Online Class: Introduction to Ethics

This course is a thorough introduction to the branch of philosophy named ethics, or moral philosophy.

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  • 15
  • 17
    Exams &
  • 768
    have taken this course
  • 7
    average time
  • 0.7

Course Description

This course is a thorough introduction to the branch of philosophy named ethics, or moral philosophy. Ethics addresses issues of human values and examines the search for and reasoning behind, what could be identified as ‘right' conduct. Lessons one through nine are intended to offer a comprehensive foundation of the ideals of righteousness, integrity and virtues. Specifically, lesson one provides definitions of ethics terminology. The student is also given a rationale for studying ethics. Lessons two and three are a history of philosophy from the earliest accounts available to present day.  Lessons four through seven analyze nine common ethical theories in-depth including virtue, social-contract and deontological doctrines.  Lesson eight discusses cultural and ethical universalism and relativism and describes aspects of morality.  Meta and normative ethics are reviewed in lesson nine.

Lessons ten through fifteen consider the application of ethics in real-world situations across the spectrum of disciplines including business, medicine, education, law, and more – each from a personal and then public perspective. The final five exercises will offer ample opportunity to put knowledge into practice – giving the student the chance to apply their new-found knowledge in situations that they may find familiar in today's highly complex world.

Each lesson incorporates questions and ends with a quiz. An accompanying answer key is provided that explains the justification for each response by taking the student back into the text. At the completion of this course the student should have a working knowledge of ethics across the continuum of its history and application in current society.

The lessons are as follows:

1.   What is ethics?

2.   History of ethics – Part 1

3.   History of ethics – Part 2

4.   Four branches of ethics – normative, descriptive, meta & applied

5.   Moral development

6.   Ethical universalism, ethical relativism, cultural relativism

7.   Virtue ethics, natural law

8.   Deontology, social contract

9.   Social contract theory

10.  Ethical issues in your private life

11.  Ethical issues in the workplace

12.  Ethics in medicine & law

13.  Ethics in business & industry

14.  Ethics in all levels of government

15.  Ethics in education, engineering & architecture

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.4 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(472 votes)

Lesson 1: Ethics Defined

This lesson will provide a distinct and elementary explanation of the word as the foundation for this course. All ensuing exercises will build from a shared understanding of this often misunderstood idea. Additional lesson topics: Four Fundamental Ethical Principles; Ethics Defined a glossary ; Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: Your Ethical Motivations
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: History of Ethics - Part 1

The purpose of philosophy is to help humans make sense of this world from a non-religious perspective. It is designed to utilize intelligence and reasoning to formulate theories, gather information, and draw conclusions. Additional lesson topics: 10 Things You Should Know about Christian Ethics 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: History of Ethics - Part 2

A further look at the historical foundations of ethics in human society. Additional lesson topics: What’s The Difference Between Socialism and Communism?; Evolution and Philosophy; Altruism 7 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Divisions of Ethical Study

There are four main branches of ethics. These include "normative ethics," "descriptive ethics," "meta-ethics," and "applied ethics." This lesson will explore each of these branches in greater depth. Additional lesson topics: Normative and descriptive ethics; Major Ethical Perspectives 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Moral Development

This lesson will provide the foundation for future studies in the area of moral development by looking at the work of Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Carol Gilligan. Moral development is the process by which individuals determine what is right and what is wrong. Additional lesson topics: Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development; Several Major Philosophers and Their Big Ideas 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Universalism and Relativism

This lesson explores the meta-ethical branch of philosophy. In review, meta-ethics is analytic philosophy and its purpose is to understand the foundation, scope, and status of an ethical principle. Additional lesson topics: Universalism in Ethics; Cultural relativism article 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Virtue Ethics and Natural Law

The philosophy of virtue ethics came from the mind of Aristotle. He was an early believer that man has a natural desire toward goodness, is innately good, and can apply reason to regulate his desires and actions. Additional lesson topics: Eudaimonism; The Ethics of Care: Normative Structures and Empirical Implications 7 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Deontology - Social Contract

The performance of one's duty under the deontological theory consists of completing a series of actions based on a predetermined set of rules. An action is judged to be moral if the series of actions is completed without regard for the consequences. Additional lesson topics: What is John Locke’s theory of natural rights and justification for a limited government?; Divine Command Theory; Deontological ethics 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Utilitarianism - Care Ethics

The theory of utilitarianism gained recognition through Jeremy Bentham, considered to be its founder. Bentham's theory equates good with pleasure and, conversely, bad with pain. Additional lesson topics: Utilitarianism theory; What Is Ethics of Care? 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: The Application of Ethics in Your Private Life

You have worked your way through some very sophisticated subject matter about ethics and morality. Hopefully, it has helped you to get a deeper understanding of the topic's history and breadth. Now, it is time to apply this newfound knowledge to your daily encounters. Additional lesson topics: Factors that Affect Ethical Behavior in the Workplace; Family Influences Personal Ethics; The difference between personal and professional ethics 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11: Application of Ethics in the Workplace

Ethics is the application of standards of proper conduct as individuals in group settings. In this lesson, we will consider its impact in the general workplace. Specific industries will be addressed in the following units of study. Additional lesson topics: Five Characteristics of a Good Work Ethic; How do You Establish Positive Ethics in the Workplace? 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12: Application of Ethics in Medicine and Law

Medicine and law are two of the most universally respected disciplines in the world of work. People rely on both for their personal and family's well-being. Additional lesson topics: What is the Rule of Law?; Several Ethics Traps; AMA Principles of Medical Ethics 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13: Application of Ethics in Business, Manufacturing, and Engineering

The application of ethics in business is termed "business ethics." While ethics itself refers to the conduct of an individual or organization, in this instance, it is applicable to all business environments, an expanse of surroundings to be sure. Additional lesson topics: Legal and Ethical Issues With Manufacturing Companies; Ethics in Engineering; Why is business ethics important? 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 Exam

Lesson 14: Application of Ethics in Politics and Journalism (Print and Non-Print Media)

An examination of the application of ethics in either of these disciplines could singularly fill a book! The goal of this lesson is to give a broad overview of each, instigating the reader to reflect more thoroughly on the crucial value of ethics to the execution of duties associated with either field. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 14 Exam

Lesson 15: Application of Ethics in Education and Social Work

In this lesson, the reader will consider the morality of right and wrong conduct as it applies to the very public and collectively shared arenas of education and social work. 79 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Lesson discussions: End of Course Poll; Course Comments; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Assessment: Lesson 15 Exam
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define ethics.
  • Describe history of ethics.
  • Describe divisions of ethical study.
  • Define moral development.
  • Describe universalism and relativism.
  • Describe virtue ethics and natural law.
  • Describe deontology - social contract.
  • Describe utilitarianism - care ethics.
  • Describe the application of ethics in your private life.
  • Describe application of ethics in the workplace.
  • Describe application of ethics in medicine and law.
  • Describe application of ethics in business, manufacturing, and engineering.
  • Describe application of ethics in politics and journalism (print and non-print media).
  • Describe application of ethics in education and social work.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

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Course Title: Introduction to Ethics
Course Number: 9770578
Lessons Rating: 4.4 / 5 Stars (472 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Last Updated: January 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.7 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $95.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "The course was very helpful. It will definitely help me in both my personal and professional life to make better and ethical decisions that will take ethics and impact on others into consideration." -- Robert K.
  • "This course was very helpful because it showed the right and wrong when it comes to your place of employment." -- Samantha T.
  • "It has opened my eyes as to how we should act in the world." -- Kayla T.

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