Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHIL1015 Thinking About Race

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Kal Kalewold

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Module replaces

PRHS2333 Thinking About Race

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will examine philosophical questions surrounding thought and discourse about races, as well as scientific thinking about the nature of race.


Race is one of the most impactful but hotly contested topics of our age, but many people are nervous of discussing it. This module aims to support students in reflecting on what race means to them, how race and racial concepts structure society, and how philosophical methodology can help us to better understand and control some of its consequences. We will draw on various areas of philosophy as well as science to explore central issues surrounding race, such as what race is and how we should respond to racial injustice.

The module will be taught through lectures and seminars. Lectures introduce central issues and orient students in the complex terrain of philosophical and scientific approaches to race. In interactive seminars, student explore and analyse specific texts, and work collaboratively, in small groups, towards an assessed presentation.

Students will gain an understanding of how philosophical and scientific thought can be applied to one of the most contentious and pressing issues that we face in the world today – what to think about race.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:

1. Critically reflect on and analyse some central issues, arguments, and theories about race in philosophy and biology;

2. Explain how arguments and theories in philosophy and science relate to one another;

3. Effectively communicate arguments and ideas through oral presentations using visual, verbal and written information.

Skills Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:

4. Communicate ideas and understanding clearly and concisely, using appropriate academic language (Academic and Work Ready skill)

5. Critically analyse source material and demonstrate independence of thought (Academic and Work Ready skill)

6. Search for appropriate material to support knowledge and analysis of topics (Academic, Work Ready, Digital and Sustainability skill)

7. Conform to standards of academic integrity including when and how to appropriately acknowledge someone else’s work (Academic and Work Ready skill)


The syllabus may vary each year. Example topics:

- Transracialism
- Social constructivism
- Critical race theory
- Implicit bias
- Race-based medicine
- Racial language
- Fanon’s phenomenology of racialisation
- White privilege
- Biological science and racial categorisation
- Aesthetics and race
- Intersectionality
- Race in context: South Africa
- Epistemic injustice

Because this module explores the concept of race, we will cover issues throughout which are sensitive and could be potentially re-traumatising for some students. Examples of such topics are: racial oppression, apartheid, eugenics, white privilege, race-based health inequalities, and transracial identity. If you are unsure whether this module is suitable for you, please contact the module leader for more details before choosing this module.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours84.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will have practice presentations within seminars to develop team working skills and presentation skills, with feedback from the seminar leader. Students will be signposted to presentation skills resources.


LinkedIn Learning has guidance on how to use Powerpoint.

This self-learning encourages independent learning, active learning, and use of the Library Learning Resources.

As part of the process of giving practice presentations, they will also receive feedback on the content of their presentation which will enable them to improve their work before the assessment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PresentationAssessed group presentations at the end of the module100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit format will be an individual essay of 2000 words or an individual presentation (recorded, not in-person).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/06/2024 14:04:33


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019