Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 2 x 1 hour lectures per week
Seminars / Tutorials 3 x 3 hour seminars during semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment ETHICAL MATRIX PROJECT  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   WRITTEN EXAMINATION  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   WRITTEN EXAMINATION  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss the remit of bioethics, its definitions, and its historical perspective, specifically with regard to animals.

2. Discuss developments in ethical theory

3. Apply the ethical matrix to examples in animal science

4. Discuss the ethical status of different forms of animal farming, animal experimentation, animal biotechnologies and
animal domestication

Brief description

The module will consider the nature of bioethics and the history of attitudes and philosophies regarding wild and domesticated animals. It will also consider the ethical and legal position of animals as experimental models, as providers of meat and other animal products, and as providers of companionship.


  • Defining bioethics and exploring the source of human ethics
  • Ethical theory: Utilitarianism, Deontology, Virtue theory and others
  • The theory and application of the ethical matrix as a framework for ethical analysis
  • The history of human attitudes to animals ? monism vs dualism
  • The ethics of animal production
  • The ethics of animal experimentation, including a consideration of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986.
  • The ethics of advances in biotechnology
  • The ethics of animal domestication
  • The application of the principles of animal bioethics into wider areas

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Exam, Ethical Matrix Project
Improving own Learning and Performance Exam, Ethical Matrix Project
Information Technology Ethical Matrix Project
Research skills Ethical Matrix Project

Reading List

General Text
(1995.) Issues in agricultural bioethics /[edited by] T.B. Mepham, G.A. Tucker and J. Wiseman. Nottingham University Press Primo search (2008.) The animal ethics reader /edited by Susan J. Armstrong and Richard G. Botzler. 2nd ed. Routledge Primo search Baggini, Julian (July 2006) The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten:100 Experiments for the Armchair Philosopher Plume [Imprint] Primo search Chalmers, A. F. (1994.) What is this thing called Science? :an assessment of the nature and status of science and its methods /A.F. Chalmers. 2nd ed. Hackett Pub. Co. Primo search Cheeke, Peter R. (c2004.) Contemporary issues in animal agriculture /Peter R. Cheeke. 3rd ed. Prentice Hall Primo search Mepham, T. B. (2008.) Bioethics :an introduction for the biosciences /Ben Mepham. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press Primo search
Recommended Text
Gensler, H J (1998) Ethics. A contemporary introduction Routledge Primo search LaFollette, H and Shanks, N (1996) Brute Science: Dilemmas of animal experimentation Routledge Primo search Marie, M et al (2005) Animal bioethics: principles and teaching methods Wageningen Academic Publishers Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6