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Short Dissertation - PHI00041H

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  • Department: Philosophy
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Christopher Jay
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This module enables students to work independently on a well-defined philosophical problem, chosen by themselves with guidance from a supervisor.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23
B Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

Subject Content

  • To enable students to work independently on a well-defined philosophical problem, chosen by themselves with guidance from a supervisor.

Academic and Graduate Skills

  • To develop studentsâ abilities to apply philosophical tools and techniques, in order to advance understanding of intellectual problems, and to work independently.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

  • Students should be able to display a critical understanding of a philosophical topic of their choosing, with a grasp of the forefront of current research in the area.

Academic and graduate skills

  • Students should be able to analyse complex areas of knowledge, displaying critical awareness and synthesise information and ideas from a variety of sources at the forefront of the discipline; Students should show the ability to work autonomously and self critically.

Module content

Applying for the Short Dissertation module:

  • The intention to apply for the Short Dissertation should be indicated on the option module app at the time students choose their third year modules. But formal application can be made at any time up to Friday of Week 5 of the term before that in which the Short Dissertation is to commence.
  • Students should in the first instance discuss their idea with their supervisor and identify a potential Short Dissertation supervisor. (Students who do not have a Philosophy supervisor should contact the Philosophy link academic for their degree programme.) Students should then approach the potential Short Dissertation supervisor and agree a title and a brief proposal, which the Short Dissertation supervisor can then submit to the Board of Studies for approval.
  • The proposal should:
    • be clear and precisely worded
    • include a well-defined and manageable question or topic
    • include some indication of the philosophical background (about 200 words)
    • include a preliminary bibliography (minimum 6 works)
  • The subject proposed should not be a mere duplication of topics covered in already available modules, though it may comprise a substantial and detailed development of such a topic.
  • Overambitious or poorly researched proposals will not receive approval.
  • Once a proposal has been discussed and agreed with a potential Short Dissertation supervisor it should be emailed to by Friday of Week 5 in the term prior to commencing the Short Dissertation so that it can be approved by the Board of Studies at its Week 6 meeting
  • Students will be contacted after the Board of Studies meeting to let them know whether their proposal has been approved, declined or returned for adjustments.

Supervision arrangements:

  • Students will receive at least four hours of personal tuition.
  • Students will submit and receive feedback on a plan of their dissertation by a deadline agreed with their dissertation supervisor.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 4000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay 4000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written or verbal feedback on the essay plan at least two weeks after they submit it.

Students will receive feedback on the 4000 word summative assessment four weeks after they submit it.

Indicative reading


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.