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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

MA Philosophy and Sociology of Science

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMA Philosophy and Sociology of Science Programme codePTA1HPSHPS37
Study mode(s)Part Time
Full Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The programme, unique in the UK for its combination of philosophical and sociological perspectives on science and technology, examines the concept of science, the knowledge it provides and the way in which the production of knowledge is organised in society. In doing so, it will prepare you for further research or employment in the management and evaluation of science and its impact on society – an increasingly important aspect of science policy.

Based in the Department of Sociology and the Centre for the Philosophy of the Social Sciences, the programme draws on staff research interests and expertise in the philosophy of biology, the mind, economics and social science, as well as in the sociology of science and technology.

You will also benefit from close collaboration with the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society (Egenis) – a recently established world class research centre at Exeter set up to investigate the meaning and social implications of contemporary genomic science. The Centre offers option modules and other study workshops for participants on the programme.

The influential Philosophical Gourmet ranking of philosophy graduate programmes rates the Exeter group first in the UK for philosophy of biology and it is among the top-ranked programmes in the philosophy of the social sciences.

The MA can be pursued on its own or as the first year of the new Four-Year PhD programme.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. To provide a critical understanding of key issues in contemporary philosophy of science, and to locate these issues in the wider debate on philosophical theories of knowledge.
2. To provide a critical understanding of the social and cultural significance of science and technology, and of the social and political dynamics that sustain and shape the production, transmission, and popularisation of science.
3. To equip students with a range of core academic and transferable skills appropriate to Masters level study within the discipline.




4. Programme Structure

The programme is studied over 12 months (full time) or 24 months (part time) and is University-based throughout the period. The programme comprises 180 credits in total: taught modules worth 120 credits in total and a supervised dissertation worth 60 credits. Teaching takes place over two terms (October to May), followed by completion of the dissertation over the summer (June to September). Each taught module spans one term and is normally taught through seminars, underpinned by reading and essay assignments. The taught element consists of core modules, directed options and free options.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

Stage 1


Compulsory Modules

Core Modules followed by completion of the dissertation over the summer (June to September).

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
SOCM945 Philosophy of Science 30No
SOCM950 Science Technology and Society 30No
SOCM904 Dissertation 60Yes

Optional Modules

Modules worth 30 credits in total chosen from SOCM002A and SOCM016.

Plus one additional 30-credit module offered within the department of Sociology and Philosophy, or related disciplines (history, biosciences, geography, politics or law).

Please note that the modules offered are subject to change depending on staff availability, timetabling and student demand.

Inclusion in this list does not guarantee that a module will run in a particular year. It is dependent on staff availability, and the number of students wishing to take the module.

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
MA Philosophy and Sociology of Science optional modules Choose 30 credits
SOCM002A Philosophy of the Social Sciences 1 15 No
SOCM016 Cultures of the Life Sciences 30 No
SOCM945 Philosophy of Science 30 No
SOCM950 Science Technology and Society 30 No
SOCM033 Data Governance and Ethics 15 No
Anthropology PGT option modules 2023-4 Choose one 30-credit module from sociology, philosophy or anthropology
ANTM021 Food, Body and Society 15 No
ANTM100 The Animal Mirror: Representations of Animality 15 No
ANTM101 Animals, Health and Healing 15 No
ANTM102 Anthrozoology: Theory and Method 30 No
ANTM103 Applied Anthrozoology 30 No
ANTM105 Humans and Wildlife: Conflict and Conservation 15 No
ANTM107 Anthrozoology Residential 15 No
Philosophy PGT option modules 2023-4
PHLM006 Contemporary Ethics 30 No
PHLM008 Mind, Body and World 30 No
PHLM010 Introduction to Philosophical Methods 30 No
Sociology PGT option modules 2023-4
SOCM002A Philosophy of the Social Sciences 1 15 No
SOCM002B Philosophy of the Social Sciences 30 No
SOCM013 Independent Study in Sociology and Philosophy 30 No
SOCM016 Cultures of the Life Sciences 30 No
SOCM019 Research Methods in the Social Sciences 15 No
SOCM020 Research Methods in the Social Sciences 30 No
SOCM023 Social Theory 15 No
SOCM027 Social Theory 30 No
SOCM945 Philosophy of Science 30 No
SOCM950 Science Technology and Society 30 No
SOCM047 Understanding Media 30 No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Show a sophisticated understanding of the nature of scientific theories and scientific knowledge and the implications for the wider debate on philosophical theories of knowledge
2. Show advanced knowledge of the major theoretical approaches in the area of science and technology studies.
3. Have a critical awareness of the social and political dynamics that sustain and shape the production, transmission, and popularisation of science.
4. Show an advanced understanding of the social issues arising from the development of science and technology.
5. Read critically and contribute to the literature relating to research in the field of science and technology studies.
6. Appreciate, analyse, synthesize, interpret and evaluate social, cultural and philosophical issues arising from the development of science and technology.

1-4 are developed primarily through seminar discussion and assignments in the core modules, and applied in the dissertation.
5-6 are developed through essay and seminar work on all modules, and in the dissertation.

1-4 are assessed informally through seminar work and formally through essay assignments for both core and optional modules, and in particular through the dissertation.
5-6 are assessed through essay work and seminar presentations on both core and optional modules, and in the dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

7. Understand complex terminology and discourses.
8. Analyse and synthesise different types of material and evidence.
9. Present independent interpretations.
10. Discuss and debate the contested and provisional nature of knowledge and understanding.
11. Identify and evaluate approaches to problem-solving.
12. Apply ideas to new situations.
13. Make effective use of libraries and the world-wide web to find information.
14. Reference sources accurately in written work to a professional standard.
15. Plan, conduct and write up a substantial essay in the form of a dissertation by a set deadline

7-12 are developed through seminar work and assignments in all modules. 13-14 are developed through written assignments. 15 is developed through the dissertation.

These skills are assessed through essay assignments and the dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

16. Think independently at an advanced level.
17. Plan work efficiently to achieve realistic goals within constrained time frames.
18. Construct and defend a rigorous argument, both in written form and orally, using primary and secondary materials
19. Work as an individual on challenging material.
20. Work as part of a team in an independent, constructive and responsive way.
21. Plan, execute and write up research through individual initiative
22. Use standard IT applications competently.

16 and 17 are requirements of all modules, and especially the dissertation. 18 and 19 are core requirements of all modules, and especially the dissertation. 20 is developed through seminar work on the taught modules. 21 is applied on the dissertation. 22 is developed primarily through module assignments and the dissertation.

16 and 17 are assessed in all modules by essay work, and by the dissertation. 18 and 19 are assessed on all modules through the essays that go to make up the portfolio on which the coursework is assessed, and in the dissertation. 20 is reflected in seminar work and presentations. 21 is assessed in the dissertation. 22 assessed indirectly through coursework and the dissertation.

7. Programme Regulations

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

The College PGT Staff Student Liaison Committee, which meets termly, represents the interests of all taught postgraduates in the College, including those taking this MA programme, who are eligible for election to it. It comprises student and staff representatives and is chaired by a student member elected by the SSLC. The College PGT SSLC exists to:

Enable students and staff jointly to participate in the composition, management and review of PGT provision with a view to improving the quality of teaching and learning
Facilitate greater communication between students and staff
Identify and address areas of concern and contentment to students and staff
Ensure a student contribution at all levels of decision-making concerning unreserved business within the College, and its dissemination
To disseminate examples of good practice
To aid the College in its pursuit of excellence

In addition to the centrally provided services detailed above, the College of Social Sciences and International Studies provides all students with a Post-graduate Taught student handbook.
https://intranet.exeter.ac.uk/socialsciences/student/postgraduatetaught/post-graduatetaughthandbook/

Responsibility for the management of the programme of study rests with the programme director. Students meet the programme director at the beginning of the academic year to discuss their choice of optional modules and to help them to construct their programme of study. The programme director has regular office hours, and students are encouraged to consult him/her during these times.

Students are assigned a personal tutor when they arrive in the College, and are encouraged to remain in contact with them throughout the year(s) of their programme.

In January each student has a self-appraisal meeting with his/her personal tutor. This gives students a chance to discuss their experiences and work, in an interview based on a pre-submitted self-appraisal form. At the end of the interview, tutor and student agree on an 'action plan' to guide the student's work for the rest of the academic year.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MA Philosophy and Sociology of Science

19. UCAS Code

C729

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits

180

ECTS credits

90

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

01/10/2004

Date of last revision

01/09/2011