About the course

The course interrogates different classical and contemporary moral theories and their relevance for education. Together we will investigate advantages and disadvantages of different moral theories and their possibilities of guiding us for how to act, both as teachers, as students and as members of society. The course starts with considering the three main normative ethical theories of the Western world: utilitarianism, deontology and virtue ethics, but other theories such as care-ethics will also be considered. We will then focus on how these ethical theories can be applied in practice. Additionally, we will also take time to explore meta-ethical questions such as the question where morality might come from. Is morality a feature of our psychology and/or our culture, or do moral facts exist as properties of the universe? Are moral statements simply expressing our emotions or are we expressing facts? In the course we will meet twice on a weekly basis and each week we will tackle a new thinker and new aspects of such moral questions.

Course content

The course introduces central ethical traditions such as ethics of care, virtue ethics, utilitarianism and deontology. The course also encompasses opposing ideas on the relation between education and conceptions of human flourishing and the good life. In addition, epistemological and methodological approaches are discussed in relation to pedagogical dilemmas.

Syllabus and course literature

You can find a list of literature in the syllabus, along with other details about the course.

Entry requirements and selection

Entry requirements

Degree of Bachelor in education, social sciences or the humanities, and the equivalent of Swedish secondary school English 6


A professional qualification specialising in teaching that comprises 180 credits, of which 15 credits from an independent project, and the equivalent of Swedish secondary school English 6


University credits completed 100%

Course evaluation

Malmö University provides students who participate in, or who have completed a course, with the opportunity to express their opinions and describe their experiences of the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarise the results of course evaluations. The University will also inform participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures taken in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).