study
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
tutorials: 3 hours per week for 5 weeks
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.