Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code GOHI006
Coordinator Dr CG Jones
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 3 FHEQ Second Semester 10


To introduce the basic core skills and methodologies used in the critical reading, debating and writing of philosophy;

To develop competence in close reading of a philosophical text;

To introduce key debates in ethics, epistemology, existence of god and existentialism;

To develop confidence in presenting complex ideas on paper and to an audience;

To progress the bibliographical and research skills necessary to finding and using library and online sources effectively

To establish the transferrable learning, communication (written and oral) and digital skills required for entry to an undergraduate programme.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Apply philosophical reasoning in verbal debates and writing.

(LO2) Read critically (an extract from) a canonical philosophical text in detail.

(LO3) Write a logically argued and structured philosophy essay referenced with Harvard.

(LO4) Describe and contrast certain key themes in the philosophy of ethics, epistemology and existentialism.

(LO5) Debate contemporary ethical issues using philosophical argument and methods.

(LO6) Identify and apply key skills required to deliver an effective presentation.

(LO7) Find and use library and online resources efficiently.

(S1) IT skills

(S2) Communication skills

(S3) Self-directed learning

(S4) Organisational skills

(S5) Ethical awareness



A representative syllabus is:

Introduction: What is philosophy and why does it matter? Critical thinking and how to do it; deductive and inductive reasoning;

Epistemology 1: Can we trust the evidence of our senses? Is what common sense tells us about the world correct? Does our knowledge rest on firm foundations? Is it possible to truly ‘know’ anything about the world? Philosophers from Plato onwards have wrestled with these key philosophical questions; we will critique their conclusions;

Epistemology 2: Building on the previous week’s discussion, we will examine Descartes’ Cogito Ergo Sum and debate scepticism in modern philosophical thought;

God 1: We continue our metaphysical exploration, asking ‘what is the nature of reality?’, with an examination of contrasting arguments for the existence of god, specifically the ontological and cosmological argument and the argument from design, and a second look at induction/de duction;

God 2: The problem of evil and free will; debate;

Ethics 1: How should one live? We will look at key philosophers’ answers to this question including theories of virtue, utilitarianism and deontology;

Ethics 2: Students will examine and report on a key text, Kant or Mill; we will debate contemporary ethical issues using the various ethical frameworks we have researched;

Existentialism 1: Why did Sartre say that man is ‘condemned to be free’? We will introduce some key themes of existentialism with a focus on Sartre’s Being and Nothingness;

Review and reflect; assessment workshop. We will reflect on essay writing, presentations and examination requirements/technique;

Existentialism 2: We will continue our exploration of existentialism with a consideration of the ways in which philosophy can be progressed through fiction; we will also examine the feminist existentialism of Simone de Beauvoir;

The Feminist Crit ique: We will debate feminist philosophies and their challenge to ‘masculine’ philosophy with a special focus on French feminist philosophy of language;

Review and Reflect: Concluding workshop. The module ends with sessions devoted to student presentations and review of the topics covered.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: Interative lectures cover major themes
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 2 - Tutorial
Description: Students to prepare by reading texts and preparing arguments to present.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 3 - Online Discussions
Description: Online resources and virtual forums will be established to facilitate debate.
Attendance Recorded: Not yet decided

Teaching Method 4 - Workshop
Description: Problem-based learning
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 5 - Presentation
Description: Minimum 5 minute individual presentation.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 7




Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 88


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Team Debate There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Second Semester  20 minutes    50       
Essay There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Semester 2  2000 words    50       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

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