Students must earn a total of 180 credits. 60 of these will come from a dissertation of around 10,000 words, to be completed over the Summer at the end of the course. (A student who satisfactorily completes the course up to the point of the dissertation may exit the programme without completing one, and will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Philosophy on the basis of their 120 credits).
The initial 120 credits will be earned through optional modules, selected from the lists below. Most of these are confined to either the first or the second semester, and are worth 20 credits; General Philosophy is the exception, and spans both semesters, and is worth 40. Students who do not have an undergraduate background in philosophy are normally expected to take the 40 credit General Philosophy module. This paper introduces basic philosophical methods, techniques and terminology, and acquaints you with some of the most important and influential writings on the subject.
Otherwise, students have a completely free choice, although it should be noted that some of these modules are likely to be more accessible to conversion students, while others—particularly the more specialised 'topics'-based modules—might appeal more to those who do already have a background in the field. These modules are mostly taught through two weekly hours of lectures and seminars. With permission, students may get up to 40 credits from modules taken outside the Philosophy Department.
Full-time students will complete the course in one year, September to September. Part-time students take two years, and are required to get 40 to 80 credits (but normally 60 or 80) in the first of these, and then 100 to 140 (but normally 100 to 120, including 60 from the dissertation) in the second. General Philosophy, if it is taken at all, must be taken in the first year.
All students, including part-time students, should ensure that they are available to attend seminars at least two days a week.
A full list of modules expected to be offered in 2013-14 can be found under the 'Structure' tab.