Hugh Upton is a Senior Lecturer at the College of Human and Health Sciences. Hugh graduated with a BA Honours degree in Philosophy from University College London in 1977. He has also been awarded a MPhil in 1982 and a PhD in 2000. Dr Upton started in the teaching profession at UCL and has also taught in the University of St Andrews.

He came to Swansea to join the Centre for Philosophy & Health Care, at that time in the Philosophy Department and now a part of the Interprofessional Studies department within the College.

Hugh teaches on various modules in Philosophy and Ethics and also runs the MA in Health Care Law and Ethics programme.

Hugh Upton is also active researching his fields of interest: Moral philosophy and Medical ethics.


  1. Identity Disorders: Philosophical Problems. In T. Schramme, S.Edwards (Ed.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine. (pp. 1-19).
  2. Ethical theories and practical problems. Nursing Philosophy 4(2), 170
  3. Personal identity. Nursing Philosophy 6(1), 77
  4. Moral Theory and Theorizing in Health Care Ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14(4), 431
  5. Presumed consent and organ donation. Clinical Ethics 7(3), 142-146.

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  • ASP101 The Philosophy of Social Policy: An Introduction to Concepts, Ideas and Ideologies

    Social policy draws on the intellectual traditions of the political and philosophical sciences as a basis for its approach to understanding topics such as equality, fairness, social justice, social citizenship, freedom or liberalism. These concepts are important when tracing the key ideas and principles which have influenced both past and current developments of welfare provisions in the UK, or when thinking critically about why we have needed policy and legislation to ensure equality of treatment for people of various social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. By developing a sound understanding of these topics, students will be better equipped to develop informed responses to some of the key challenges facing governments today and which are explored in more depth through other social policy modules: should governments promote equality of access to higher education by subsidising fees for all? Now that we are living in a ¿global village¿, should we be thinking about welfare needs from a global citizenship perspective? Is it fair that some people earn high incomes but still receive child benefit? Are policy-makers today still influenced by neo-liberal values about the role that market forces should take in meeting social needs?

  • HUP100 The Fundamental Questions of Philosophy

    This module introduces students to a series of questions and issues that are central to the discipline of philosophy. The topics discussed, in a lively and entertaining manner, will be concerned with the nature of persons and their relationships to the natural world and to other human beings in society. The topics studied will be: a.) ancient and modern accounts of the nature of the world and the nature of persons; b.) the relationship between the minds and bodies of persons; c.) the problem of personal identity; d.) reason and emotion in relation to human behaviour; e.) the possibility of freedom; f.) the claims of religion and science.

  • SHH313 Ethics in Health and Social Care

    This module aims to develop students' critical awareness of the moral dimension of health care. Ethical analysis of relevant issues is based upon extant theory and principles. Students are encouraged to reconsider ethical issues in their day to day practice, against their developing knowledge and understanding of literature, and broader organizational/social/policy implications.

  • SHHM51 An Introduction to Health Care Law and Ethics for Physicians Associates

    This module will introduce students on the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) / MSc Physician¿s Associate Studies to the core concepts in health care law and ethics that will inform their practice.

  • SHP307 Persons and Illness

    The module¿s objectives are to provide students with an appreciation of the connection between our concept of the person and our understanding of some of the conditions that are the objects of medical attention, including aspects of mental health, disability, genetics and dying.

  • SHP312 Dissertation

    The dissertation is the culmination of the student¿s undergraduate work. Its aim is to develop the student¿s skills for independent study. With guidance from the programme team the student will identify his or her own research problem, explore it in appropriate ways, and relate his or her analysis and findings to the relevant literature. The topic of the project may fall within the broad subject matter of any of the strands of the degree programme. Where appropriate, we encourage multi-disciplinarity: depending on the topic chosen, it may be possible to bring to bear some of the varied approaches learned throughout the programme, be these scientific, humanities or a combination of the two. Also, it provides an opportunity for sustained enquiry on an issue of interest to the student themselves.

  • SHPM20 Dissertation (MA Medical Law and Ethics)

    A supervised programme of reading and critical reflection upon an agreed topic area within medical law and ethics leading to the production of a written dissertation not normally exceeding 20,000 words.

  • SHPM48 Philosophy, Ethics & Medicine

    This module introduces and examines some of the fundamental theoretical approaches to ethics in relation to examples taken from healthcare. It also considers the nature of moral judgements and the relation between ethics and the law.

  • SHPM49 The Boundaries of Life

    This module introduces and examines some of the fundamental ethical and philosophical issues at the beginnings and ends of life. These include the ethics of abortion, euthanasia, and the concepts of human death and moral status.

  • SREM00 Sports Ethics and Ethical Theory

    This module develops an understanding of the need for ethical theory in sports ethics and of the role that the theories of deontology, consequentialism, rights theory and virtue ethics play within the organization of sport, and in the experience of sporting competitions. Students will come to appreciate the often hidden role that ethical theory plays in critical argumentation about key ethical issues in sports and sport integrity.


  • The nature of ethical dilemmas in disaster response (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Gideon Calder
  • Perceptions of ethics and ethical development of undergraduate student nurses (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Gideon Calder

Research Groups

  • Health Humanities: Philosophy, Law & Ethics

    Health Humanities: Philosophy, Law & Ethics