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 PHIL365
Coordinator Dr JA Jobling
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 15


To introduce students to the philosophical analysis of conflict. To help students to think through for themselves the just solution to various conflicts between societies and within society. To help students to think through for themselves the appropriateness or otherwise of the various ways in which present-day societies solve, or attempt to solve, conflicts. To help students to think through for themselves the relationship between state and individual, and between different groups in the state.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will show a capacity to analyse and evaluate, from a philosophical point of view, competing legal and moral rights.

(LO2) Students will be able to form considered and philosophically defensible judgements about appropriate resolution when rights clash in the public sphere.

(LO3) Students will be able to apply theoretical resources to conflictual issues of contemporary socio-political and/or legal concern.

(LO4) Students will be able to articulate philosophical debates emerging from analysis of complex and sensitive scenarios.

(LO5) Students will be able to defend positions in relation to competing socio-political perspectives.

(LO6) Students will be able to be able to write with philosophical rigour about socio-political and/or legal conflicts.

(S1) Students will enhance their abilities in reading and understanding texts and in comprehending abstract material.

(S2) Students will develop their skills in thinking critically, analysing problems and analysing and assessing arguments.

(S3) Students will enhance their ability to identify the issues that underlie debates.

(S4) Students will develop confidence in considering previously unfamiliar ideas and approaches, and their ability to identify presuppositions and to reflect critically upon them.

(S5) Students will enhance their ability to marshal arguments and present them orally and in writing.

(S6) Students will develop their ability to work independently.

(S7) Students will develop their ability to sift through information, assessing the relevance and importance of the information to what is at issue.

(S8) Students will develop their problem-solving skills.

(S9) Students will enhance their capacity to participate, in a dispassionate and respectful manner, in debates about controversial and profound matters.

(S10) Students will develop their willingness critically to evaluate and reflect upon arguments, beliefs, proposals and values, both their own and those of others.

(S11) Students will exercise skills in the digital sharing of their work and peer comment.



The syllabus is regularly updated to reflect topical events and trends. Representative content might include:

Does the state have the right to display religious symbols in classrooms?
Should the law allow employees to wear religious items to work, or the wearing of the burqa in public?
How far should midwives be allowed to opt out of assisting with abortions?
Should the law allow assisted suicide?
Should the law allow people to refuse to serve in the armed forces or refuse to pay taxes to support them?
Freedom and the media - satire, 'hate' speech and democracy.
The ethics of immigration: open/closed borders.
Multiculturalism and group rights: is multiculturalism harmful to women?
Civil Disobedience and Protest.
Tolerance and Repression.
Different forms of oppression within society.
Sexual Harassment.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Seminars
Description: The module is taught through two hours of seminars weekly. These include activities to support the assessments and are primarily based on student research, presentations and contribution. These are formative spaces of applied and enquiry-led learning where students receive ‘real-time’ feedback on their ideas and understanding from peers and the tutor. Appropriate foundational resource materials are supplied in advance along with key questions to consider. The discussions are facilitated and moderated by the tutor. The seminars thus offer opportunities for students to engage in debate on often controversial issues, deepen understanding, clarify concepts, apply ideas, develop arguments and build confidence through group discussion.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Seminars are synchronous. In hybrid teaching, there is 1x1 hour online seminar and 1x1 hour on campus seminar. In online teaching, they both take place online. & #x2018;Standard’ delivery is campus-based.

Skills are developed through research, seminar participation and assessment preparation.

Self-directed learning: Reading primary and secondary texts and online support materials. Preparing for assessments. Engaging in peer review.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   22

Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 128


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Presentation This is not an anonymous assessment. There is a resit opportunity.    15       
Opinion Piece. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. Anonymous assessment: Yes Reassessment opportunity: Yes    35       
Presentation Support Materials. No late submissions allowed. Anonymous assessment: No Reassessment opportunity: Yes         
Case Study There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment.    45       

Recommended Texts

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