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Dissertation - PHI00017M

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  • Department: Philosophy
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. David Ingram
  • Credit value: 60 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module summary

The taught MA dissertation will allow you to apply the core knowledge, skills, and experience that you have gained in the previous stage of the course—building on taught modules and the skills component (Research Skills & Dissemination Practice)—to produce a sustained piece of critical writing (10,000 words) on a topic of your choosing under the guidance of a supervisor. The topic of the dissertation should relate to themes explored within the MA course undertaken: that is, any topic in philosophy (for which there is appropriate expertise in the Department to supervise) for MA Philosophy; topics in analytic theology and the philosophy of religion for MA Analytic Theology; topics in moral, legal, and political philosophy for MA Political & Legal Philosophy; and, topics in the philosophy of artificial intelligence for MA Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence.

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

  • Under the supervision of an academic, you will use the skills learned from Research Skills & Dissemination Practice (i.e., the research proposal, dissertation outline, and annotated bibliography assignments) to write up your 10,000-word dissertation over the summer vacation.
  • You will explore one or more aspects of a subject arising from the MA course to which you have subscribed, doing so in greater depth than would be possible in the assessed modular essays.
  • You will demonstrate the capacity to devise and execute a project of independent study, and show the ability to undertake research of some originality.
  • You will be expected to engage with and to challenge a range of ideas and arguments, to articulate an argument with clarity, precision, and rigour, and to document your work with scholarly accuracy.

Module learning outcomes

Writing the MA dissertation provides an excellent opportunity to investigate a philosophical topic in some depth and it provides some practical experience of independent philosophical research at the postgraduate level. By the time you have completed your MA dissertation, you should have a deep and detailed knowledge of the specific area of philosophy on which you have chosen to write. In addition, you will have had the opportunity to extend your skills in independent research, presenting sustained and complex arguments in a clear way, and coming to a reasoned judgement about a complex matter where informed opinions differ.

The dissertation is expected to demonstrate:

  • an application of core knowledge. skills, and experience gained during the MA course;
  • the command of a suitable topic in philosophy;
  • the ability to produce a sustained piece of critical writing;
  • the ability to organise and engage critically with a range of appropriate sources;
  • critical thinking, intellectual independence, and rigorous argument;
  • the ability to present work with scholarly accuracy and professionalism.


Task Length % of module mark
Graduate/Postgraduate Dissertation
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The 10,000-word dissertation is due for submission by 12 noon, Monday 12 September 2022.



Module feedback

Your Dissertation supervisor will provide feedback on one full or partial draft of the Dissertation provided that the draft is submitted by a mutually agreed date.

Indicative reading

As agreed with your dissertation supervisor.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.