• The Open University

Global Ethics: An Introduction

Explore the key ethical theories surrounding global challenges and learn how philosophy can be used to address these problems.

5,843 enrolled on this course

Global Ethics: An Introduction

Widespread poverty, closed borders and catastrophic climate change

In our interconnected world, we face challenges that demand global solutions. But how do you find the right solutions?

On this course, you will use key ethical theories to examine the most important global issues of our time. What should be done about widespread poverty? Can it be right for countries to control migration and close borders? And what about climate change: Why care about preserving the world for future generations anyway?

Upon completing this course, you’ll be better equipped to think about and debate some of today’s most complex global ethical challenges.

What topics will you cover?

Week 1
How do key moral theories apply to the most important issues in global ethics?

Week 2
Global inequality: What should be done about widespread poverty?

Week 3
Migration: Are controlled borders unethical?

Week 4
Climate change: Should we care for future generations?

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. 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 key moral theories and apply them to important issues in global ethics.
  • Explore and examine the global challenge of inequality, and appreciate its complexity.
  • Apply and critically assess different arguments relating to the global challenge of migration.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the global challenge of climate change, and consider our obligations to future generations.
  • Identify and use the concepts and methods of philosophy.
  • Apply basic philosophical arguments.
  • Identify and use key ethical concepts.
  • Debate in a reasoned manner some of the most important questions of our time.

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in global ethics, or those considering further study in global challenges and philosophy.

What software or tools do you need?

There are no specific software requirements or tools needed to study this course.

Who will you learn with?

Manuel Dries is a UK Philosopher at The Open University and the University of Oxford. His research is in European Philosophy with a focus on contemporary Ethics, Philosophy of Mind, and Aesthetics.

I am a Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University. I have ten years of teaching experience, across a wide range of topics including Metaphysics, Epistemology, Ethics and Political Philosophy.

I am a lecturer and Staff Tutor at the Open University in the UK. Here, and elsewhere, over the years I have taught a variety of topics in political, moral and social philosophy.

I'm a philosopher working in the department at the Open University: I work on political philosophy, and increasingly, the philosophy of sport. To be honest, I'm interested in just about everything.

Who developed the course?

The Open University

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

  • Established

    1969
  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
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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

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