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M.A. in Public Ethics

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  • General information
  • Teaching staff
  • Admission
  • Program requirements
  • Courses
  • Contact us
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Overview of the program

The M.A. in Public Ethics is designed to help graduates develop the following competencies:

  • To discern the values and ethical concerns involved in particular policy statements or social and political practices;
  • To propose appropriate strategies for taking these values and ethical concerns into consideration in the further formulation of policy statements and establishment of such practices at regional, national, and international levels;
  • To study more deeply the major ethical questions raised by society;
  • To explore the values and ethical concerns arising from, or involved in, a society defined more and more in terms of information creation and transfer.
  • To propose appropriate strategies for taking these values and ethical concerns into consideration in the further evolution of an information-oriented communication society.

This program is based upon course and seminar work, reflection on practical experience, optional internship, and supervised research in public ethics. The program is designed for students who wish to specialize in public ethics at the graduate level as well as professionals who are seeking to advance their careers, make career changes, or prepare for doctoral studies.

 

Admission details

Registration: full-time
Program length: 4 terms
Program delivery: some courses are also offered online.
Language: this program is also offered in French.

For information about admission deadlines, please click here.

Scholarships

Students registered in this program may be eligible for a number of scholarships. For more information, please click here.

 

This degree is conferred jointly by the Senates of Saint Paul University and the University of Ottawa.

Academic regulations.

To be admitted to the master’s program, candidates must:

  • Have obtained an honours bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent, in philosophy, ethics, political science, governance studies, public policy, or in another discipline judged relevant, with a minimum grade point average of 70% (B);
  • Submit two letters of reference, at least one of which must be from a professor;
  • Be proficient in at least one of Canada’s two official languages, and have a good enough reading knowledge of the other official language to be able to read texts in that language.

In exceptional cases, candidates who do not meet the first two criteria as defined above may be admitted to the master’s program, provided they can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Admissions Committee, that they possess adequate knowledge and professional experience (for example, experience as a policy analyst in the public sector). Depending on the case, such candidates may be required to complete qualifying courses in pertinent disciplines prior to admission.

Qualifying Program

  1. Candidates may enroll in a qualifying program on the recommendation of the Admission Committee (it is not possible to apply directly to a qualifying program).
  2. The number of units taken in a qualifying program may not exceed 36.
  3. The qualifying program must be completed within three consecutive sessions or less.
  4. The student must obtain a minimum grade of C+ in each course, and have an overall B average.
  5. Students wishing to complete their qualifying courses at another university are advised to have their course of studies approved in advance by the program coordinator.

Some additional documents, and in some cases specific forms, are required. For more information, please see the page Step 4: Gather the documents needed for the assessment of your application.

The MA program provides two options:

  • Research Paper option: six compulsory courses; four optional courses; Research Paper (EPE6999).
  • Thesis option: six compulsory courses; two optional courses; Thesis (EPE7999).

Compulsory Courses (18 units)

EPE5101 Social Philosophy (3u)
EPE6300 Main Ethical Theories I (3u)
EPE6307 Main Ethical Theories II (3u)
EPE6309 Ethics, Philosophy and Public Policy (3u)
EPE6310 Seminar in Public Ethics I (3u)
EPE6311 Seminar in Public Ethics II (3u)

Optional Courses (12 or 6 units)

12 units (Research Paper option) or 6 units (Thesis option) from:
ECS5304 Ethical Dimensions of Conflict (3u)
EPE6301 Military and Peacekeeping Ethics (3u)
EPE6302 Environmental Ethics (3u)
EPE6303 Ethics and Human Rights (3u)
EPE6304 Ethics and International Development (3u)
EPE6305 Ethics and Health Care (3u)
EPE6306 Ethics, Privacy and Information (3u)
EPE6308 Secularism and Public Life (3u)
EPE6320 Selected Topics in Ethics (3u)
EPE6901 Directed Readings / Lectures dirigées (3u)
EPE6902 Research Internship / Stage de recherche (3u)
CMN5115 Communication Ethics (3u) (UO)
PAP6102 Democratic Governance (3u) (UO)
SOC7150 Interethnic Relations: Critical Examination of Theories and Research(3u) (UO)

Research

EPE6999 Research Paper / Mémoire (Research Paper option)
or
EPE7999 Master's Thesis / Thèse de maîtrise (Thesis option)

Before being allowed to register for the thesis, students must have had their detailed research plan accepted by a potential supervisor and by the director of the School.

ECS 5304 - ETHICAL DIMENSIONS OF CONFLICT

Conceptual and procedural ethical issues concerning norms of justice and reconciliation. Relation of ethical issues to self-other dialectics, dynamics of discourse and power, gender and class, memory and agency.

EPE 5101 - SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY

Study of the philosophical underpinnings of social life from the theoretical approaches of living together and of the common good, to problems of contemporary societies, such as solidarity and social citizenship rights.

EPE 6300 - MAIN ETHICAL THEORIES I

Study of the classic and canonical works of Aristotelian or virtue ethics, deontology, contractualism, and consequentialism including utilitarianism. Initiation to the basic concepts grounding each theory and assessment of their strengths and weaknesses.

EPE 6301 - MILITARY AND PEACEKEEPING ETHICS

Examination of the thought on ethics by philosophers and military personnel. Readings from Cicero, Julius Caesar, Marcus Aurelius before turning to renaissance and modern thinkers. Contemporary ethics of war, the nature of the soldier and the peacekeeper. Theoretical discussions and a detailed look at current policies and thinking at the Department of National Defence.

EPE 6302 - ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS

Ethical analysis of environmental policies. Nature of the relationship between humans and the environment.

EPE 6303 - ETHICS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Problems of values and cultural relativism. Ethical foundation of human rights. Historical perspectives and contemporary debate.

EPE 6304 - ETHICS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Ethical components of development and underdevelopment theories. Rights and obligations of wealthy countries towards poor countries. Ethical critique of policies governing international aid.

EPE 6305 - ETHICS AND HEALTH CARE

Nature and bases of ethics in health care policies. Disputed questions. Various orientations in the ethics of health care policies.

EPE 6306 - ETHICS, PRIVACY AND INFORMATION

Analysis of the impact of the development of New Information and Communications Technologies (NTIC) on privacy and the confidentiality of personal information.

EPE 6307 - MAIN ETHICAL THEORIES II

Study of the main 20th and 21st century versions of the classical ethical theories, and of how these theories are challenged by and attempt to respond to contemporary ethical issues.

Prerequisite: EPE6300 Main Ethical Theories I.

EPE 6308 - Secularism and Public Life

Study of the relationship between secularism and public life in contemporary liberal democratic societies, focusing especially on institutions, government and the Canadian public sphere.

EPE 6309 - Ethics, Philosophy and Public Policy

Study of the concrete and normative aspects of public policy and of their ethical and philosophical implications, both locally and globally. Study of the main public policy issues and challenges in Canada as well as in other countries.

EPE 6310 - SEMINAR IN PUBLIC ETHICS I

Acquiring essential skills for developing a research question in public ethics. Methodologies include literature review, case-study approaches and critical analyses of texts. Preparation and approval of research plan.


Prerequisite: EPE6307 Main Ethical Theories II.

EPE 6311 - Seminar in Public Ethics II

Critical analyses of policies and philosophical and ethical texts that are relevant to the major research paper or the thesis.

Prerequisite: EPE6310 Seminar in Public Ethics I.

EPE 6320 - SELECTED TOPICS IN ETHICS

Study of a specialized area in ethics.

EPE 6901 - DIRECTED READINGS

Advanced study of a question already analysed within the framework of the program, exploration of a theme in a particular area of ethics.

EPE 6902 - RESEARCH INTERNSHIP

Practical application of acquired theoretical knowledge in public ethics in a professional setting. A minimum of 130 hours professionally supervised in an environment that includes a public ethics component or involves analyses of public policies. The internship incorporates a cumulative reflexive practice that serves to encourage the critical integration of theory and practice. The internship culminates in the writing of a detailed practicum report. Graded S/NS (satisfactory/not satisfactory) by a professor in the program based on the written report and the evaluation of the internship supervisor.

Prerequisites: Completion of 9 credits in the MA program with an average of at least B. Approval of the internship proposal by the program director.

EPE 6999 - Research paper

EPE 7999 - MASTER'S THESIS

PAP 6102 - Democratic Governance

This seminar provides an examination of how democratic governments structure their decision-making processes for effectiveness, representation and accountability. A particular focus of this seminar is a critical evaluation of the New Public Management reforms, and an in-depth review of different models of government intervention and policy-making from a comparative perspective.

Courses offered by the University of Ottawa:

CMN 5115 - COMMUNICATION ETHICS (UO)

Emphasis on the significance of ethical principles and responsibilities of public communicators, as well as sanctions faced when communicators fail to uphold these principles. Critique of self-regulation of the media. Analysis of argumentation. Study of legal precedents with respect to defamation.

SOC 7150 - INTERETHNIC RELATIONS: CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THEORIES AND RESEARCH (UO)

Principal sociological theories in interethnic relations, and the use of these theories in the analysis of the social structure of a number of multiethnic societies, especially Canada.

Contact Us

Office of the Associate Vice-Rector, Strategic Enrolment Management
Room 148
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON
K1S 1C4
CANADA

Notice to gmail address holders, be sure to check your junk mailbox regularly, as due to your server's firewalls our email response to your application may end up there.

Telephone: 613-236-1393
Fax: 613-782-3014
admission@ustpaul.ca

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Please leave your documents in the mailbox in front of room 148 when our offices are closed.





Information for future students

Saint Paul University

223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 1C4

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1.800.637.6859


613-236-1393

613-782-3005

info@ustpaul.ca

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