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General Certificate in Professional Ethics - Atkinson

School of Arts and Letters
Joseph Keeping

Ethical issues are becoming increasingly central to almost all areas of professional and public life. As work becomes faster, more technologically and bureaucratically complex, and evermore economically productive, ethical issues increase in difficulty and seriousness. As a result, the demand for people with qualifications in professional ethics is growing in all sectors. Our especially large range of courses in the area of professional ethics concentrates on real situations and case studies. Almost all of these courses are cross-listed with the relevant professional department or discipline. By taking a number of these courses, students encounter many different concrete ethical issues and learn a variety of perspectives and methodologies for dealing with them. Our style of professional ethics recognizes the diversity of values, traditions and points of view that are brought to bear today on actual current ethical problems. Nonetheless, these courses constantly attempt to integrate this situational approach by means of a search for generally applicable methodologies and ways of theorizing such issues. The certificate therefore gives students a wide range of experience and methodologies for understanding institutional practices that deal with ethical issues in the public and private sectors. They develop capacities to flexibly adapt this knowledge to different institutions and unforeseen ethical problems in such areas as education, business, health, media, government, law, social work, politics and personal life. Because the resolution of concrete ethical issues needs a creative response to the particularities of unforeseen situations, practice on cases in a number of different institutions and professions helps one to prepare for dealing with problems in one's own.

The Certificate in Professional Ethics is based in Atkinson's School of Arts and Letters. It is a direct entry program that is available to any students admitted to Atkinson or the University.

Students wishing to enrol or make inquiries should contact Atkinson's School of Arts and Letters, 625 Atkinson, telephone: 416-736-5900, fax: 416-736-5766, e-mail: aksal@yorku.ca. The requirements for the certificate are as follows:

Requirements: 24 credits including:

(a) Core requirements:

(b) Elective requirements:

  • 18 credits chosen from either List A or List B, but with no more than three credits from List B. 12 of these 18 credits must be at the 3000 level or above.

List A:

List B:

*available as Internet courses

Note: Students who wish to complete both the Certificate in Professional Ethics (through Atkinson) and the Certificate in Practical Ethics (offered through the Faculty of Arts) may not count the same courses for both certificates. If the Certificate in Practical Ethics is completed first, then any additional courses must be chosen from List A of the Certificate in Professional Ethics. If the Certificate in Professional Ethics is finished first, then additional courses will be chosen for the Certificate in Practical Ethics in consultation with the student's certificate adviser.


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last modified:
June 18, 2007

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