Philosophy (PHIL) 333

Professional Ethics (Revision 2)

PHIL 333 Course website

Revision 2 is closed, see current version

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Philosophy Studies home page

PHIL 333 has a Challenge for Credit option.

check availability


Philosophy 333 highlights ethical issues pertaining to journalists, engineers, medical doctors, accounting and finance specialists, and lawyers. What distinguishes the professions from non-professional jobs? What moral qualities should professionals exhibit? What does professional responsibility consist in? Should professionals be judged using a different moral standard than that by which we ordinarily judge ourselves and each other? When in conflict, how should the obligations, responsibilities, and interests of professionals, clients, and society be weighted and prioritized? How should (particular kinds of) professionals conduct themselves in morally problematic situations involving public safety and public trust, privacy and confidentiality, honesty or deception, informed consent, objectivity and conflicts of interest, or whistleblowing?


  • Unit 1: Morality, Ethics, and Reasoning
  • Unit 2: Normative Ethical Theories
  • Unit 3: Professional Ethics
  • Unit 4: Ethics & Engineering
  • Unit 5: Ethics & Medicine
  • Unit 6: Ethics & Journalism
  • Unit 7: Ethics & Law
  • Unit 8: Ethics & Accounting and Finance
  • Unit 9: Concluding Remarks


To receive credit for PHIL 333, you must complete all four written assignments and achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 15%
Assignment 2 20%
Assignment 3 30%
Assignment 4 35%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Allhoff, Fritz, and Anand J. Vaidya, eds. 2008. Professions in Ethical Focus: An Anthology. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press.

Other Materials

The course materials include a reading file. All other materials are available online.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the PHIL 333 challenge registration, you must complete the two parts of the challenge exam and achieve a grade of at least “D”(50 percent) on both parts.

Activity Weighting
Essay 50%
Case Study 50%
Total 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, February 3, 2012.

View previous syllabus