Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Philosophy


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap None.
Tied to V5K022


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The aim of the Diploma essay is to enable students to master a particular philosophical issue on an approved subject area to an appropriate depth, bringing together and demonstrating the knowledge and skills gained through participation in the Taught Postgraduate (TPG) Seminars , the self-directed seminars, and undergraduate lectures and tutorials.


  • The content of the module will be determined by student choice from the range of philosophical areas and issues studied for other modules. The choice of topic will be approved by the Programme Director.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • When students have completed this module, they should know about a particular philosophical issue in depth, they should understand how relevant literature bears on the issue.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to present their findings on the topic to a self-directed work-in-progress seminar and to the main Taught Postgraduate Seminar.
  • Students should be able to learn from the comments of their peers and their tutor, and this learning should be reflected in their ability to write a properly presented 3,00 word essay, with an abstract and suitable bibliography, on the issue

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The TPG seminars will assist students in selecting a suitable topic. The work-in-progress seminars will assist students in acquiring the skill of presenting their and others' ideas and arguments intelligently, and in responding appropriately to comment and criticism.
  • Learning through independent research will contribute to the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of the issues, as well as the ability to present, discuss and write about it at the required level.
  • Assessment by a 3,000 words essay will contribute to the acquisition of the skill of writing up a piece of research in the light of discussion at a presentation. It will also contribute to the skill of submitting polished work to demanding deadlines within a strict word-limit. These skills are vital for further study and in the world of work.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 2 Weekly 2 hours 66
Tutorials 1 Fortnightly 1 hour 11
Preparation and Reading 123
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University