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Course content

Specifically dedicated to continental philosophical approaches to creativity and imagination, this programme is one of a kind in the UK. It is designed to provide you with an understanding of the roles of creativity and imagination in artistic, social and cultural contexts. You will be encouraged to think critically about the ways in which creativity and imagination have been neglected concepts and how they are immensely relevant today in understanding our historical situation.

Why study Philosophy at Dundee?

This programme provides a year-long study on philosophical approaches to understanding the nature of creativity and its significance within recent social and cultural contexts. It mainly focuses on Continental philosophy, with particular emphasis, for example, on Deleuze, Foucault, Gadamer, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Ricoeur and Sartre. Topics of study include faculties of imagination, idleness and leisure, the image, phenomenology of the imagination, the origin of art, play, and the unconscious.

In addition to engaging with a variety of key sources in Continental philosophy, students will also explore related areas, such as psychoanalysis, sociology and theology. This course is a pathway on the MLitt in Humanities with Specialisation programme.

What's so good about Philosophy at Dundee?

As a student in the Philosophy department, you will be a member of an active postgraduate community where students regularly participate in research seminars, reading groups and conferences.

Philosophy's Postgraduate Work-in-Progress Seminars are a forum for MLitt, MPhil and PhD students to present and discuss their work. Students are also encouraged to organise and participate in specialist reading groups. In recent years, staff and students have met to examine Kant's Critique of Judgement, Schopenhauer's World as Will and Representation, and Deleuze's Francis Bacon: the logic of sensation.

There are also regular research seminars, with papers given by invited international and UK speakers, reflecting the Philosophy Section's research specialisms in both continental and analytic fields.

Who should study this course?

This programme is ideal for if you wish to pursue doctoral studies in continental philosophy in relation to aesthetics, art, the philosophy of technology, and socio-political problems. It is also well suited to students training to be artists and wishing to gain a better understanding of philosophical examinations of artistic practices. You are not expected to have a previous degree in philosophy. However, you should be prepared to think and write philosophically with respect to close analysis of texts and the formulation of your own arguments.

How you will be taught

A variety of teaching methods will be used, including: small group teaching, supervised research, tutorial sessions, seminars, presentations, invited speakers and discussion groups. Students will be supervised on a yearlong module in an area of research independently selected by the student. Learning methods will include essay assessments, abstracts, and an annotated bibliography. Non-assessed methods include oral presentations at seminars and an annual conference hosted by the School of Humanities.

What you will study

Students take the following core modules and the Philosophy dissertation.

Philosophies of Imagination
Economies of Creativity
Self-Directed Study
All students must attempt the dissertation. Students whose dissertation fails to satisfy the examiners will be awarded the PG Diploma, provided that the taught elements of the course have been successfully completed.

How you will be assessed

Written coursework/continuous assessment (essays, abstract, annotated bibliography): 66%
Dissertation of approx. 10,000-12,000 words: 34%


For students interested in doctoral studies, teachers seeking training to Masters level and those working in creative industries, the Dundee philosophy programme is the only Scottish university specialising in Continental philosophy. It therefore provides its graduates with a unique opportunity. Because the department has a highly regarded international reputation for its research, any graduate wishing to pursue a doctorate in Continental philosophy will be well situated to continue. Our recent postgraduate students have been successful in obtaining funding from the AHRC, the Carnegie Trust, the UK Overseas Research Scheme, and the Royal Institute for Philosophy.

Postgraduates and Postdoctoral Research Fellows in the Department have gone on to academic posts in Philosophy and related disciplines in Britain, Ireland and the United States.

However, due to the non-vocational nature of a Philosophy degree many students also enter jobs unrelated to their course of study. For these students this course provides them with an opportunity to further develop their written presentation skills, as well as the ability to work independently and plan independent research and study.

Graduates will therefore benefit should they wish to pursue careers in such fields as teaching, creative industries, journalism, media, politics, risk management.

Learn more about careers related to the Humanities on our Careers Service website.

Visit the MLitt Philosophy page on the University of Dundee website for more details!




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