Requirements and Courses - ES&L

In order to improve and update the program, the requirements for ES&L change from time to time. The requirements that apply to you are the ones listed in the Faculty of Arts and Science Calendar current in the year you entered the program.    

Required Courses 

Ethics, Society, and Law Major (Arts program)

(7 full courses or the equivalent)

1)  First year: While no specific courses are required in first year, course selection should take into account the program’s admission requirements above, as well as the prerequisites for 200+ level courses students plan to take to complete the program.

2)  Second year: PHL271H1, TRN203H1, and TRN204H1 are required courses that students are recommended to take in second year (their first year of registration in the program).

TRN203H1: This course discusses key texts from various disciplines that introduce fundamental features, limitations, and possibilities of contemporary society. Political consent, economics, governmental administration, the global / post-colonial world, historical transformation, gender politics, and media may be addressed.

TRN204H1: This course introduces students to legal reasoning through progressively complex exercises. First, hypotheticals expose students to basic skills required for legal reasoning. Second, they analyze simplified versions of specially selected concrete cases. Third, the course analyses real cases discussed in first year courses in law school.

3)  Third year: TRN303H1 Ethics and Society, is one of ES&L's core required courses. We offer more than one section, each with its own thematic focus. These themes range from: Arts Interventions, ethics and politics of immigration, and the ethical implications of major political issues. 

Students are asked to complete essay assignments that give them practice writing a research paper of the sort they will be required to complete in TRN412H1. This measure enables compliance with the protocol in the Degree Objectives Guidelines that “preparatory experiences for [a fourth-year integrative inquiry-based activity] should occur at earlier stages in the program.”

Students are asked to complete a component on interpreting and evaluating quantitative data in the context of ethical reasoning about social issues. This component of the course provides an introductory treatment of a selection of specific topics such as polling, sampling, graphs, correlations and causal claims. The course includes an assignment requiring the interpretation, evaluation, and use of quantitative data in an ethical examination of (one or more aspects of) a selected social issue.

4)  Fourth year: The role of TRN412H1 is to integrate the program by examining selected topics and readings related to the themes of ethics, society, and law in the format of a senior seminar. The course is restricted to students in their final year of registration in the program.

In TRN 412H1, students write a major research paper, independently framing and investigating a selected, nontrivial social issue with ethical and legal aspects.  The inquiry must integrate material covered in the seminar with the student’s research on the chosen topic, and it must integrate material from each of the program’s general thematic categories (“ethics,” “society,” and “law”).

TRN412 typically includes group activities allowing students to discuss one another’s investigations, for example by sharing abstracts of their research findings with one another on the course’s Quercus/Canvas group. 

5)  1 FCE from ETH201H1, ETH210H1, ETH220H1, ETH230H1, ETH350H1, ETH401H1, PHL265H1, PHL275H1, POL200Y1, to be taken in any year of registration in the program.

6)  3.5 FCEs from Groups A-D including at least 0.5 from each of Groups A-C and at least 2.0 at the 300+ level. Courses taken in fulfillment of requirement 5 above may not be counted toward the Group courses.

N.B. (1) The above CRI courses are available only to students enrolled in the double major program Ethics, Society, and Law/Criminology. (2) Access to courses in the Ethics, Society, and Law program is not guaranteed; students must check prerequisites.


Two Senior Limited Enrolment Courses (Not Required, Invite Only)

TRN 407Y (Community Research Partnerships in Ethics)

Typically in mid-July, 12 senior ES&L majors with strong cGPAs are invited to join the Community Research Partnerships in Ethics course. The course is challenging and the number of projects is limited. It is unlikely the cut-off would go below a cGPA of about 3.50 in any given year. The course is administered either by the director of the Ethics, Society, and Law program, or a CRPE Project Coordinator. Each student project is supervised by a University of Toronto faculty member.   

In 2017-2018, CRPE students worked with non-profit organizations on research projects that addressed challenging issues in community health, human rights, social justice and the environment. Click here to learn about their CRPE experience and the impact of their research.

TRN 425Y (Law Workshops)

Typically in mid-July the 12-15 senior ES&L majors with the highest cGPAs are invited to join the Law Workshops course. The course is challenging and seating is limited. It is unlikely the cut-off would go below a cGPA of about 3.50 in any given year. Students are introduced to fundamental approaches to the law – such as traditional, behavioural, economics, feminist, Indigenous, etc.;  they attend workshops in the Faculty of Law to see those approaches in action; and complete related assignments.