Undergraduate Module Descriptor

PHL3040: Philosophy Dissertation

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 30 ECTS Value 15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks) and term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Giovanna Colombetti (Convenor)


Students would normally have completed one or more of the second year core Philosophy modules



Available via distance learning


The writing of a philosophy dissertation offers you the opportunity to engage in a research project on a topic of your own choice. Guidance and support include discussions with the module convener, allocation of an expert academic supervisor and participation in small discussion groups of students working on similar topics. The main aim is for you to select a topic and way of working on a philosophical problem that suits you and through which you can show your acquired skills in independent research, philosophical analysis and writing. You may choose to engage with and discuss a specific traditional or current problem, a particular author or book, or write a philosophical essay on a current ethical, social or epistemological problem.

The module begins with two two-hour sessions of general introduction to expectations, progress measures, library and other resources and supervisor support. You will then discuss your dissertation topic individually with the module lead. This is followed by your first outline and summary of your project idea and research plan and an initial bibliography covering some of the relevant literature. In a second step you will discuss this outline with your supervisor and discuss it in the first small-group seminar. A draft dissertation, which outlines the course of your argument and has at least half of the text written up with references and argued to the expected standard is expected to be ready for a second February seminar meeting. In the intervening weeks you are expected to conduct your research independently and seek advice from your supervisor and other academic experts on the way when needed. After an extensive discussion of the draft dissertation you complete the dissertation for submission in April. The word maximum for the dissertation is 9000 words (plus or minus 10%)

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