School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies


Mr David Carpenter

  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer in Social and Political Philosophy / University Ethics Adviser
  • Address: Milldam, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, Hants PO1 3AS
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2211
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
  • Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


David joined the University after a career in the National Health Service where he was mainly teaching medical ethics and medical law.  On commencing work in the University he widened his teaching and research, focusing on political philosophy and ethics. David’s specialist interest is research ethics, he has published widely in the field and was, until his part-retirement, University Ethics Adviser. David chairs an NHS Ethics Committee, is a trustee of the Association for Research Ethics (AfRE – under the auspices of the Association for Research Managers and Administrators), a member of the British Psychological Society Ethics Committee and a member of the Rowans Hospice Ethics Executive Group. Locally, David is Vice-Chair of Portsmouth College Corporation, represents the University as a member of Portsmouth Cathedral Council and is a member of Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, Clinical Ethics Committee.  

Teaching Responsibilities

David teaches a wide range of courses to a diversity of students from new under-graduates to PhD students. David’s main undergraduate teaching comprises units on Political Thought for Politics and International Relations Students, David’s main focus of interest in political philosophy centres on communitarianism and the philosophy of the common good.    David has supervised a range of successful PhD studies including, Experiences of Undergraduate student Nurses – a Heideggerian  Analysis, Deliberate Self-Harm in the Royal Navy, Baptism Policy in the Church of England and Valuing South Asian People with Learning Disabilities: Perceptions and Lived Experiences of Service Providers and Professionals .  He continues to offer supervision in the broad field of health social care and social research, typically involving an ethical dimension.  Outside of the University David provides specialist teaching for members of research ethics committees on behalf of the Health Research Authority and the Association for Research Ethics.  David also provides public lectures hosted by Portsmouth Cathedral with a broad aim of bringing the University to the local community. 


David’s current research interests centre on the understanding of the philosophical foundations of research ethics from the perspectives of researchers, research participants and ethics committees.  He has a continuing involvement in the Academy of Social Sciences’ project exploring the idea of common ethical principles which might be shared across social science research. His interest in this project is largely focused on the application of Aristotelian virtue ethics.

David is an active researcher, engaging with research as a specialist in research ethics.  He is currently working on the DfID funded project – Women, Work and Violence, a mainly ethnographic study crossing Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan.  David is also working with researchers from Open University, Bristol University and Teeside University on a Health Research Authority funded project aiming to establish the capacities of universities and local authorities with regard to the ethical review of social care research.

Recent Research Activity


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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