Graduate School VMAS


Animal ethics, 4,5 credits

The course is structured in two parts: section A plus an optional section B.

Section A (3 ECTS) contains lectures and mandatory seminars giving an overview of differences between ethics and legislation, elements in ethical argumentation, relation between animal science and animal ethics, description of normative ethical theories used in animal ethics, and an introduction to relevant issues e.g. historical and societal overview of human-animal interaction, reasons for human use of animals, ethical aspects of this use in terms of un/necessary suffering, integrity, responsibilities, limits, interests, behaviour and needs (for both humans and animals).

Participant’s doctoral projects will be presented and included in the elaboration of these issues.

In order to ‘learn’ ethics practice in listening to other’s opinions, formulating relevant questions and exercise in ethical discernment is necessary. Hence the course offers mandatory seminars for discussion of different themes where active participation is required to create a learning community over the course period. Further there will be a web-based task for discussion and interaction on a topical animal ethics issue.

Two guest lecturers will be invited to present their specific field of competence (The Link (human-animal abuse), and Critical animal studies).

Section B (1,5 ECTS) contains a writing task preferably on an ethical issue in the participant’s own project. If applicable, it might be structured to fit into the doctoral thesis (either in the introduction of the book, or in one of the scientific papers) or a conference paper. This section starts with a seminar discussing possible topics, and continues with individual work while supervision is available from course teacher, and ends with presentations of the individual ethical elaborations during a seminar open to all course participants.

4,5 credits

Admitted to a postgraduate program in natural or social science, or humanities or arts, or to a residence program in e.g. veterinary medicine.

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Animal ethics
Course leader
Helena Röcklinsberg
Course date
October 9th - December 14th, 2017
Last application day