Animal Ethics BIOL5114

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Biodiversity One Health Vet Med
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will give the student a rigorous founding in relevant ethical frameworks and pluralism and its application to issues of animal use in our society, animal sentience and impact on legislation.


The course will consist of 10 hours of lectures and 8 hours of tutorials.

Requirements of Entry



BIOL5126 Key Research Skills (Semester 1)

BIOL5115 Animal Welfare Science (Semester 1) and BIOL 5127 Animal Legislation & Societal Issues (Semester 2) for specialisation in Animal Welfare Science


Students will produce an oral presentation based on a welfare issue in which they explore different ethical perspectives and their own view (50%). They will also write an essay (2000 words) that critically reflects on their own ethical position and its evolution (50%).

Course Aims

The aim of the course is to provide students with an awareness of the principles of relevant animal ethics frameworks and how these may be applied to consider the moral implications of different forms of human use of animals.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Recognise, evaluate and critically discuss the whole range of relevant animal ethics frameworks. Discuss critically with reference to the primary literature the tools to be used to recognise and reflect on ethical questions relating to the different human uses of animals and apply ethical reasoning to the main controversial issues in animal ethics

■ Critically discuss, evaluate and synthesise welfare and ethical issues relating to different forms of human use of animals, contrasting our treatment of animals in different contexts where appropriate

■ Critically analyse ethical dilemmas, employing ethical reasoning and applying ethical principles in the context of relevant case examples

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.