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Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility)

MA in Ethics: Corporate Responsibility(Pathway)

  • PAC CodeDC689
  • Course Type Postgraduate
  • NFQ Level 9
  • Delivery Modes Part-time
  • Duration 2 Years

The MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) is a specialist pathway within the MA in Ethics run by the DCU School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music and the Institute of Ethics. No philosophy or ethics background is required to apply for this course. You’ll obtain the knowledge and skills needed to design and manage the ethical, social and governance aspects of business decision-making and operation. You’ll also learn how to apply business ethics concepts and frameworks to the responsible management of organisations.

This interdisciplinary course draws on the expertise of lecturers from the School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music, Institute of Ethics, DCU Business School and practitioners in the field of Business Ethics. The MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) is part of a professional development framework for Association of Compliance Officers in Ireland (ACOI).

After graduation you can join our MA in Ethics Alumni and be part of a network of expertise and support in the field of ethics.

Graduate View


"Studying for the MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) was a very worthwhile and rewarding experience. Through a well-structured and interconnected, yet diverse range of modules, the course provided me with an opportunity to explore moral philosophical theory and the role it can play in shaping decision-making at an organisational level. Through their knowledge and expertise, the various lecturers facilitated enlightening discussion and debate across a broad array of ethical issues that affect businesses in the Post-Celtic Tiger era. Organisations would be well served directing their decision makers towards this MA course - one that fosters moral imagination and courage within the individual. Undertaking this course has the potential to shape one's mind-set for the better." Emmet Condron, MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) Graduate


The MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) specifically expands on the theoretical perspective of business ethics as well as its practical management tools.

Upon successful completion of the course of study for this award, a graduate will be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of a broad range of ethical theories and principles that are at the forefront of general and applied ethics.

Demonstrate a systematic understanding of a broad range of business ethics concepts and theories including corporate responsibility, corporate governance and stakeholder accountability.

Apply a range of business ethics theories and practical tools to address ethics issues in business organizations.

You’ll undertake the course part-time over two years, completing six taught modules, all of which are core:

  • Introduction to Ethics
  • Readings in Ethics
  • Human Rights & Social Justice
  • Business Ethics
  • Finance and Corporate Governance
  • Implementing an Effective Ethics Culture

You’ll also complete a minor thesis (15,000 words) from within the perspective of the discipline of ethics.

2017-2018 Modules

View the current course structure →


This MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) programme equips participants with a solid foundation in theoretical and applied ethics. It also develops the necessary skills to appraise soundly and confront confidently a vast range of important topical ethical challenges.

Why Do This Programme?

The programme is offered on a part-time basis over two years.

The programme is interdisciplinary, drawing on the expertise of lecturers from the School of Theology, Philosophy and Music, Institute of Ethics, DCU Business School and practitioners in the field of Business Ethics.



The programme is part of a professional development framework for ACOI members and for individuals within the wider business community who wish to develop their leadership skills for Business Ethics & Corporate Responsibility roles within organisations.

The pathway has been designed to appeal to individuals carrying out roles in or related to:

  • Ethics & Compliance
  • Corporate Responsibility/Citizenship
  • Stakeholder Relations
  • Organisational or Board Governance or Risk Management
  • Social Accounting/Reporting
  • Socially Responsible Investment
  • Ethics, Audit, Risk or Compliance Committees
  • Regulatory and public sector bodies
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate students and staff

Gráinne Shortall MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) Graduate

"The MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) was particularly relevant and beneficial to my roles in compliance, regulation and ethics policy development. The range of modules allowed me to focus on specific professional areas and to select other areas of personal interest. The two year programme was very interesting and lecturers were experienced and supportive which I found to be essential having returned to third level education after a number of years. Lectures incorporated an excellent balance of academic instruction, presentations and group discussions helping each of us to build knowledge and expertise not only from lecturers, but from students from a range of professions and backgrounds. This helped us to develop skills and confidence in recognising and addressing ethical dilemmas and the achievement of practical solutions. It also enhanced our professional and personal knowledge of ethics and governance legislation and best practice." 


General Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally have an honours primary degree or equivalent (2.2) but appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may be accepted as equivalent to an honours degree, in accordance with the relevant regulations of the University. Interviews may be held.

International Applications

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

For further information on international applications click here

As part of your application through the Postgraduate Applications Centre system (PAC) please submit a personal statement (maximum 1,000 words) - tell us why you want to join our programme.

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Make an Application

All Applicants must submit

  • Certified academic transcripts for each and every year of study, with certified English translations if applicable
  • Personal statement of 1,000 words maximum

Non Native English Speakers must also submit

  • Evidence of English competency which meets DCU entry requirements - see link


Dates for Submission of Applications

EU Applicants

  • Please apply through PAC  Applications will be reviewed and offers will be made on an onging basis.  Should places still be available on this programme, the final date for receipt of applications will be 14 August 2018 for entry in Autumn 2018.

Non-EU Applicants

  • Please apply through PAC .  Applicants will be reviewed and offers will be made on an ongoing basis.  Should places still be available on this programme, the final date for receipt of applications will be 10 July 2018 for entry in Autumn 2018.  

  • Applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of gaining entry into Ireland are advised to apply as early as possible.  If you need a study visa and are a Non EU student, you are not eligible to apply for part time programmes as study visas are only granted for full time programmes.

  • To apply for this programme use the PAC code DC689.

Queries on completed applications to be sent to