• 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

This course offers a rich grounding in moral, social, and political philosophy with a focus on questions concerning 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 institutions in light of how they affect people. These institutions include laws and other social rules governing what kinds of goods can be owned by whom and how they are distributed, how markets and production systems are structured, what prospects various groups have, and, in general, how people pursue the good in their lives. The course will explore questions of institutional design and public policy in the context of real-world social injustices including social and material inequality; racial, gender, and sexuality-based oppression; and climate change. The course will also look at practical questions related to advancing social justice including civil disobedience, duties to assist victims of injustice and to fight for structural social change, the role of democracy in furthering social justice.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills 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; and,
  5. engage in philosophical discussion and debate, verbalising their interpretations and criticisms of the various ideas discussed throughout the course.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Tutorial participation and weekly peer feedback (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Three short reading response essays, 300 words each (15) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Research essay, 2300 words (45) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Take-home examination, 1700 words (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]

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.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 Units of 1000 level Philosophy (PHIL) courses, or with permission of the 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.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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
2022 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $4980
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
7572 24 Jul 2023 31 Jul 2023 31 Aug 2023 27 Oct 2023 In Person View

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