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Philosophy (GradDip)

Course Description

The Graduate Diploma in Philosophy is a one-year conversion course (two years part-time), designed for those who already have a degree and wish to pursue an interest in philosophy. No formal training in philosophy is required. The programme provides an ideal learning environment if you are interested in progressing to an MA in Philosophy, or simply want the opportunity to learn about philosophy.

Course structure

The Diploma has two main components:
-Four undergraduate modules. At least two of these must be at Level 3 and no more than one should be at Level 1.
-A dissertation of 12,000 words (double module).

You can choose from a wide range of modules, which in the past have included:
Level 1
-Ethics and Values
-Knowledge and Reality
-Introduction to Logic
-Reading Philosophy
-History and Theory of Medicine
-Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science
Level 2
-Philosophy of Mind
-Philosophy of Religion
-Political Philosophy
-Language, Logic and Reality
-Moral Theory
-Theory, Literature and Society
-Biomedical Ethics Past and Present
-Science and Religion
-Modern Philosophy I
-Philosophy of Science
-Philosophy of Economics: Theory, Methods and Values
-Ancient Philosophies West and East
Level 3
-Modern Philosophy II
-Applied Ethics
-Issues in Contemporary Ethics
-Twentieth Century European Philosophy
-Language and Mind
-History of the Body
-Philosophical Issues in Contemporary Science
-History and Philosophy of Psychiatry
-Gender, Film and Society
-20th Century European Philosophy
-History and Philosophy of Psychiatry
-Ethics in Business Practice
-Formal and Philosophical Logic

Learning and Teaching

Students in the Graduate Diploma programme receive an average of eight timetabled contact hours per week over the course of the programme. The contact hours come in the form of lectures, tutorials and seminars, depending on the four modules chosen by the student. In addition, students are offered six hours of one-to-one dissertation supervision with an expert in their chosen research area.

Philosophical development involves not only familiarizing oneself with a body of knowledge but also acquiring skills in critical reasoning and argumentation. Thus, in addition to introducing students to key works in philosophy, the programme offers many opportunities for dialogical interaction. Lecture sessions include time for questions, tutorials consist mainly of structured, critical dialogue in a supportive environment, and seminars provide opportunities for extended discussion. Dissertation supervision meetings give guidance on suitable reading, critical discussion of relevant sources, detailed advice on how to write a 12,000 word piece of research, and intensive critical engagement with the student’s philosophical position and argument.

Timetabled contact is only a part of the learning process; its aim is to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to navigate the relevant literature themselves and to pursue independent learning. Lectures and accompanying documents contextualise material and introduce students to topics, positions and debates. At least four hours of additional study per week are recommended for each lecture or seminar, which includes reading and the completion of assignments. Having completed the reading, students engage in discussion in seminars or return to lecture topics in small group tutorials. These help students to refine their understanding of material and to develop the reasoning skills needed to formulate, present, defend and criticise philosophical positions.

Graduate Diploma students also can benefit from a range of other activities in the department, including the department’s postgraduate philosophy society (EIDOS), weekly research seminars and reading groups, and occasional conferences, workshops and Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures. The programme director remains in contact with students throughout the year and is always available to discuss any issues that might arise, whether personal or academic.

Visit the Philosophy (GradDip) page on the Durham University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for this programme have been designed to encourage applications from as wide a range of interested and able people as possible, including mature students, who may have been away from university for a long time, and international students. As an applicant for our Graduate Diploma, you will usually have achieved a 2.1 or equivalent in a previous degree but this is not a strict requirement and decisions are made on a case by case basis.

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