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Why Ethics Matter: Ethical Research

Explore the role ethics plays in research and why it's so important.

4,824 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
This course is part of the program Why Research Matters, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Action. Find out more.

Why are ethics so important in research?

We each have different morals, shaped by our individual upbringing, culture and life experiences. These diverse moral codes result in different perceptions of what’s right, fair and reasonable. This is where a research code of ethics comes in.

On this course, you’ll explore significant events in history that have shaped ethical conduct today. You’ll also explore the key principles most codes of ethics are based on.

Looking at case studies, you’ll examine the components of a research ethics application. Finally, you’ll discover how to protect people’s rights during your own research process.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds Do you know what ethical obligations you’ll need to meet when conducting your research? Do we really need a code of ethics, or is the fair and just treatment of others plain common sense? How do we protect the vulnerable while still moving forward with life-changing research? Hello. I’m Chris Stevenson from Deakin University. And I’m Nick Barter from Griffith University. Ignorance is not bliss. Ethical dilemmas don’t always have obvious solutions. And you will be held accountable for your actions and decisions during the research process. So you need to know what’s expected before you get started.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds Join us in this two-week course as we learn the difference between morals and ethics, strategies for working through ethical dilemmas, and how to avoid common pitfalls as you undertake your research. Don’t make the mistake of walking into your research project blindly. We’ll help you confidently navigate your ethics application and apply theory to practise. Register now for your opportunity to learn from two leading research universities. Together, we’ll teach you the principles required to protect your research participants and yourself. Do it right, and do it well. We look forward to seeing you in the course and helping you achieve remarkable and ethical outcomes in your research. See you soon.

What topics will you cover?

  • The role of ethics in research today and the historical context
  • Core principles underpinning ethical codes
  • Identifying conflicts of interest and managing bias
  • Navigating ethical dilemmas and repercussions of unethical behavior
  • Special considerations for research involving people and animals
  • Preparing for the ethics application

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss the value of ethical conduct in research
  • Interpret ethical principles to apply theory to practice
  • Apply a framework to support ethical research design

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at anyone interested in ethics and research. It may be of particular interest to people who are undertaking a research project related to their profession or area of study.

Who will you learn with?

Nick is an academic with a focus on developing frameworks to allow corporate strategists to realise sustainable strategies and expanding online education to as many learners as possible

Chris is an epidemiologist and biostatistician with a particular interest in evidence based health policy. He is a passionate teacher with a commitment to blending teaching with cutting edge research

Who developed the course?

Griffith University

Griffith University was created to be a different kind of university—challenging conventions, responding to trends and pioneering solutions through innovative teaching and research.

  • Established

  • Location

    Queensland, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 210Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021

Deakin University

Deakin University is one of Australia’s largest universities with more than 61,000 students and over 15,000 online.

  • Established

  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 280Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Advance your career with a degree

Since 2017 you have been able to take a degree on FutureLearn. This free course is a bit like a starter course for a degree — it should give you a flavour of the degree subject but can also be your first step towards a degree qualification.

If you enjoy this course you can apply to join the program it’s part of to start working towards a degree on FutureLearn.

Don’t worry, you can still take the course without doing a full degree!

Do the free course
Join and complete the program
Get academic credit for an online degree from Deakin University
This course is part of the program Why Research Matters, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Action.

This program is aimed at anyone interested in research, but may be of particular interest to people who are undertaking a research project related to their profession or area of study.

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