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Information for current students

Undergraduate Timetable

Course Options

Academic Consultation and Feedback Hours

  •  Consultation and Feedback Hours - forthcoming


Student Handbook

Plagiarism and Turnitin Guide

Preparatory and General Reading List

Useful links

Careers Information

Course Descriptions:

First Year Courses

PY1101 Epistemology and Metaphysics (½ unit, Autumn)

This course seeks to provide students with a broad conceptual framework within which to locate and evaluate some of the key problems that have preoccupied contemporary philosophers. These include logical questions relating to the structure of arguments; epistemological questions concerning the sources and limits of knowledge and the status of scientific inquiry; metaphysical questions like the relationship between minds and bodies and the possibility of human freedom. Although the emphasis is strongly on work in the Anglo-American tradition, the course aims to give students some awareness both of the historical sources of many of the problems raised and of the possibility of other traditions in philosophy.


PY1002 Introduction to Modern Philosophy (½ unit, Spring)

The ‘new philosophy’ of the seventeenth century set the modern philosophical agenda by asking fundamental questions concerning knowledge and understanding and the relation between science and other human endeavours, which subsequently became central to the European Enlightenment. This course aims to familiarise students with the origins of empiricist and rationalist/idealist thought, focussing on the work of Descartes and Locke and their subsequent elaboration in the work of Leibniz and Hume. The course situates Spinoza and Berkeley, and ends with a brief account of Kant’s attempt to synthesise the insights of the two traditions by subjecting reason to a fundamental critique.


PY1102 Tutorial Special Study (½ unit, Autumn)

Formatively, the aim of this course is to accelerate the development of critical and presentational skills that are key to the successful study of philosophy. Students meet weekly in small groups with a member of the academic staff to discuss an article or chapter of a book or some other item that has been specified in advance. This will form the basis of discussion and written work.


PY1104 Introduction to Political Philosophy (½ unit, Autumn)

This course will examine classic texts by figures in ancient and early Christian Western political thought: thinkers whose ideas still define the frameworks within which contemporary discussions of political theories still take place.


PY1541 Introduction to Ancient Philosophy (½ unit, Autumn)

The course aims both to inform students about ancient philosophical ideas and to introduce them to philosophical argument. It combines a brief survey of the principal ancient philosophers, from the Presocratics to Aristotle, with study of selected texts on the topic of courage, including Plato’s Laches. 1 required formative essay.


PY1106 Introduction to Aesthetics and Morals (½ unit, Spring)

The course aims to provide students with a broad understanding of many of the central problems and debates within moral philosophy and aesthetics. These include questions relating to both metaphysical and ethical relativism, the different ways we might understand our moral commitments within the world, how the individual is related to society, and the value and nature of the work of art.


PY1103 Introduction to Logic (½ unit, Spring)

The course aims to introduce students to the formal study of arguments through the two basic systems of modern logic: sentential or propositional logic and predicate logic. The course will introduce Russell’s formalist solution to the problem of definite descriptions, which will in turn be used to introduce the broader significance of findings in logic to philosophical inquiry.


PY1105 Mind and Consciousness (½ unit, Spring)

What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Is the mind inside the brain? Are we any more than highly sophisticated computers? What is consciousness? This course aims to introduce these and related questions, which are central to modern philosophical debates about the nature of mind and consciousness.

Second Year Courses 

PY2001 Introduction to European Philosophy 1: From Kant to Hegel (½ unit, Autumn)

This course introduces students to aspects of key texts by Kant and Hegel which form the foundation of the major debates in both European, and some analytical, philosophy. Students will be introduced to the interpretation of difficult philosophical texts. Major issues concerning epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics will be introduced which will be central to the rest of their philosophical and other studies in the humanities and social sciences.


PY2002 Mind and World (½ unit, Spring)

This course examines some of the major metaphysical and epistemological problems that arise when attempting to understand how mind and language figure in human interactions with and in the world. It centres on attempts to conceptualise, solve, or avoid mind-body related problems in the analytic tradition and aims to contrast these with phenomenological and existential investigations of cognate phenomena.


In addition to the above, options from the following list are available at stage 2:

Introduction to European Philosophy 2 (½ unit)

Practical Ethics (½ unit)

Philosophy and the Arts (½ unit)

Varieties of Scepticism (½ unit or 1 unit)

Philosophy of Psychology (½ unit or 1 unit)

Contemporary Political Theory (1 unit)

Modern French Philosophy (1 unit)

Philosophy of Religion (1 unit)

Modern Political Thought (1 unit)

Body and Soul (in Ancient Philosophy) (1 unit)

The Good Life (1 unit)


Third Year Courses 

PY3001 Dissertation (1 unit, year long)

The dissertation (8,000-10,000 words) is compulsory for all single honours Philosophy students and students who are not taking a dissertation or similar piece of extended work in their combined subject (subject to the agreement of the Programme Director for Philosophy). It presents the opportunity to demonstrate your skills as independent learners by embarking upon a substantial (8-10000 words), significant piece of written work. Ordinarily, the dissertation topic will derive from a course already taken, or one the student has committed to take in their final year.


In addition to the above, options from the following list are available at stage 3:

Practical Ethics (½ unit)

Philosophy and the Arts (½ unit)

Varieties of Scepticism (½ unit or 1 unit)

Philosophy of Psychology (½ unit or 1 unit)

Modern French Philosophy  (1 unit)

Philosophy of Religion (1 unit)

Body and Soul (in Ancient Philosophy) (1 unit)

The Good Life (1 unit)

Modern European Philosophy 1 (½ unit)

Modern European Philosophy 2 (½ unit)

Recovering Reality (1 unit)

Radical Political Theory (1 unit)

Democratic Theory (1 unit)

Theories of Toleration (½ unit)

Social Justice (½ unit)

 Under Construction



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