Singapore University of Social Sciences

Ethical Issues in Film

Ethical Issues in Film (FLM356)

Applications Open: 01 May 2024

Applications Close: 15 June 2024

Next Available Intake: July 2024

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1391.78 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: Digital Media

Schemes: Alumni Continuing Education (ACE)

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: School of Humanities & Behavioural Sciences


FLM356 Ethical Issues in Film looks at how the filmmaking process can be fraught with ethical dilemmas as the pursuit of creating a great story can result in questionable practices, both deliberate and unintentional. What are the responsibilities of the filmmaker? As consumers of the product, how much should audiences also be responsible? Students will also examine contemporary ethical issues and their representation in a range of films. The course offers insights for filmmakers and anyone with an interest in being a critical and informed consumer of content.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY


  • Introduction to ethics
  • Ethics in film
  • Ethical responsibilities versus practical/financial constraints
  • Responsibility to the subject
  • Does the end justify the means?
  • Accuracy versus artistic license
  • Staging and reconstructions
  • The line between depiction and exploitation
  • The power of framing and editing
  • The ethical debate over AI in film
  • Towards an ethical framework for filmmakers
  • Implications for audiences

Learning Outcome

  • Demonstrate understanding of key ethical issues.
  • Show the ethical processes involved in a film.
  • Analyse a film from an informed ethical perspective.
  • Propose a film treatment that explores an ethical dilemma.
  • Appraise the options that best consider the responsibilities to stakeholders.
  • Construct a framework for ethical practices in filmmaking.
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