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Dissertation (PH313-30)

Programme content

This module is available to final-year single honours Philosophy students (including 'Philosophy with...' variants). It is also available to final-year PPE students and Mathematics & Philosophy students as an option. Students who have opted to take an independent project in Philosophy are precluded from taking a dissertation at the same time.

All students wishing to submit a Philosophy dissertation in year 3 must normally have obtained an average of at least a 2:1 in their second year to be approved to do so. Please also note that students must pre-register their intent to undertake a dissertation when pre-registering for all other module options. Students must then formally confirm their supervisor before the end of the summer term of their penultimate year of study (i.e. the second year for a course lasting three years).

Timetable for Dissertations

Students must pre-register their intent to do a Dissertation and identify a suitable supervisor in the 3rd term of their penultimate year of study. Students will subsequently be able to opt out of the dissertation option at the beginning of their final year should they wish to.

Summer term of your Penultimate Year:
  • By the end of week 4: Register your intent to undertake a Dissertation on the pre-registration webpages as part of your pre-registration for module options you will be taking next year.
  • By Thursday of week 10: Identify supervisor and meet him/her for a preliminary discussion of topic, readings, etc. Hand in dissertation supervision form to the Department Office (S2.66).
Autumn term of your final Year:
  • Before the end of week 7: Students to present to supervisors an outline plan of their project, including a reading list.
  • Before the end of week 10: Detailed plan of dissertation, including chapter headings and abstracts for each chapter, to be handed in to supervisors.
Spring term your final Year:
  • During the spring term, students are entitled to two further supervision sessions, each of which should be based on a substantial piece of written material presenting a sustained piece of philosophical work.
  • By TBC: Hand in Dissertation Title Form
Timing and CATS

This modules involves students carrying out independent research, throughout the autumn and spring term of their final year, on a topic chosen in consultation with their supervisor, to produce a piece of work of up to 10,000 words. The module is worth 30 CATS.

Titles of dissertations submitted in 2014/15
  • Should states intervene in humanitarian crises for purely humanitarian reasons or only when their own interests are at stake?
  • An investigation into the concept of truth: Reinhardt's Instrumentalism
  • A defence of radical freedom through an alternative conception of Sartre's 'Theory of Value'
  • Should freedom of expression ever be sacrificed in the name of equality?
  • What is a desiring-machine? An examination of the role of the concept of the desiring-machine in Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's Anti-Oedipus
  • A critique of the Heideggerian project of fundamental ontology
  • Socrates’ Subversion of the Traditional Erastes-Eromenos Relationship