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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

BA (Hons) Philosophy

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBA (Hons) Philosophy Programme codeUFA3HPSHPS18
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

This programme allows you to study philosophy in depth, in its many different facets. You will have the opportunity to discuss long-standing questions about the nature of knowledge (what can we know and how do we know what we know?); science (does science provide us with a special kind of knowledge?); reality (does the world out there really exist and does it exist the way we usually think it does?); ethics (how should we act and what should we strive for?); art and beauty (what is art and what makes things beautiful?); the mind-body relationship (what is mind and how does it relate to the brain?); the meaning of life (why are we here, what is the point of living?); and more.

From the beginning you will be encouraged to develop your own views on all these topics and to assess other philosophers’ views. Studying philosophy will teach you to think critically and rigorously, to defend your views in a clear and consistent way, to understand the why and what-for of different points of view and ultimately to develop a sharp, analytical and open mind. The degree is thoroughly interdisciplinary - philosophy is situated in a broad social science context and background (emanating from the department’s other degree programmes in sociology, anthropology and criminology). Philosophy graduates learn their philosophical skills in relation to ‘real world’ problems and issues aided by the light of sociological and anthropological perspectives, knowledge and understanding. Modules are taught by staff who contribute to those subjects with their own research and core modules feature distinctive syllabi that reflect the research expertise of the teacher. Cutting-edge research is embedded in all modules.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

  • To produce graduates who are grounded in the main themes of Philosophy through a combination of modules which develop a deep understanding of some pervasive and problematic features of the world and of ourselves.
  • To develop students' competence in the specific skills required in Philosophy, and in core academic and personal and key skills.
  • To engender a sense of belonging to a community of enquiry, encourage intellectual development and prepare students, where appropriate, for possible postgraduate study.
  • To offer a wide range of choice within the programme of study, insofar as this choice is consistent with the coherence and intellectual rigour of the degree.
  • To provide a programme of study which introduces progressive intellectual challenges and consolidates previous experiences at each new level.
  • To provide a supportive learning environment with full access to welfare, pastoral and careers support.
  • To provide opportunities for graduates to be imaginative critical thinks and problem solvers.

4. Programme Structure

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.

The full list of modules is available (with module descriptions) for Philosophy at 
http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/sociology/current/undergraduatemodules/

The Philosophy degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.

Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.

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

Stage 1


The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of philosophical methods, analysis and concepts. You will also be introduced to important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks. You will take 60 credits of compulsory modules and 60 credits of optional modules. You may take up to 30 credits of these options from outside of the department.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
PHL1002A Knowledge and Reality 1 15No
PHL1002B Knowledge and Reality 2 15No
PHL1005A Evidence and Argument 1 15No
PHL1006 Introduction to Philosophical Analysis 15No

Optional Modules

 

 

View option modules here.

 

Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability

 

Stage 2


At least 60 credits taken from the available "core" modules listed below.

Up to 60 credits of module choices from available PHL2*** coded option modules. You may take up to 30 credits of these options from outside of the department.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
PHL S2 BA Philosophy SH comp 2019-0 At least 60 credits taken from these "core" modules
PHL2010A Philosophy of Mind 1 15 No
PHL2011A The Philosophy of Nature 1 15 No
PHL2015 Body and Mind 15 No
PHL2016 Metaphysics 15 No
PHL2018 Philosophy of Language 15 No
PHL2118 Moral agency in social context 15 No

Optional Modules

 

Philosophy (up to 60 credits)

View option modules here.

 

 

Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability

 

Stage 3


The centre-point of the final year is the dissertation. This provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous years of your degree. You will also take other specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.

30 credits of compulsory modules, 90 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
PHL3040 Philosophy Dissertation 30No

Optional Modules

 

Philosophy

View option modules here.

 

Please note that modules are subject to change and not all modules are available across all programmes, this is due to timetable, module size constraints and availability

 


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. Demonstrate a familiarity with philosophical ideas about various topics such as the nature of reality and value, the possibility and nature of knowledge, the relation between mind and body, the structure of the natural world and the place of humans in it, and moral issues.
2. Familiarity with the history of modern philosophy, with basic concepts in epistemology and metaphysics, the philosophies of mind and nature, and moral philosophy.
3. Awareness of different philosophical traditions and methods.
4. Analyse and criticise concepts and substantial works in ethics.
5. Awareness of major issues that are currently debated in philosophy.
6. Conduct logical and conceptual analysis and reasoning about abstract matters.
7. Understand (at increasing depth, according to level) issues (increasingly complex according to level) arising from the subject matter of the selected modules.

The skills are mainly developed through lectures, seminars, and formatively and summatively assessed essay work (on different topics and in different areas of philosophy: Knowledge and Reality, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Nature, and Ethics), practical exercises (Evidence and Argument, Introduction to Philosophical Analysis) and special close reading seminars (Philosophical Readings 1-6) which are designed to improve not only the philosophical knowledge but also analytic skills and depth of understanding.

The assessment of these skills is through a combination of term-time essays, ILOs 1-7
oral presentations, ILOs 1-7
and examinations ILOs 1-7
(and, where applicable, Research Methods Project and Dissertation work). ILOs 1-7
The criteria of assessment pay full recognition to the importance of the various skills outlined.

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:

8. Demonstrate articulacy in identifying underlying issues in all kinds of debate.
9. Demonstrate precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex and controversial problems.
10. Interpret texts drawn from a variety of ages and/or traditions.
11. Demonstrate clarity and rigour in the critical assessment of arguments presented in such texts.
12. Use and criticise specialised philosophical terminology.
13. Abstract, analyse and construct sound arguments and to identify logical fallacies.
14. Recognise methodological errors, rhetorical devices, unexamined conventional wisdom, unnoticed assumptions, vagueness and superficiality.
15. Move between generalisation and appropriately detailed discussion, inventing or discovering examples to support or challenge a position, and distinguishing relevant and irrelevant considerations.
16. Consider unfamiliar ideas and ways of thinking, and to examine critically pre-suppositions and methods within the discipline itself.
17. Conduct arguments about matters of the highest moment without recourse to insult or susceptibility to take offence.
18. Evaluate opposing arguments, to formulate and consider the best arguments for different views and to identify the weakest elements of the most persuasive view.
19. Honesty in recognising the force of the conclusions warranted by a careful assessment of pertinent arguments.
20. Cross traditional subject boundaries, examining the limitations and virtues of other disciplines and practices, and recognising philosophical doctrines in unfamiliar places.

Skills are developed throughout the Philosophy degree programme by lectures and seminars, written work and oral work (both oral presentations and class discussion). A more sophisticated use of these skills is developed in the second and third stages; in the third stage, independent use of these skills is developed through the dissertation and level 3 optional modules selected by the student.

Skills are assessed through course essays, assessed oral presentations and examinations at stages 1-2 and through the dissertation at stage 3.

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:

21. Listen attentively to complex presentations;
22. Read carefully a variety of technical and non-technical material;
23. Use libraries effectively;
24. Reflect clearly and critically on oral and written sources, employing powers of imagination as well as analysis
25. Remember relevant material and bring it to mind when the moment of its relevance arises;
26. Marshal a complex body of information
27. Construct cogent arguments in the evaluation of this material;
28. Present, in both oral and written forms, a clear and well-structured assessment of relevant considerations
29. Motivate oneself;
30. Work autonomously;
31. Manage one's own work to time limits;
32. Be flexible and adaptable in facing new situations;
33. Think creatively, self-critically and independently.

All skills are developed through the preparation and delivery of oral presentations in many modules at all levels in both sides of the programme, and through the oral discussion of challenging material in all modules in the programme. They are further developed through meetings with personal tutors, one-to-one or small-group tutorials giving feedback on written work, discussion in seminars, written assignments (essays) in most modules and examinations in many modules at all levels.
Skills 29 and 33 are also promoted through the student Self-Appraisal system in the mid-semester break.
Skills 29-31 are particularly developed through assessed essays and the dissertation.

Skills are assessed through formatively assessed seminar presentations(ILOs 21-33), written work at all levels (ILOs 21-33) and in all modules, examination (ILOs 21-33) in many modules, and the dissertation.

The educational aims of the programme and the projected outcomes are all in accordance with the QAA philosophy benchmarks statements (18, 23-27).

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

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

BA (Hons) Philosophy

19. UCAS Code

V500

20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits ECTS credits

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Philosophy

23. Dates

Origin Date

01/10/2006

Date of last revision

29/08/2018