The Only Way is Ethics

The Only Way is Ethics is a structured programme providing a glimpse of the many different paths available to drive forward social progress and change, made up of a lecture programme and a social action programme. 

The lecture programme will run four events each academic year in Michaelmas and Hilary. Each will feature a short introduction demystifying the social sector, a 30-minute keynote talk from an inspiring and perhaps provocative leader, and a 45-minute chaired Q&A, followed by networking opportunities.

The social action programme will take place directly following the themes and content of the Only Way is Ethics speaker series. Attendees will be put in teams of four to dig deeper into the different themes, to design their own social action projects.

The areas of learning we will focus on are:

  • Teamwork – you will work in a small team in multidisciplinary ‘pods’, enabling you to develop the ability to work with people with different backgrounds, skills and perspectives.
  • Hands-on experience – you will have the opportunity to work closely with community partners and bring your academic experience into a more applied and practical setting.
  • Communication skills – a key part of this programme is connecting you to people and experiences that you may not have come across before. The programme will involve participatory research experiences, skilling up in methodologies such as ethnography, and connecting you to opportunities to practise new skills and gain first-hand experience of social issues in the community.

Each cohort will be supported by guided reflection, ensuring that the insight and learning generated at the individual level is shared with and across the different student teams. Teams will receive coaching and tailored support with their projects as they go through the design and implementation process.


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The Only Way is Ethics is open to all undergraduate and graduate students, and researchers across all Divisions of the University.

The last programme took take place from 17:30 until 19:00 on the Thursdays of Weeks 3 and 6 of Michaelmas Term 2020, and Weeks 2, 5 and 8 of Hilary Term 2021.

If you have any questions about the programme, please email us on

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