Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Philosophy


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham


  • At least one module from the following: Ethics and Values (PHIL1011), Knowledge and Reality (PHIL1021), Reading Philosophy (PHIL1041).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To consider philosophical issues raised by religion.


  • The topics to be covered will include some of the following:
  • Arguments for the existence of God
  • The nature of miracles and the case for their occurrence
  • Philosophical issues raised by the practice of petitionary prayer
  • The problem of evil
  • The relation between reason and faith
  • The philosophical significance of religious language
  • Religious experience (especially mysticism), and its relation to philosophy
  • Philosophical issues in non-western religions (primarily Hinduism and Buddhism)
  • Religion and morality

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will have knowledge and understanding of the key philosophical theories relating to the following issues.
  • The rationality of theism
  • The relation between reason and faith
  • The character of religious language and experience
  • The philosophical issues raised by certain non-Western religions
  • The relation between religion and morality
Subject-specific Skills:
  • correctly utilise specialist vocabulary
  • grasp, analyse, evaluate and deploy subject-specific concepts and arguments
  • locate, understand, assess and utilise pertinent philosophical (and, where appropriate, historical) sources
Key Skills:
  • express themselves clearly and succinctly in writing
  • comprehend complex ideas, propositions and theories
  • defend their opinions by reasoned argument
  • seek out and identify appropriate sources of evidence and information
  • tackle problems in a clear-sighted and logical fashion.

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

  • Lectures deliver basic module-specific information, and provide a framework for further study.
  • Discussion groups provide opportunities for students to test their own understanding of the material studies, and defend and debate different opinions.
  • Guided reading provides a structure within which students exercise and extend their abilities to make use of available learning resources.
  • The formative essays provide the opportunity for students to test their knowledge and understanding of the module content, and their ability to present and defend relevant arguments and theories, uninhibited by the need for summative assessment.
  • The unseen examination tests students' overall knowledge and understanding of the module content at the end of the module, and their ability to bring it to bear on new problems.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 per week 1 hour 22
Discussion groups 9 fortnightly 1 hour 9
Preparation and Reading 169
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
three-hour unseen written examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

Two essays of 2000 words each

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