This course is intended to provide an opportunity for students with no background in Philosophy to do advanced work in the subject and to obtain an Honours-level qualification in it. The course is open to those who already have an upper second first degree, and it may be taken on either a full-time basis (9 months) or a part-time basis (18 months). The first part of the programme aims to provide students with a knowledge of important topics in Philosophy and also an opportunity to develop essential skills to engage critically with those topics. In this part of the programme, students take four to five undergraduate modules. The second part of the programme aims to give students experience in applying research skills to a well-defined problem under the guidance of an expert in the area. To achieve this aim, students will prepare a written Project based on independent research that is supervised by a member of staff.
Students take 80 credits of undergraduate modules during the course (four to five taught modules). Of these, 20 credits must be chosen from the following undergraduate first year, first term modules: Reason and Argument A (20 credits); Reason and Argument B (10 credits); Introduction to Ancient Philosophy B (10 credits). The remaining 60 credits must be chosen from our 20 credit year three undergraduate modules. Students may choose their modules from a list of no fewer than three modules per term. This list will be published in advance of the beginning of the programme of study.
The Postgraduate Research Skills Seminar
The Postgraduate Research Skills Seminar is taught over two terms and is designed to provide students with a grounding in the skills necessary to contribute to contemporary philosophical debates. They attend at least one research seminar or colloquium every two weeks and maintain a reflective journal of their research experiences throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms. Tutorials are held every two weeks during which students discuss their responses to research events as recorded in their journals and provide mentoring and peer support.
As an application of the knowledge, skills and experience gained in the previous stages of the course, the Project enables students to produce a sustained piece of critical writing on a topic of their choosing. In the third term, full-time candidates undertake a 5,000 word Project on a topic chosen in consultation with their supervisor for submission at the end of the term. Part-time candidates prepare a 2,000 word project during the Summer term of the first year for submission at the end of term and a 3,000 word project during the Summer term of the second year for submission at the end of term.
Teaching and learning methods
The teaching methods employed on the course are lectures, seminars and individual tutorials.