Department of PhilosophyWestern Arts and Humanities

Diploma in Ethics

The Diploma in Ethics, offered through Western University, Department of Philosophy, is being offered as a response to a wide and growing interest in the ethical dimensions of professional and public life. The purpose of this program is to enable participants to strengthen and develop their understanding of ethics so as to enhance their ability to recognize and respond to ethical issues in a wide variety of social settings. The Diploma in Ethics will educate students in the essential concepts, central issues, history, and methodologies of ethical reasoning. The program also emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills, writing skills and verbal skills. The Diploma in Ethics is a post-undergraduate program of study that may be completed full-time in one year or part-time over a number of years.

The program consists of five full-course equivalents. Students are required to complete four half courses in moral theory, moral reasoning and professional ethics. Students must also complete an additional six half course equivalents in applied ethics, political philosophy or philosophy of law. Typical course selections include business ethics, biomedical ethics, death, feminist philosophy, history of political philosophy, and environmental philosophy.

The Diploma in Ethics is open to anyone who has completed a three or four year undergraduate degree. The program is geared towards students who have degrees in subjects other than Philosophy, and thus presupposes no prior background in ethics or Philosophy. Although all eligible people are invited to apply, the Diploma in Ethics is particularly well-suited to those who are, or who intend to be, working in a profession such as law, medicine, nursing, journalism, education, engineering, government or business. The Diploma in Ethics is a program of study that may be completed full-time in one year or part-time over a number of years.

Admission Requirements
Students must have a 3 or 4 year undergraduate degree. The program is designed for students who have degrees in areas other than Philosophy. While no particular background is presupposed, Diploma students are required to have writing skills sufficiently strong to write essays at the university level.

Course Requirements
The program consists of 5.0 courses.

  • Philosophy 2700F/G
  • An additional 1.5 courses in Applied Ethics at the 2200 level drawn from Philosophy 2701E, 2702F/G, 2703F/G, 2710F/G, 2715F/G, 2720F/G, 2810F/G.
  • 3.0 courses in Ethics at the 2000 level or higher. While the offerings in ethics vary from year to year, typical course selections include, but are not limited to, Philosophy 2023, 2033A/B, 2070E, 2071E, 2073F/G, 2074F/G, 2077F/G, 2080, 2370F/G, 2630F/G, 2710F/G, 2715F/G, 2730F/G, 2800F/G, 2801F/G, 2810F/G, 2821F/G, 2822F/G, 3170F/G, 3180F/G, 3700E, 3710F/G, 3720F/G, 3810F/G, 4071F/G, 4072F/G, 4730F/G

NOTE: All Diploma students must take 5.0 courses as outlined in the program requirements. Courses taken as part of an undergraduate degree may not count towards the fulfillment of these requirements. Students who have satisfied any of the Diploma in Ethics requirements prior to entering the Diploma in Ethics program must consult with the Department of Philosophy to make appropriate course substitutions.

Progression Requirements
A student must maintain at least a 70% average and obtain a mark of not less than 60% in each course to remain in the program.

Graduation Requirements
To qualify for the Diploma in Ethics a student must complete the prescribed program of studies with at least a 70% average and a mark of not less than 60% in each course.

How to Apply

DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION FORM (PDF)

Western Graduates
Students who have previously graduated from Western must:

Students who have been awarded a first degree equivalent to at least a 15-course degree at Western with a minimum overall average of C (60% in the context of Western's grading system) are eligible to apply for admission to take courses for credit as Special Students.

Non-Western Graduates
Students who are graduates of another University must apply to Undergradaute Admissions by submitting an application form to the Ontario Universities' Application Centre in Guelph. Application deadlines are listed below.

Once admitted to Western as a Special Student, students must apply to be accepted in the Diploma in Ethics program by submitting the Diploma in Ethics Application form to the Department of Philosophy. Once accepted, complete a Change of Status Form in the Department.

Students who are currently attending Western as Special Students must apply to be accepted in the Diploma in Ethics program by submitting the Diploma in Ethics Application form to Department of Philosophy, and contact Mrs. B. Barratt in order to complete an Intent to Register form (signed by both the Faculty of Arts and the Department of Philosophy). Students will be adjudicated for eligibility once final grades are available for the current year.

Application Deadlines

Contacts for Admissions and Application Procedures