BA Philosophy

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Programme title: Final award (BSc, MA etc):
(where stopping off points exist they should be detailed here and defined later in the document)

Philosophy BA

UCAS code:
(where applicable)

V500 From 2009 entry onwards

Cohort(s) to which this programme specification is applicable:
(e.g. from 2008 intake onwards)

Awarding institution/body: Teaching institution: Faculty: Parent Department:
(the department responsible for the administration of the programme)

University College London University College London Arts and Humanities Philosophy

Departmental web page address:
(if applicable)

Method of study:

Full time

Criteria for admission to the programme: Length of the programme:
(please note any periods spent away from UCL, such as study abroad or placements in industry)

A Levels: AAA and a pass in one further AS level subject. IB: 38 points with grades 6,6,6 at higher level 3 years H

Level on Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) (see Guidance notes) Relevant subject benchmark statement (SBS)
(see Guidance notes)


Brief outline of the structure of the programme and its assessment methods:
(see guidance notes)

Board of Examiners:

The programme is a modular programme, on which students take eight modules per year for three years. Modules are assessed either by unseen written examination or by coursework. i) Name of Board of Examiners: Philosophy BA Board of Examiners

Professional body accreditation (if applicable):


Date of next scheduled accreditation visit:

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME: 1. To provide the student with an understanding of a representative range of central philosophical debates, and of the nature of philosophical problems. 2. To enable students to form their own views concerning philosophical problems, to argue for those views and to defend or amend them in the light of criticism. 3. To provide students with an understanding of central aspects of the history of philosophy. 4. To develop skills which will equip the student for a variety of possible careers. 5. To help prepare students for the workplace, or for post-graduate training of either an academic or a vocational nature. PROGRAMME OUTCOMES: The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas: A: Knowledge and understanding Knowledge and understanding of: 1. a solid base in philosophy including contemporary analytic philosophy, a wide range of the history of philosophy, including Ancient, Modern and recent Philosophy, and the study of value. 2. elementary symbolic logic. 3. the relatedness of the various subject matters within philosophy. Teaching/learning methods and strategies: Teaching is primarily by lectures and small-group classes. Compulsory first year courses introduce students to a selected range of topics. Lectures and classes over the three years provide students with the understanding outlined in (1). First year logic lectures and classes provide (2). (3) is achieved through a closely related grouping of courses which reflect the wide research interests and teaching capacities of the department. Assessment: Courses are examined by a mixture of examinations and essays. Other knowledge and understanding is assessed alongside skills development (see next section) within the examinations system. B: Skills and other attributes Intellectual (thinking) skills: 1. Close reading and understanding of philosophical texts. 2. A critical command of philosophical terminology. 3. Ability to formulate philosophical questions with clarity and precision. 4. Ability to summarize philosophical views and positions. 5. Ability to support and challenge philosophical views and positions by constructing arguments and citing relevant considerations. Teaching/learning methods and strategies: In the first year all students attend weekly tutorials (in groups of three). Students are assigned reading for these tutorials, and, in turn, write essays which are read to the tutor and group. The tutor engages all students in a discussion of the philosophical issues, and in particular provides advice and feedback to the student who has written the essay on the philosophical issue of the essay and underlying reading, and how to develop future work. Students develop the same skills in classes associated with lectures. Hence while lectures primarily improve the student’s knowledge and understanding the aim of the tutorials and classes is to develop each students own particular philosophical skills. In the third year all students have the option of taking a dissertation, where they have individual tuition to help them prepare an extended piece of work.

Assessment: Formative assessment for tutorials and dissertation is provided by comments on drafts of tutorial essays and dissertations. Courses which are assessed by long essay require students to submit a practice essay half way through the term, on which feedback is given. For tutorials, one essay is submitted for the summative assessment; for the dissertation, a 7500 word piece is submitted at the end of the third year. C: Skills and other attributes Practical skills (able to): 1. Retrieve, select and critically analyse material from a variety of sources, including electronic databases and the internet. 2. Learn to read, interpret and assess historical philosophical texts. 3. Plan and undertake work to deadline. 4. Orally present their work to a small group. Teaching/learning methods and strategies: These practical skills are integral to a teaching system in which students are given the opportunity to present their work to other students and tutors in classes (and in the first year, in tutorials).

Assessment: Feedback is provided on class presentations, and for those courses whose assessment is by essay, a practice essay is submitted half way through the term, and comments are given on this. Grade reflect students’ achievement in (1) (2) and (3) as well as their philosophical knowledge, understanding and skills. Those who choose the dissertation option must also demonstrate (1) and (3) and, in some cases (2). D: Skills and other attributes Transferable skills (able to): 1. Analyse complex thoughts and arguments. 2. Complete specified tasks to deadline. 3. Develop independence of judgement and originality of thought. 4. Engage in critical discussion with others. 5. Evaluate arguments rigorously, including identification of logical errors. 6. Read and assess difficult texts. 7. Present views lucidly, both orally and in writing. 8. Question generally received views. 9. Plan, undertake and complete independent study. 10. Think about issues from many different points of view. Teaching/learning methods and strategies: All of these skills are developed by successful completion of philosophy courses. These courses require reading and analysis of complex philosophical material; the critical assessment of the work read; thinking about and developing a view of the underlying philosophical issues; presenting one’s findings to others; defending one’s position against criticism.

Assessment: As with other skills these are assessed both through feedback from the class tutor and for their impact on exam and essay performance.

The following reference points were used in designing the programme:  the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (;  the relevant Subject Benchmark Statements (;  the programme specifications for UCL degree programmes in relevant subjects (where applicable);  UCL teaching and learning policies;  staff research. Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each course unit/module can be found in the departmental course handbook. The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by UCL and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency. Programme Organiser(s) Professor Tim Crane Name(s): Date of Production: Date of Review: Date approved by Head of Department: Date approved by Chair of Departmental Teaching Committee: Date approved by Faculty Teaching Committee July 27, 2009 July 2009

July 27, 2009