PP3DIS-Dissertation in Philosophy

Module Provider: Philosophy
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer / Autumn / Spring module
Non-modular pre-requisites: The submission of Part 2 coursework by the submission deadline except where extensions have been approved in advance
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Mr George Mason

Email: g.p.mason@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The dissertation module allows students to research and write about a topic of their choice, and is examined by a dissertation submitted at the end of the module.

To encourage independent study, and to develop research skills of the kind appropriate to a higher degree.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module, students should:
- Be able to explain and critically assess a key idea, topic, thinker, or text from either the history of philosophy or some contemporary debate.
- Show an ability to plan, organize and carry out a substantial piece of independent research.
- Be able to identify, select and deploy in cogent argument a wide range, where relevant, of appropriate resources and relevant evidence.
- Be able to demonstrate, where relevant, a confident awareness of and engagement with critical debates surrounding the selected topic.
- Have an overview of the literature (primary and/or secondary) in the area and know how to develop and present a bibliography.
- Be able to exercise skills of editing, proof-reading and formal presentation to high standards of scholarly accuracy.

Additional outcomes:
Due to the abstract nature of philosophical theory, students will develop skills of abstract and lateral thought, which in turn will help promote their critical thinking skills and general evaluation of arguments. Their examination of a topic at length and in detail will prepare students for potential further work at postgraduate level.
By the end of the module students should also be able to:
- Use a variety of IT resources (including word-processing software and on-line information resources)
- Organize their time effectively
- Show independence and initiative in planning research and organizing supervisions.

Outline content:
Students follow a sequence of structured supervision and drafting exercises culminating in the submission of the dissertation.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is taught by regular personal supervisions, whose arrangement is the responsibility of the student.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 1 1
Project Supervision 4 4
Guided independent study 195 195
Total hours by term 200.00 200.00
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Students submit a dissertation of a minimum of 8,000 words and a maximum of 10,000 words, by the last day of the Spring Term in their final year.
Students doing a joint degree in Philosophy with a Modern Language subject write their dissertation in the third year of their degree, while they are abroad. Their dissertation is submitted on the Friday of the first week of the autumn term on their return, i.e., the autumn term of their fourth and final year.

Formative assessment methods:
Discussion of draft work with supervisor.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Dissertation to be resubmitted during the resit period (date to be specified) if it carries an original mark of less than 40%.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 9 January 2017

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