Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

2020 IFEES World Engineering Education Forum - Global Engineering Deans Council (WEEF-GEDC)


Our contribution aims to determine the main curricular themes employed in engineering ethics instruction. In the use of the term `curricular content", the study is guided by an understanding of curriculum in terms of the syllabus content of a specific discipline or set of units taught to students. The research study has been conducted in cooperation with the national accrediting body Engineers Ireland and includes 23 Engineering programmes from 6 institutions in Ireland that underwent accreditation between 2017-2019. The research method employed is a documentary analysis of the materials prepared by the programmes for accreditation or made available on the website of all participant programmes. The findings reveal three themes amenable to the implementation of ethics across the curriculum (sustainability, Health and Safety, legislation), which are present in a variety of courses, such as technical courses, design courses, professional formation courses, capstone projects, legal studies courses, business studies courses, as well as in work placement. The curricular themes purporting to professional ethics, responsibility and the societal context of engineering have a strong presence in courses of professional formation, which have the role of acculturating students to the profession of engineering and its norms. Thus the main conclusion of our study highlights the need for a hybrid implementation of ethics across the curriculum as well as in dedicated single modules, in order to promote a comprehensive engineering ethics education.