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Level 7

7AAN2058 Philosophy of Medicine


Credit value: 20
Module tutor: Professor Alexander Bird


  • Summative assessment: one 4,000-word essay (100%)
  • Formative assessment: one 3,000-word essay, plus one informal 10-minute presentation on the topic of student's essay


  • Summative assessment: one two-hour exam (100%)
  • Formative assessment: two 1,500–2,000-word essays

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Teaching pattern: one two-hour weekly lecture.
Pre-requisites: none
Sample syllabus: 
7AAN2058 module syllabus 2016-17.
Additional information: Compulsory for students in MA Philosophy of Medicine programme (and available as an option to students in other MA programmes)

This module aims to give students an understanding of central topics in contemporary philosophy of medicine, with a particular emphasis on methodological issues in the clinical medical research.

Further information

Module aims
This module aims to provide an understanding of the central problems of contemporary Philosophy of Medicine.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills appropriate to a level 7 module and in particular will be able to demonstrate that they have:

  • An understanding of certain central topics in contemporary philosophy of medicine
  • An understanding of the significance of these questions for medicine and of their connection to related issues in wider philosophy
  • An ability to use the techniques of philosophical argument to analyse and discuss questions arising from the study of these topics
  • Transferable skills:
    • analysing arguments
    • constructing a coherent and effective argument
    • writing a clear and well-structured essay around an argument

Past syllabi

7AAN2058 module syllabus 2012-13 (pdf)
7AAN2058 module syllabus 2013-14 (pdf)
7AAN2058 module syllabus 2015-16 (pdf)
7AAN2058 module syllabus 2016-17 (pdf)

Please note that, until 2013–14, this module formed merely the first half of a larger module 7AAN4095 Topics in the Philosophy of Medicine

Please note that module syllabus and topics covered may vary from year to year.

More detailed information on the current year’s module (including the syllabus for that year) can be accessed on KEATS by all students and staff.

The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

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