Undergraduate Module Descriptor

PHL2002: Existentialism

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction to Existentialism & Soren Kierkegaard
  • Friedrich Nietzsche – The Gay Science
  • Martin Heidegger – Being & Time – Dasein, Authenticity and being-towards-death
  • Jean-Paul Sartre – ‘Existentialism as Humanism’
  • Jean-Paul Sartre – Nausea
  • Simone de Beauvoir – Feminist Existentialism and The Ethics of Ambiguity
  • Simone de Beauvoir – The Blood of Others 
  • Albert Camus – The Outsider and The Myth of Sisyphus
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Notes from Underground
  • Frantz Fanon – Black Skins, White Masks
  • Ralph Ellison – The Invisible Man
  • Soren Kierkegaard – Fear and Trembling and The Sickness Unto Death

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities16.511 x 1.5 hour lectures. Lectures provide you with detailed overview and analysis of key thinkers and texts in the existential tradition; lectures cover more ground than is possible in tutorials, and are designed to establish a context in which to think about the themes, thinkers and texts discussed in tutorials.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities55 x 1 Hour Fortnightly tutorials. A specific reading is assigned, and you are provided with a list of key issues to identify and discuss for each tutorial. Texts are carefully chosen as classic exemplars of the core course themes.
Guided Independent Study45Preparation for lectures and tutorial participation including reading and planning.
Guided independent study83.5Independent research for glossary entry and essay.

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).