Undergraduate Modules

The Ethics of Political Leadership

This module investigates the ethics of political leadership via an engagement with the the literature in analytical political theory. Its overall objective is to enable students to analyse and evaluate normative arguments regarding the significance and function of political leaders in contemporary politics. The module examines the following topics: 'dirty hands', political integrity, political hypocrisy, lying and deception, politician’s private lives, the ethics of political compromise, the nature of political representation, the ethics of political partisanship, and whistleblowing. The approach is theoretical and philosophical and real world examples will be used to highlight strengths and weaknesses of competing theories, and to emphasise their ideological assumptions and implications.

Third Year Module
Semester One
Module Code POL3149


  • 11 two-hour seminars


  • 2000 word essay
  • two-hour exam