MP4018 - Media and Morality

What will I learn on this module?

‘Media and Morality’ introduces you to a range of theoretical paradigms and arguments within moral philosophy. These ideas will be explored via contentious debates located in current affairs. Examples from news, media and popular culture will be drawn upon in order to a) illustrate the continuing relevance of moral concerns raised by classical thinkers such as Kant and Aristotle, and b) demonstrate the ubiquity of moral concerns in contemporary culture. The module aims to evince the ways in which moral theory can deepen our understanding of contentious issues that impact on our lives and rights as citizens. The module also aims to develop your ability to work with theoretical concepts and to present your views on such matters in the form of focused arguments (both during class discussion and the final written assessment).

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of taught sessions and independent learning. You will be introduced the key theoretical contentions, historical/political/social contexts, and issues, illustrated through contemporary real-world examples. You will be expected to come to the sessions prepared (i.e. having conducted independent preparatory reading) so that you can engage in debate with your peers. The major theoretical texts are available from the campus library and electronic library, thereby ensuring that you can access the literature required for the taught sessions and the assessment. You are encouraged to read extensively beyond the taught components of the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module tutor has weekly tutorial drop-in hours during which you can seek academic support. You are also provided with an academic personal tutor who also has hours to support student learning. The taught sessions will allow you to engage in group discussion and problem-solving with the module tutor and your peers, thus developing a constructive support network. The delivery of the module will be supported with learning and lecture materials that are accessible via the e-learning portal.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• You will gain knowledge of contemporary ethical debates regarding issues such as abortion, animal welfare, and freedom of speech (LO1)

• You will gain an introductory understanding a range of moral-philosophical approaches and theories by engaging with scholarship and applying those ideas to relevant examples (LO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You gain experience of interrogating cultural events and media texts by drawing on the theoretical paradigms and approaches covered on the module (LO3)

• You will gain an understanding of key transferable skills, including being able to work independently and communicating complex ideas in small groups (LO4)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• The debates covered during the module will encourage you to reflect on your position as a citizen, focusing on your political, social and moral responsibilities in particular (LO5)

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment is via a 2500 word essay consisting of theoretically informed analysis of a single issue, exemplified by case studies from contemporary journalism and/or culture. (LO 1-5)

You will receive formative feedback on your ability to conduct analysis of events and cultural objects during the taught discussions. Class discussion will test your ability to critically engage with moral theory and cultural analysis in an academic fashion and allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the ideas raised. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your views with your peers, working together to find solutions to theoretical dilemmas and so forth.

Under normal circumstances, you will receive written feedback on your summative submissions within 20 working days. The feedback will normally be supplied electronically as part of the ESAF process. This feedback will provide a detailed account of your research/methodological skills, critical engagement and communicative ability, as well as supporting future learning by indicating areas for development. You can also request additional verbal feedback on your submissions by arranging a meeting with the module tutor





Module abstract

‘Media and Morality’ gives you the opportunity to analyse how the media reflects and reports contentious issues. Via interactive workshop sessions, you will learn about, research and develop arguments in relation a variety of subject areas including abortion, animal welfare and freedom of speech. You will use contemporary examples from the news media and popular culture to consider the relevance of moral philosophers. Assessment is via the production of a 2500-word essay. ‘Media and Morality’ gives you an important insight into analytical skills, which will be transferrable to a variety of career paths.

Course info

UCAS Code P3N5

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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