School of Theology, Philosophy and Music

MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility)

MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility)
Course Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
Delivery Modes
2 Years (Part-Time)
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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 the Compliance Institute.

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.

The MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) has been ranked No. 37 in the 2021 Eduniversal's Ranking of best Masters and MBA programmes in Corporate Social Responsibility worldwide.

Programme Content and Structure

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:

  • Introduction to Ethics: This module provides a comprehensive introduction to ethics to enable course participants to further explore key contemporary ethical issues. The module explores how ethical theories influence ethical decision-making and provide frameworks for ethical reasoning and analysis.
  • Readings in Ethics: The purpose of this module is to introduce students to a selection of classic texts in the field of ethics thereby providing a more in-depth examination of the texts that are at the source of the major ethical theories.
  • Human Rights & Social Justice: This module will explore human rights in the context of global and social justice. It will offer a historical outline of the tradition of thinking about justice and the development of natural and human rights within this tradition.
  • Business Ethics: This module is designed to provide course participants with the necessary conceptual tools to analyse ethical dilemmas in the world of business at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It will train and enhance students' skills in applying ethical theories to a wide range of business ethics topics.
  • Finance and Corporate Governance: This module address ethical challenges in finance, including financial markets and financial management in corporations. This module reviews corporate governance structures and discusses both the legal and ethical duties of board members. It examines key requirements for effective corporate governance and the issues that may hinder this.
  • Implementing an Effective Ethics Culture: This module provides a self-reflective and systematic approach to the design and implementation of an effective ethics corporate culture, underpinned by appropriate codes, procedures, training and review.

Lectures take place on Tuesday evenings.

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

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.



"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) 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." Gráinne Shortall MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) Graduate

The programme is part of a professional development framework for Compliance Institute 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


• Applicants will normally have an honours primary degree or equivalent (H2.2) 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.

• Applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may also be considered. This includes discipline-specific knowledge and know-how; transferable skills; basic research competency; personal effectiveness.

• Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) applicants are required to submit a cover letter along with their application under the Transcripts section of the portal, affirming their intent to apply for RPL. For more information on RPL see here

• International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language. More information about DCU's English language requirements can be found here.


Full time

EU Status Fee
Non EU Fee.

Part time

EU Status Fee Part-time
€4,200 Per Annum
Non EU Fee Part time
€8,100 Per Annum

Next Steps

To apply for this programme:


All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application.

Please submit:

  • Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation, if applicable.


Please note if you are a non EU student and require a study visa, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Application Deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until the following dates:

  • Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2024
  • Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2024

Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU, are advised to apply as early as possible.

All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.

Application Queries

For EU applicant queries, please visit or email

For non EU applicant queries, please visit or email

Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in September 2024