Project Description

MA in Contemporary Ethics

Programme Leader

Dr Férdia Stone-Davis

If you are interested in what makes society good and individuals function well, this is a course for you. You will be introduced to standard moral theories, different ways of formulating moral arguments, and applying ethical values to all aspects of life. You will investigate models of moral decision-making and the impossibility of achieving total precision (in contrast to mathematics) when it comes to moral truth. The dialogical and inter-disciplinary approach that we foster in this course will help you make ethics relevant to your particular context and to allow you to understand the moral condition of yourself and society.

Compulsory Modules

The Human Condition

Problematises the ‘human condition’ theologically – through topics such as the self, embodiment, individuality and creation.

  • Introduces methodologies pertinent to Contemporary Ethics as well as Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy, Contemporary Faith, and Spirituality.
  • Resources students for the demands of theological and philosophical study at level 7.
  • Equips students to access optional modules inside and outside of the Contemporary Ethics track.

Moral Development, Reasoning and Decision Making

Introduces students to different ways of thinking about moral matters and dilemmas within normative philosophical ethics. Enquiries as to ‘what makes an act right or wrong and the human being good or bad?’; ‘how should one live?’ (a Socratic question), ‘what is the good life? (an Aristotelian question), ‘how do we assess difficult moral situations?’; ‘where do our principles come from?’; ‘why be moral?’, ‘do moral facts exist?’; ‘what does moral living require of us, both as human beings and within our specific social, professional and vocational roles?’

Optional Modules

  • Ethics in Professional Context
  • The Mystery of Love
  • Inter-faith Relations from Theory to Encounter
  • New Neighbours: Diverse Parishes
  • Christianity and Ecology
  • Independent learning modules are also available for the exploration of relevant additional topics under the guidance of an expert tutor.
  • Students can also replace the ethics optional modules with a module from any of our four MAs: Spirituality, Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy, Contemporary Faith and Belief:

(Nb. not all modules run every year)


For more information please email Dr Louise Nelstrop:

Frequently Asked Questions – MA Courses

About our MAs
All our MAs are ecumenical. They are run jointly by tutors from across the Cambridge Theological Federation from a variety of theological backgrounds (Catholic, Orthodox, Methodist, Anglican, Jewish etc.).

We have four MA pathways: Spirituality, Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy, Contemporary Ethics, and Contemporary Faith and Belief.

What kind of students take our MAs?
Students come from a diverse range of backgrounds and include: returning learners, career change, professionals seeking development.

What will you learn on our MAs?
You will become a subject specialist but you will also learn about different methodological approaches that underpin each of our theology MAs, meaning that you will be equipped to take options outside of your specific field if you want.

How are the MAs course taught?
The MAs are delivered flexibly, and students can choose between a mixture of classroom and online/directed study (blended learning), and taking the MA through distance learning.

Some modules are delivered weekly, others are taught in intensive blocks.

** COVID-19 update: all our courses will be online until at least Jan 2022.

How are the MAs structured?
Each MA consists of four taught modules (2 compulsory, 2 optional) and a dissertation (15,000). It is normally taken over two years part-time.

What are the entry requirements?
Students normally require a good first degree (minimum 2:1) or equivalent experience. If you are unsure, contact us to find out if you are eligible.

Can I try out one of the modules to see if the MA is for me?
Most of our modules are also available for paying ‘guests’ to audit (numbers limited).
One module can also be taken as an affiliate student – which means the credit can be integrated into the MA when you enrol.

Who validates the MAs and how do I apply?
The course is validated by Anglia Ruskin University and students apply to study with us directly through the Anglia Ruskin website (see links below under each MA).

How much does it cost?
Full details can be found on the Cambridge Theological Federation website:

Who should I contact if I want to talk about this more before I apply?
For more information or to apply for this course please email Dr Louise Nelstrop:

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