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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHIL1022 Philosophy Meets the World

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Jessica Keiser

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will provide students with an introduction to contemporary work in philosophy that engages with the real world. The aim of the module is to instil students with a sense of how philosophy is not just an abstract discipline but can be useful for dealing with concrete problems that face the world today. This will aid students both in fostering an intellectual curiosity for philosophical problems, and in developing particular interests that will guide them in choosing future coursework.


The overall objective of this module is to generate interest in philosophical issues and an appreciation of how philosophy can be of use in dealing with real-world problems. This will be achieved through reading and discussing philosophical papers that apply philosophical resources to contemporary social and political issues. Through studying this module, students will gain

1. An awareness of some contemporary issues that philosophical tools have been applied to and knowledge of how this can be done

2. An idea of the avenues of philosophical research that they might be interested in pursuing during their future studies

The module will be taught through lectures and seminars. Lectures introduce central issues and arguments. In interactive seminars, student explore and analyse specific texts, and are encouraged to critically reflect on and develop their own ideas and arguments about them.

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

1. Identify and explain concepts integral to philosophical investigation of some contemporary social issues

2. Identify and apply appropriate philosophical tools to contemporary social issues

3. Identify the limits of philosophical argumentation; i.e., which issues are amenable to philosophical treatment and which require empirical investigation.

4. Effectively analyse philosophical texts.

Skills Learning Outcomes

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

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

6. Critically analyse source material (Academic and Work Ready skill)

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

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


The syllabus will be shaped by the research interests of the teaching staff, which may vary each year, and will involve discussion of philosophical texts. Topics will be selected to demonstrate to students how philosophical tools can be brought to bear on a range of contemporary social issues. Example topics:

-Philosophy and the environment

-Philosophy and gender

-Philosophy and propaganda

-Philosophy and the internet

-Philosophy and relationships

-Philosophy and artificial intelligence

Students can contact the module leader for information on the likely syllabus in their year of enrolment.

Because this module explores contemporary social issues it may cover content which is sensitive and could be potentially re-traumatising for some students. 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

Each week during the seminar, students will work in groups to come up with a list of issues that the philosophical tools from that week’s reading can be applied to. For example, if the reading was on “hermeneutical injustice” (e.g., lack of conceptual or linguistic resources needed to understand one’s experience) as applied to the concept of sexual harassment, students will identify other specific contexts in which people face hermeneutical injustice. Small groups will share their ideas with the broader group which will serve as the basis for in-seminar peer and instructor feedback. They will receive verbal feedback from the seminar leader about their work/ideas in the class, thereby receiving feedback in real time on how they progressing with the subject LOs – how to apply philosophical tools in different contexts, identify the limits of philosophical enquiry, and analyse a text. The classes are designed for active learning of module-specific skills.

There will also be ‘practice’ MCQs to familiarise students with this form of assessment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentMultiple choice, short answer and short essay questions100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:19:42


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