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 PHIL215
Coordinator Dr D Hill
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 5 FHEQ Second Semester 15


To introduce the current state of discussion concerning the concept of God. To introduce the major arguments for, and the major arguments against, the existence of God. To enable students to clarify and develop their own views on whether God exists and, if so, what God is like.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to engage with key debates and arguments in the philosophy of religion, primarily in the Western tradition.

(LO2) Students will be able to reflect on methodological issues that arise in the philosophy of religion, such as the relationship between faith and reason.

(LO3) Students will be able to assess challenges to the coherence of the concept of God.

(LO4) Students will be able to discuss and evaluate arguments for the existence of God.

(LO5) Students will be able to reflect critically on the significance and implications of the problem of evil for religious thought.

(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 reconstructing and evaluating 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.



Representative material includes:
How do We Get Our Concept of God?
The Concept of God: Omnipotence.
The Concept of God: Omniscience & Freedom.
The Concept of God: Perfect Goodness & the Euthyphro Dilemma
Does God Exist? The Ontological Argument.
Does God exist? The Cosmological Argument.
Does God Exist? The Design Argument.
Does God Exist? The Argument from Evil.
Religious Language.
Death and Immortality.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: Lectures are tutor-led activities, offering a map of the syllabus and a framework for independent enquiry-led research. Students are encouraged to engage actively with lectures through, for example: (i) taking opportunities to ask questions during the session; (ii) reflecting on and responding to questions posed to them; (iii) producing questions and notes on issues for subsequent group discussion in seminars.
Attendance Recorded: No

Teaching Method 2 - Seminar
Description: Seminars are formative spaces of applied and enquiry-led learning based on pre-set readings and facilitated by the tutor. Seminars thus offer opportunities for students to respond to tutor- and peer-set questions, deepen understanding, apply ideas, develop arguments and build confidence through group discussion. One or two students take the lead each week through peer-teaching, delivering presentations based on their own enquiries and identification of qu estions and issues.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Delivery models:
a) mixed, hybrid delivery, with social distancing on campus: Lectures on-line; seminars on-campus

(b) fully online delivery and assessment: Lectures on-line; seminars on-line

(c) standard on campus delivery with minimal social distancing: Lectures on-campus; seminars on-campus

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 11


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 128


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Seen Exam There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment.  24    65       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Seminar Reading Analysis There is a resit opportunity. No late submission. This is an anonymous assessment.    25       
Presentation This is not an anonymous assessment. There is a resit opportunity.    10       

Recommended Texts

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