PHL404 Ethics and the Public Sector (8)

This subject examines the ethical character of public service as the means to a critical discussion of the moral dimensions of institutional design and individual behaviour in public sector work.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2018.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Not available to students who have completed PHL204 Ethics and the Public Sector.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to identify and describe the characteristics of the public sector and of public service;
  • be able to identify and describe the normative dimensions of the public sector and public service;
  • be able to apply techniques and theories of critical thinking and ethical theory to discussions of recurrent ethical problems in the public sector, and
  • be able to act in morally informed ways in their dealings with the public sector.


This subject will cover the following topics:

-Conceptualisations of the public sector; public sector institutions. -Institutional Designs -Bureaucracy and bureaucratic rationality. -Institutional independence/subordination to political direction. -Authority structures: originary and delegated responsibility. -Institutionalising ethics: codes and organisational transparency/secrecy. -Individual Behaviour -Role morality vs individual morality. -The demands and limit of loyalty. C-onflicts of interest. -Privacy and confidentiality. -Corruption. -Whistleblowing.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.