☰       Department Menu

Institute of Ethics

MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility)

Degree Information: Course begins again in September 2018

Programme Coordinators:

The MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) is a specialist pathway within the MA in Ethics that is run by the DCU School of Theology, Philosophy, & Music and the Institute of Ethics . This new specialism was developed in partnership with the Association of Compliance Officers Ireland (ACOI) and is delivered in conjunction with the DCU Business School. The pathway is designed to provide participants with the conceptual knowledge and practical skills that are needed to design and manage within organisations the ethical, social and governance aspects of business decision-making and operation. Participants will learn how to apply business ethics concepts and frameworks to the responsible management of organisations.

Aims and Objectives:

The MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) specifically expands on the theoretical perspective of business ethics. 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.

Programme Structure:

The MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) is a two-year, part-time, programme. Lectures take place on Tuesday evenings and on 2 Saturdays in the first year. Course participants complete the following 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.


Each taught module is assessed through a written major paper and other forms of continuous assessments such as presentations.

Thesis: Course participants will complete a Research Module, which includes a series of seminars on academic writing, research methodologies and a minor thesis (15,000 words) from within the perspective of the discipline of ethics.


The MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) is awarded by Dublin City University [Level 9 of the National Framework of Qualifications]. Participants who do not wish to complete an entire MA may exit the programme with a Graduate Diploma in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) after successfully completing 60 credits of taught modules or with a Graduate Certificate in Ethics after successfully completing 30 credits of taught modules.

Why DCU:

This MA in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) is the only programme of its kind offered by DCU. It is designed to equip 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. DCU is a dynamic and ambitious university with a distinctive mission to transform lives and societies through education, research and innovation.

Why Do This Programme?

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.

Career Prospects:

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

What graduates say about the course:

“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.

Dates for submission of applicants:

EU Applicants:

Application deadline 31 July 2018

Non-EU Applicants:

Application deadline 10 July 2017

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. 

How to apply:

Apply through the Postgraduate Application Centre.  Please use PAC code DC689.

Flyer to download here