Philosophy Dissertation - PL507

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
6 30 (15) DR JP Konek


However, prospective students must write an extended essay proposal of approximately 500 words, formulate a potential question, find a willing supervisor, and have their proposal approved by the module convenor before being admitted to do the module. This is normally done in the preceding Spring. (In exceptional circumstances – for the module if supervision exclusively undertaken in Spring – then this must be done by end of November.) This proposal is not assessed as part of the module.
Students are typically allowed to take this module only if they are averaging at least a 2.1 in Stage 2, or the equivalent for visiting students.


It is not possible to take PL507 in conjunction with PL520. Available to Stage Three students only



This module provides an opportunity for independent work within an area of philosophy chosen by the student. THOSE WHO WISH TO TAKE THIS MODULE MUST (1) ENSURE THAT THERE IS A MEMBER OF THE PHILOSOPHY BOARD OF STUDIES WILLING TO SUPERVISE THEIR WORK; (2) SUBMIT AN OUTLINE AND PROVISIONAL TITLE OF THE PROPOSED DISSERTATION, ENDORSED BY THE PROSPECTIVE SUPERVISOR, TO THE MODULE CONVENOR FOR APPROVAL BEFORE BEING ADMITTED ONTO THE MODULE. STUDENTS ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO JOIN ONE OF THE READING GROUPS (TO BE ANNOUNCED) AND WORK ON THEIR ESSAY AND DISSERTATION WITHIN THAT CONTEXT.The Dissertation should normally be about 9000 (maximum 10000) words long; it may consist either of an essay on a single theme, or of two or three Essays on complementary themes in Philosophy. Please note that the Dissertation is one of the most difficult modules. You should not apply to register for it unless you have a definite project to which you are seriously committed with the support of a member of staff who is willing to supervise you.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total study hours: 300 hours

Typically students can expect 8 contact hours of teaching, spread through the relevant period as appropriate, with meetings taking place typically only in term time and not Christmas or Easter break. Email communication and discussion as necessary.

These meetings support learning outcomes 11.1-2 and 12.1-3 in various ways, advice been given as appropriate on philosophical content, writing style and presentation.

Method of assessment

Dissertation: maximum 10,000 words (including any extra 10 % allowed). This includes headers and footnotes, but not bibliography.

Preliminary reading

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module students should have:

11.1 Understood a specific philosophical topic in detail sufficiently such that they can set their own question.

11.2 Provided a detailed, in-depth, critical answer to the question which they raise.

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