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PGDip Applied and Professional Ethics

Key facts

Start date September 2018

Duration/mode 12 months distance learning, 24 months part time

UK/EU fees £5,500 (total)

International fees £5,500 (total)

Entry requirements Academic or professional experience in a relevant field.

Entry requirements
Academic or professional experience in a relevant field.
Language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components.


This online course will allow you to develop the knowledge and skills to handle ethical issues as they arise in the workplace. It’s specially designed to help people in business, the public sector, the professions, the third sector and walks of life to explore different approaches to ethical problems.

You’ll look at the work of philosophers in applied ethics, but you’ll also look at real-life case studies to gain a real understanding of the role of ethics in the professional world. You’ll think about environmental issues, equality and diversity, privacy, consent and professional responsibility, guided by expert tutors at our Interdisciplinary Ethics Applied Centre.

If you want to study without putting your career on hold, this course will allow you to study in your own time, wherever you are in the world. You’ll be able to discuss issues with professionals from a variety of backgrounds to gain a real insight into the ethical dimensions of workplace situations.

Students come from a wide range of professional backgrounds, and you’ll discuss ideas and share expertise with people from around the world. Current and recent students have studied while working in demanding roles for organisations such as UN agencies, the UK Police Force and the Commonwealth Secretariat, or in law, actuarial professions, development, engineering, management, dentistry and more.

This online programme is also available to study part time, and as an MA where you take more modules overall. If you want to apply for the MA course but don't have a degree, you can begin your studies by completing this PGDip and then progress onto the MA. You can also study a single Applied and Professional Ethics Module as a stand-alone short course.

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Course content

This programme is similar to the MA, but you don’t write a dissertation.

In your first semester you’ll be introduced to principles and approaches in the study of ethics, and look at key workplace issues such as professional responsibility.

You’ll then study further core modules until the end of the programme, building on your knowledge as you go – you’ll look at issues such as confidentiality, consent, contracts and diversity among others. You’ll be able to swap one module for an independent project, usually related to your line of work.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

For more information on typical modules, read Applied and Professional Ethics PGDip Distance Learning in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Applied and Professional Ethics PGDip Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

This course is taught entirely online, so there are no lectures or seminars. You won’t even have to attend Leeds at any point during the course, although if you can travel there may be chances to meet other students. Instead, you’ll used specially designed interactive teaching materials and participate in structured collaborative activities. You’ll contribute to discussion groups in our Virtual Learning Environment, so you can share experiences and perspectives with students from different backgrounds worldwide.

Read more about Online Distance Learning


Because you study online, you won’t have to take any exams during this programme. Instead, most of the time you will be assessed using essays and coursework assignments. You’ll receive support from our tutors and be able to discuss your work with them before you submit it. Group projects, presentations and regular contributions to discussion forums may also be used to assess your progress in some modules.

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Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

Academic or professional experience in a relevant field. We look for your willingness and ability to think clearly and independently, as well as good writing skills, a basic understanding of philosophical ethics and any relevant experiences of ethical issues in practice.

International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

How to apply

Documents and information you need:
Your degree certificate and transcripts of all relevant qualifications, or a partial transcript if you’re still studying.
Two academic references.
Evidence of your English language test scores, if English is not your first language.
An essay of 1,000-1,500 words on a topic relevant to the programme– suggested topics available on our How to Apply page.

Application deadlines:
There is no formal deadline for applications. However, you should allow time to make arrangements to start your course and the application deadlines for many scholarships and bursaries will close much sooner. As a result we strongly encourage you to submit your completed application by July 31st of the year you plan to start the programme.

Next steps:
All applicants to our courses will be interviewed. Distance learning students can also be interviewed by phone, VOIP or Skype.

Apply (Distance learning)
Apply (Part time)

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

Link to admissions policy document


UK/EU fees: £5,500 (total)
International fees: £5,500 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

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Career opportunities

Studying applied ethics will allow you to develop transferable skills in research, critical thinking and communication. It will also give you more confidence to handle situations with ethical implications in the workplace.

All of this is good preparation for a range of careers, while it could also benefit you in your current role. In particular, the programme gives you scope to develop your career in growing areas such as compliance and corporate social responsibility.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

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Order a prospectus online or telephone +44 (0)113 343 2336