• Offered by School of Philosophy
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Philosophy
  • Areas of interest International Relations, Philosophy, Political Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Christian Barry
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

This course is intended to offer a rich grounding in moral, social and political philosophy and is relevant to questions in social justice.  Students will engage in a critical analysis of contemporary theories of social justice. Such theories advance principles for the moral assessment of social arrangements in light of how they affect people. These institutions include laws and other social rules governing what kinds of things can be owned (and by whom), how they can be acquired, transferred, relinquished, and forfeited, how markets and the production systems are structured, and the manner in which decisions concerning trade policy and the monetary system are made. The course will include discussion of some applied questions regarding public policy and institutional design.  

The course will be open to second and third year students in philosophy or with the permission of the lecturer. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. identify issues in social justice 
  2. evaluate ideas and also critical responses to them in the literature related to social justice
  3. discuss and analyse current issues in ethics and politics relating to social institutions
  4. better understand the argumentative structures underlying many of the important papers written in the area of social justice 
  5. engage in philosophical discussion and debate, verbalising their interpretations and criticisms of the various ideas discussed throughout the course.  

Indicative Assessment

  • tutorial participation and presentation (10%) (Learning Outcomes 1 - 5)
  • 2 x short reading response essays (15%) (1 x 300 words and 1 x 600 words) (Learning Outcomes 1-2)
  • research paper, 2000 words (40%) (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  • examination, 2 hours (35%) (Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of tutorials; and, b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 Units of 1000 level Philosophy (PHIL) Courses, or by permission of course convenor.

Prescribed Texts

Weekly reading to support the tutorials and lectures will be made available electronically via the Wattle site.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $2820
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4320
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8420 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions