The Centre was established in 1993 under the leadership of Professor Ben Mepham (now a Special Professor at the Centre).  He focused on 'principled approaches' to ethical analysis and developed a very successful tool called the Ethical Matrix. This has been further developed by Dr Kate Millar who has attracted funding from national and international research programmes

In 2009, Dr Pru Hobson-West was appointed to a lectureship in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. Pru is a social scientist and brings to the Centre of Applied Ethics an expertise in the use of qualitative methods to analyse issues including health and medicine, and animals and society.