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Nietzsche & Existentialism - PHI00075I

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  • Department: Philosophy
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. David Batho
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
    • See module specification for other years: 2022-23

Module summary

An introduction to some key themes in Nietzsche's philosophy.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2021-22 to Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

Subject Content

To introduce the key ideas in Nietzsche’s philosophy. E.g.: his views on morality, art, religion, knowledge and truth, power and self-creation. Also, his position in relation to other philosophical traditions, notably pragmatism and existentialism.

Academic and Graduate Skills

The module develops students’ abilities to grasp alternative accounts of key concepts and to see how these challenge more familiar views, and to explore and defend their own judgements in discussion and in writing.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

—understand and explain a range of key problems, issues, and debates in Nietzsche's philosophy and express this understanding in clear, precise, and accessible terms

—develop and articulate ranges of alternative solutions to problems and issues in Nietzsche's philosophy in an open-minded way, drawing on module materials

—develop and articulate arguments for the alternative solutions considered in relation to problems and issues in Nietzsche's philosophy, drawing on module materials, identifying some points of weakness and some potential points for development

—make a judgement about what is the best view on a particular problem in Nietzsche's philosophy and argue in defence of this judgement

—identify some of their strengths and weaknesses by evaluating their own work in relation to departmental marking criteria

—apply simple strategies for improving their work, based on critical reflection, advice, and feedback

—demonstrate informed sensitivity to cultural and historical context in interpreting and responding to the work of others


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 2500 words
N/A 70
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Nietzsche & Existentialism - Key Ideas
8 hours 30

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The formative writing task (500-750 words) is due to be submitted in Week 7, Spring Term.

The summative essay is due on Monday, Week 1, Summer Term.

The summative exam will take place between Weeks 5 and 7, Summer Term.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay 2500 words
N/A 70
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Nietzsche & Existentialism - Key Ideas
8 hours 30

Module feedback

Feedback on formative work will be returned within 2 weeks of submission, and by the end of term at the latest. Feedback on summative work will be returned within 4 weeks of the assessment deadline.

Indicative reading

A selection of Nietzsche's writings, including sections of (amongst others):

Untimely Meditations

The Genealogy of Morals

The Gay Science

Secondary texts could include:

Walter Kaufman [1950], Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist

Maudemarie Clark (1991), Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy

Brain Leiter & Neil Sinhababu (2007), Nietzsche and Morality

Robert C. Solomon (2003) Living with Nietzsche: What the Great Immoralist Has to Teach Us (Oxford University Press)

Michael Tanner (200) Nietzsche: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press)

Thomas Flynn (2006) Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press)

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.