Course Description

This online course is 36 learning hours over twelve weeks. It is recommended that students spend a minimum of 3 hours each week on course work. Students may choose to complete more hours of work on the course in order to explore the content in more depth. 

This highly interactive course includes journaling, teamwork, and online discussions to enable active learning. It requires deep thinking in order to help you become consciously aware of and articulate clearly about ethics, as well as about your personal ethics and values, ethical dilemmas, and ethical decision-making models. This course focuses on practically relating these learnings to your working life, whether this is in a private business or public service context.

Course Outline

Topics and concepts you will study in the course include:

  • 'Values', 'Morals, and 'Ethics’
  • Ethical theories (including Deontology, Utilitarianism, Rights and Virtue)
  • Fatalistic Relativism and Ethical Relativism
  • Personal values, ethical dilemmas, and confirmation bias
  • Various ethical decision-making and moral analysis models
  • Professionalism, professionalization, and the relationship between ethics and professionalism
  • The Stages of Moral Development
  • Confidentiality, competency, and reporting misconduct in the workplace
  • The importance of ethics in leadership
  • Conformism and responsibility
  • Codes of Conduct, Codes of Ethics, Oaths, and the role of Governance within organizations
  • Role Morality, groupthink, the externalization of ethics and the agentic state
  • Shareholder vs. Stakeholder Theory
  • Privacy and Informed Consent
  • Ethical considerations that exist in the workplace including whistleblowing

What You Will Learn

Following successful completion of this course, participants will:

  • Understand fundamental moral and ethical theories and become confident in communicating about personal and professional ethics
  • Be familiar with how to use ethical decision-making models pragmatically, both personally and professionally
  • Gain insight into the nuances of ethics and understand the importance of considering various ethical stances
  • Be aware of the importance of ethics in the workplace, including the use of codes of conduct and other governance measures
  • Have explored hypothetical and real-life ethical dilemmas
  • Have examined the self and how to manage oneself
  • Be able to identify Organizational Integrity
  • Have developed a code of ethics with a team
  • Understand how to identify what stage of moral development people are functioning within
  • Have learnt how to lead and manage ethically
  • Considered the relevance of your learning to real ethical challenges faced by your organization
  • Explored ethics in the context of modern technological developments


Ethical Decision-MakingThis course provides learners with the opportunity to earn a microcredential. A microcredential is evidence of a skill or competency that is employment related. Dalhousie microcredentials are developed in collaboration with employers, industries, and/or organizations that relate to the content.Program Design A microcredential can be displayed on social media pages, digital resumes, personal webpages, and in email signatures. To earn the microcredential in this course, learners will need to successfully complete a competency-based assessment.

To learn more about microcredentials and how they can enhance your learning portfolio, watch this 30-second YouTube video (video opens in a new window).


Please contact openlearning@dal.ca for more information.

The Faculty of OLCD recommends an intermediate level of English language proficiency for the most effective learning and participation in our online and face-to-face courses. A list of minimum recommended scores on some common English tests can be found on our website. If you have questions about your English language proficiency and ability to succeed in this course, please contact openlearning@dal.ca.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Recommended For

This course is recommended for:

  • Seasoned, experienced, leaders who wish to revitalize their thinking on ethics and ethics in the workplace
  • Aspiring or newly appointed leaders and managers in public or private sector organizations of all sizes
  • People with responsibility for managing internal and external conflicts of interest
  • Anybody in a position of trust within their organization
  • Consultants, advisors, coaches, mentors, HR professionals and others who can benefit from a robust understanding of ethics
Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Ethics in Action
Online - Self-Paced
Jan 05, 2024 to Mar 29, 2024
Total Learning Hours
Instruction Delivery Method(s)
Course Fee(s)
Fee non-credit $1,045.00
Required Software
A webcam and microphone will be required for the live sessions.
Section Notes

Note: We are closed from December 25, 2023 to January 1, 2024 inclusive. Access credentials to the course site in Brightspace may be delayed for those who enrol during this time period. 

This course has scheduled written assignments and discussions within the term time frame. The syllabus will be available on the course site. The course site on Brightspace will be available from 4:00 PM AT on the course start date.

Scheduled sessions: students who are unable to attend live sessions will be able to view a recorded version. Days and times of scheduled meetings will be announced at a future date. 

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