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BA (Hons)

BA (Hons)

Select year of entry:
3 years School of History and Heritage Lincoln Campus [L] Validated BBC (or equivalent qualifications) V500 3 years School of History and Heritage Lincoln Campus [L] Validated BBC (112 UCAS Tariff points) (or equivalent qualifications) V500

Introduction

The BA (Hons) Philosophy degree at Lincoln offers students a chance to study one of the world’s oldest disciplines. The course aims to provide students with opportunities to ask some of the most fundamental questions about the world around us and to develop their understanding of the place we occupy within it.

The discipline challenges students to question everything from apparently simple binaries such as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, and ‘good’ and ‘evil’, right the way through to apparently unanswerable conundrums concerning the existence of God or how we can actually know anything at all.

As well as being intrinsically interesting, Philosophy makes unique intellectual demands of students. To flourish, students will have the opportunities to learn how to think clearly, construct and defend arguments and must be willing to explore a range of approaches to different topics. The Lincoln Philosophy degree offers a supportive environment designed to help students master these skills.

How You Study

At Lincoln we take a history of ideas approach to Philosophy. Over the course of three years students can develop an understanding of a range of key areas, including ethics, philosophy of mind, theory of knowledge, political philosophy, and the philosophy of other academic subjects, for example religion or science.

Students will also be introduced to major figures in the history of philosophy such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hegel and Wittgenstein.

Since Philosophy will be a new subject for many students, the first year of the degree offers a chance to study a range of modules, with increasing specialisation at levels two and three.

Contact Hours and Reading for a Degree

Students on this programme learn from academic staff who are often engaged in world-leading or internationally excellent research or professional practice. Contact time can be in workshops, practical sessions, seminars or lectures and may vary from module to module and from academic year to year. Tutorial sessions and project supervision can take the form of one-to-one engagement or small group sessions. Some courses offer the opportunity to take part in external visits and fieldwork.

It is still the case that students read for a degree and this means that in addition to scheduled contact hours, students are required to engage in independent study. This allows you to read around a subject and to prepare for lectures and seminars through wider reading, or to complete follow up tasks such as assignments or revision. As a general guide, the amount of independent study required by students at the University of Lincoln is that for every hour in class you are expected to spend at least two to three hours in independent study.

How You Are Assessed

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date (unless stated differently above)..

Methods of Assessment

The way students are assessed on this course may vary for each module. Examples of assessment methods that are used include coursework, such as written assignments, reports or dissertations; practical exams, such as presentations, performances or observations; and written exams, such as formal examinations or in-class tests. The weighting given to each assessment method may vary across each academic year. The University of Lincoln aims to ensure that staff return in-course assessments to students promptly.

Staff

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

For a comprehensive list of teaching staff, please see our School of History and Heritage Staff Pages.

Entry Requirements 2017-18

GCE Advanced Levels: BBC

International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: A minimum of 45 level 3 credits at merit or above will be required.

In addition, applicants must have a minimum of three GCSEs (or the equivalent) at grade C or above, to include English.

We encourage applications from mature students and will give individual consideration to those in this category without the standard entry requirements.

Students whose first language is not English will also need a British Council IELTS band 6.0 or above or equivalent.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email admissions@lincoln.ac.uk.

Level 1

Critical Thinking and Writing (Core)

This module aims to support students in their adjustment to the demands of higher education by equipping students with the skills necessary to communicate their learning in an academic environment. The core objectives of the module are to develop students’ research, critical thinking and writing skills and to avoid plagiarism by correctly referencing their sources. Skills learned and dispositions developed on this module can prove vital for students' successful study throughout their degrees and afterwards.

Forging the Modern State (Core)

This module provides a thematic survey of European and Atlantic history from the mid-eighteenth century to the final decades of the twentieth century, structured around the research interests of members of the module teaching team. This survey provides an overview of key moments in modern history from 1750-1979, and addresses the complex development of states primarily in western Europe but with attention to the growing influence of the United States and Russia.

God, Evil, and the Meaning of life (Core)

The purpose of this module is to enable students to examine claims about the existence of God and the nature of religious faith. Among the major thinkers whose contributions to the philosophy of religion we will consider are Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein. Issues we will consider are whether religious statements are meaningful, whether the existence of evil counts strongly, or even conclusively, against the existence of God, whether religious beliefs are merely a projection of human desires, and whether the idea of life having a meaning stands and falls with the belief in God.

Great Thinkers in Philosophy from Classical to Modern Times (Core)

This is a survey module introducing students to the themes, context and concepts of some of the key philosophical thinkers of both the pre-modern and modern period that have helped to shape Western culture and philosophy. The module will provide students with a map by which to navigate later developments in western philosophy as well as providing the background knowledge in which to engage in the activity of philosophy itself.

Introduction to Moral Philosophy (Core)

This module introduces debates in various branches of moral philosophy. Students can consider abstract questions about whether moral truths, if there are such things, are absolute or relative to individual cultures. Students can also consider topics in ‘normative ethics’, such as whether equality is intrinsically valuable. Students will also be encouraged to think about issues in applied ethics, such as whether there are limits to what should be bought and sold, and what those limits might be; and what our personal duties with respect to preventing climate change are.

Introduction to Philosophical Logic (Core)

This module introduces some of the basic ideas and concepts of philosophical logic and the technical vocabulary that is required for understanding contemporary philosophical writing. Students are introduced to logical concepts such as validity, soundness, consistency, possibility, necessity, contingency, inductive and deductive forms of argument, necessary and sufficient conditions, the rudiments of formalisation, and a range of logical fallacies. The emphasis will be on using logic to construct and evaluate arguments.

Mind and Reality (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to central issues in philosophy of mind and metaphysics. Students are introduced to a range of questions pertaining to the self and its relationship to the world. For example: What is the self? What is the nature of subjectivity? To what extent, if at all, is the world of everyday experience mind-dependent? Students will also be introduced to some of the central questions concerning the nature of consciousness: what is consciousness? How does consciousness relate to the body?

What is Knowledge? (Core)

Questions about what we can know and how we know underpin all branches of philosophy. This module aims to provide students with a broad introduction to some of the key themes of the philosophy of knowledge- epistemology. It will explore the central question ‘What is knowledge?’, asking whether there are different types of knowledge as well as considering the basic requirements of truth and belief for there to be any knowledge at all. Students can discover that the question 'what is knowledge?' is by no means an easy one to answer.

Level 2

Aesthetics (Core)

What is art? Do all instances of works of art have certain essential features in common? If so, what are they? Can anything be a work of art? These are some of the questions that students will consider in this module. We will also examine issues pertaining to the nature of aesthetic experience and aesthetic value in general: What is aesthetic experience, and how does it differ from other forms of experience?

Dissertations and Beyond (Core)

This module aims to provide a framework for career planning and preparing for the world of work. It also provides the opportunity for students to develop the management skills needed for independent study which is a compulsory part of level three of the programme.

Existentialism and Phenomenology (Core)

The principal aim of this module is to give students a thorough understanding of two intimately related philosophical traditions that came to prominence in the 19th and 20th centuries: existentialism and phenomenology. Each attempts to address the nature and meaning of human existence from the perspective of individual, first-person experience, focusing in particular on fundamental questions of being, meaning, death, nihilism, freedom, responsibility, value, human relations, and religious faith

Metaphysics (Core)

Metaphysics addresses ultimate questions about the nature of reality. What is reality? What, in the most general terms, exists? Do abstract objects such as concepts and propositions exist? Do numbers exist? Does time exist? What is existence itself? Perhaps the most fundamental metaphysical question of all is, why does anything at all exist, rather than nothing? These are the kind of questions that students will investigate on this module.

Minds and Machines (Core)

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to some of the major issues in contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science. The philosophy of mind is one of the most exciting areas in contemporary philosophy. It is concerned with fundamental questions about the nature of mind and consciousness and the relationship between the mind and the physical world. What kind of entity is the mind? How does the mind relate to the brain? Can we explain consciousness in physical terms? Are subjective conscious states causally efficacious?

In addition, students can investigate a variety of questions about the possibility of artificial intelligence. Could a machine ever be conscious? Are we headed for the the point in the not-so distant future at which machine intelligence overtakes human intelligence and goes on to design exponentially more intelligent machines without us?

Moral Philosophy (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to some of the central concepts, issues, theories, and debates in an area of moral philosophy called 'normative ethics', thereby providing them with a framework for thinking seriously about moral matters, and to assist them in developing their philosophical and analytical skills. We will distinguish and evaluate the leading positions on these issues through a range of more specific topics in normative ethics.

Philosophy of Science (Core)

The module covers a selection of central issues in philosophy of science. The issues covered are typically drawn from topics such as: the nature of scientific discovery; the nature of scientific evidence and justification; the nature of observation and experiments; scientific realism vs. anti-realism; the objectivity of science. On completion of this module, students should be able to understand some of the main concepts, arguments and positions in philosophy of science; understand introductory writings in philosophy of science; express this understanding in the form of an essay and a presentation.

Topics in Epistemology (Core)

This module builds on the first year module 'What is Knowledge' to provide students with a much more in-depth exploration of epistemology. The intention is to bring students up-to-date with developments in the theory of knowledge by providing a comprehensive overview of the main issues within contemporary epistemology. It will explore such issues as virtue epistemology, anti-luck epistemology, epistemological disjunctivism and epistemic value as well as radical scepticism and contextualism.

Level 3

Contemporary Problems in Philosophy (Core)

This module gives students the opportunity to engage with some key issues and contemporary debates in key areas of philosophy, such as epistemological relativism, the nature of consciousness, the nature of causation in science, the nature of the self. The precise topics addressed will vary from year to year and students will have input into the choice of topics. The aim of the module is to explore in-depth some significant contemporary philosophical issues and to enable students to develop and enhance their key philosophical and debating skills.

Ethics and The Meaning of Life (Option)

Until recently, it was common in much Anglo-American philosophy to dismiss the “big” questions of philosophy as pseudo-questions. Meaning, it was said, is a property of language, not the world or a person’s life. But in the last 30 years or so a distinct field of inquiry into the meaning of life has been established in contemporary ethics, and the problem of life’s meaning is again on the agenda. The purpose of this module is to enable students to examine claims made about what, if anything, makes life meaningful by some of the towering figures in philosophy: Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, St. Augustine, Kant, Schopenhauer, Mill, Nietzsche, Marx, Sartre

Metaethics (Option)

Metaethics steps back from ethical decision making and asks questions about the nature of morality itself. This module aims to introduce students to some of the major metaethcial theories, issues, and debates of the 20th century and assist them in developing their philosophical and analytic skills.

Newton's Revolution (Option)

Using the biography of Newton as a springboard, this module will examine the 17th-century scientific revolution in a sociocultural context.
The core objective of the course will be to develop students' critical thinking skills to interpret primary sources within the historiography of the scientific revolution. A focus upon Newton will provide the intellectual thread.

Nietzsche, Nihilism, and the Death of God (Option)

Friedrich Nietzsche famously proclaimed that ‘God is dead, and we have killed him.’ The death of God, he claimed, will lead in Western civilization to a period of nihilism—that is, to the view that life lacks meaning and value. But while Nietzsche saw the death of God as leading to a profound existential crisis, he also viewed it as a liberating opportunity to move beyond traditional Christian moral values, which he regarded as life-denying and stifling the potential of human beings. A central aim of Nietzsche’s philosophy, therefore, is to make us question the value of traditional morality. Students will be introduced to the principal ideas in Nietzsche’s philosophy that provide a context for understanding the meaning of the death of God and its profound moral and existential implications

Philosophical Issues in Biology (Option)

The module is designed to teach students how to analyse and engage with a variety of key concepts and explanations in biological science, so that they can think critically about how biological knowledge is accumulated and about some key philosophical implications of that body of knowledge. This module will introduce students to a remarkable and lively set of questions in need of attention and will be interesting to anyone curious about what biology claims to teach us about ourselves and our fellow creatures. We will explore some key concepts and explanations in modern biology and reflect on their implications for our understanding of the world and our place in it.

Philosophical Project (Core)

This is an extended piece of philosophical work that gives students opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills of critical thinking and philosophical analysis.

Philosophy of Evil (Option)

This module aims to introduce students to a philosophical conceptualisation of evil. Despite the increasing secularisation and rationalisation of society, evil is still an all too familiar term. For some it invokes images of devils, demons and witches, for others criminals, terrorists and murderers, whilst debates on the social evils of poverty, prostitution and alcohol are continually recycled for each generation. Yet, there is an enormous gulf between the visibility of evil and the paucity of our intellectual resources for understanding the origins, structure and dynamics of evil. Usually in philosophy, the topic of evil is treated as a problem within the philosophy of religion. This module however takes a different approach and sees evil not as a problem for God, but as a human problem.

Philosophy of Love, Sex and Perversion (Option)

In this module, we shall address the phenomenon of love through the lens of some of the greatest works in the Western philosophical tradition. We shall mostly consider reciprocal romantic love and investigate, among other things, its seeming capacity, despite the possibility of loss that is intrinsic to love, to confer meaning and purpose upon life. The module explores the Freudian view that love is essentially a search for security and asks if this search can ever be stably fulfilled or if, like Sartre, we must conclude that it is impossible.

The Philosophy and History of Colour (Option)

Although the topic of colour may seem highly specialized and narrow, the debate about colour is a microcosm of contemporary debates in art, cultural history, epistemology, and the philosophy of science. This interdisciplinary module introduces students to some of the challenges of understanding the precise nature and meaning of colour and to some of the philosophical complexities of the interplay of art, chemistry and colour. Some of the philosophical questions explored include: do objects really have a distinctive property which we call colour? if they do what is the nature of this property? Is colour a matter of impressions on the mind? If so what makes these impressions? do such impressions have representational content? what role do these impressions play in our acquisition of concepts of colour? What is the relationship between philosophical and scientific theories of colour?

†The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Student as Producer

Student as Producer is a model of teaching and learning that encourages academics and undergraduate students to collaborate on research activities. It is a programme committed to learning through doing.

The Student as Producer initiative was commended by the QAA in our 2012 review and is one of the teaching and learning features that makes the Lincoln experience unique.

Facilities

Philosophy at Lincoln sits within the School of History and Heritage, and is housed in the award-winning Art and Design building.

At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our undergraduates. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

View our campus pages [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/ourcampus/] to learn more about our teaching and learning facilities.

Career Opportunities

There are a range of skills that students can develop in the course of a Philosophy degree, such as critical thinking, and the ability to analyse and communicate complex knowledge clearly and logically, which can equip you for a wide range of careers.

The strong research focus in our advanced Philosophy modules, and the fact that students will research and write an independent dissertation during their third year, aims to ensure that they will also leave with highly marketable research skills of their own.

Careers Service

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with students to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during their time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing a course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise our graduates future opportunities.

The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages for further information. [http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/studentsupport/careersservice/]

Additional Costs

For each course students may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on their subject area. Some courses provide opportunities for students to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and meals may be covered by the University and so is included in the fee. Where these are optional students will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay their own transportation, accommodation and meal costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that students are required to read. However, students may prefer to purchase some of these for themselves and will therefore be responsible for this cost. Where there may be exceptions to this general rule, information will be displayed in a section titled Other Costs below.

Related Courses

The BA (Hons) History degree at the University of Lincoln is distinctive in the breadth of topics that students can choose to study. These include British, European and American history, from the Roman Empire to the end of the 20th Century.
Our BA (Hons) International Relations degree is an interdisciplinary programme which draws upon politics, economics, history, sociology, international law, geography and cultural studies to explore global issues such as conflict, global inequalities, sovereignty and human rights.
Lincoln’s BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics degree provides students with access to a diverse range of modules in politics and international relations. Students can explore British Politics, international diplomacy and the emergence of global institutions.
This joint programme draws on a range of social science disciplines to examine challenging and controversial national and international issues such as human rights, poverty and social exclusion.
This BA (Hons) Politics degree examines domestic and global politics, political theory and international relations. Students have the opportunity to explore the big political issues of the day in Britain and around the globe, and study the social and theoretical contexts which underpin these developments.
This degree combines a detailed exploration of political ideas, institutions and processes with an in-depth analysis of how policies are developed and implemented to deal with the social problems at the national and supranational level.
This joint degree offers the opportunity to gain an insight into the impact of domestic and global politics on the nature of society. Teaching is informed by emerging political themes and contemporary social debate.

Introduction

The BA (Hons) Philosophy degree at Lincoln provides students with the opportunity to gain a strong foundation in all major areas of philosophy, while developing the analytical and problem-solving skills that can open the door to a range of future careers.

The degree is taught by scholars with research expertise in a variety of key areas, including the philosophy of religion, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, ethics, aesthetics, existentialism, and the history and philosophy of science.

How You Study

Students will have the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects, including metaphysics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of mind, moral philosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, aesthetics, existentialism and phenomenology, philosophy of evil, ethics and the meaning of life, and philosophy of love, sex, and perversion.

Students will also have the opportunity to take modules on major figures in the history of philosophy, such as Hume, Nietzsche, Sartre, Wittgenstein, and others.

The course will explore these areas using the philosophical method of logical analysis and reasoned argument, and from the outset students will be encouraged to develop their own views and to critically assess the views of others.

Since Philosophy will be a new subject for many students, the first year of the degree offers a chance to study a range of introductory modules, with increasing specialisation in the second and third years.

The first year of the degree consists of eight modules (four per term), all of which are compulsory. In the second year students study a further eight compulsory modules (four per term). In the final year students study two compulsory modules (Contemporary Philosophical Problems and Philosophical Project) and have the opportunity to select a further six optional modules. Further information on modules can be found within the module tab.

Contact Hours and Reading for a Degree

Students on this programme learn from academic staff who are often engaged in world-leading or internationally excellent research or professional practice. Contact time can be in workshops, practical sessions, seminars or lectures and may vary from module to module and from academic year to year. Tutorial sessions and project supervision can take the form of one-to-one engagement or small group sessions. Some courses offer the opportunity to take part in external visits and fieldwork.

It is still the case that students read for a degree and this means that in addition to scheduled contact hours, students are required to engage in independent study. This allows you to read around a subject and to prepare for lectures and seminars through wider reading, or to complete follow up tasks such as assignments or revision. As a general guide, the amount of independent study required by students at the University of Lincoln is that for every hour in class you are expected to spend at least two to three hours in independent study.

How You Are Assessed

We use a variety of assessment methods, including coursework essays, presentations, podcasts, and “in-class” tests (first-year logic course only).

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date (unless stated differently above)..

Methods of Assessment

The way students are assessed on this course may vary for each module. Examples of assessment methods that are used include coursework, such as written assignments, reports or dissertations; practical exams, such as presentations, performances or observations; and written exams, such as formal examinations or in-class tests. The weighting given to each assessment method may vary across each academic year. The University of Lincoln aims to ensure that staff return in-course assessments to students promptly.

Staff

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

For a comprehensive list of teaching staff, please see our School of History and Heritage Staff Pages.

Entry Requirements 2018-19

GCE Advanced Levels: BBC

International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: A minimum of 45 level 3 credits at merit or above will be required.

In addition, applicants must have a minimum of three GCSEs (or the equivalent) at grade C or above, to include English.

We encourage applications from mature students and will give individual consideration to those in this category without the standard entry requirements.

Students whose first language is not English will also need a British Council IELTS band 6.0 or above or equivalent.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email admissions@lincoln.ac.uk.

Level 1

Critical Thinking and Writing (Core)

This module aims to equip students with the skills necessary to communicate their learning in an academic environment, and also supports students in adjusting to the demands of higher education. The core objective of the module is to develop students’ critical thinking and writing skills.

Forging the Modern State (Core)

This module provides a thematic survey of European and Atlantic history from the mid-eighteenth century to the final decades of the twentieth century, structured around the research interests of members of the module teaching team. This survey provides an overview of key moments in modern history from 1750-1979, and addresses the complex development of states primarily in western Europe but with attention to the growing influence of the United States and Russia.

God, Evil, and the Meaning of life (Core)

The purpose of this module is to enable students to examine claims about the existence of God and the nature of religious faith. Among the major thinkers whose contributions to the philosophy of religion we will consider are Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein. Issues students can consider are whether religious statements are meaningful, whether the existence of evil counts strongly, or even conclusively, against the existence of God, whether religious beliefs are merely a projection of human desires, and whether the idea of life having a meaning stands and falls with the belief in God.

Great Thinkers in Philosophy from Classical to Modern Times (Core)

This is a survey module introducing students to the main ideas of some of the key philosophical thinkers of both the pre-modern and modern periods that have helped to shape Western culture and philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Wittgenstein). As well as knowledge of what the great philosophers have said about the big questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind, this module aims to provide students with a map with which to navigate later developments in Western philosophy.

Introduction to Moral Philosophy (Core)

This module is designed to introduce students to the three areas of discussion in contemporary moral philosophy. Metaethics is concerned with the nature of morality itself and questions such as ‘Are there moral facts?’, ‘If there are moral facts, what is their origin?’. Normative ethics is the attempt to provide a general theory that tells us how to live and enables us to determine what is morally right and wrong. Applied ethics involves the application of ethical principles to specific moral issues (e.g., abortion, euthanasia, animal rights) and the evaluation of the answers arrived at through this application. This module aims to introduce students to all three of these branches of ethics.

Introduction to Philosophical Logic (Core)

This module introduces some of the basic ideas and concepts of philosophical logic and the technical vocabulary that is required for understanding contemporary philosophical writing. Students are introduced to logical concepts such as validity, soundness, consistency, possibility, necessity, contingency, inductive and deductive forms of argument, necessary and sufficient conditions, the rudiments of formalisation, and a range of logical fallacies. The emphasis will be on using logic to construct and evaluate arguments.

Mind and Reality (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to some of the central questions in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind. For example: What is the self? What, if anything, makes you the same person you were when you were five years old? To what extent is the world of everyday experience mind-dependent? Is free will compatible with determinism – the view that every event is causally necessitated by a prior event? What is the mind, and how does it relate to the body? Are we just highly complicated physical objects, or is the mind an immaterial or spiritual substance?

What is Knowledge? (Core)

This module is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to some of the key issues in the theory of knowledge (epistemology). The main focus of the module is the nature of knowledge – what is it, and what, if anything, can really be known? This leads on to questions about how knowledge relates to truth, belief, and justification, and to discussion of different kinds of knowledge (e.g., perceptual, religious, moral).

Level 2

Aesthetics (Core)

This module introduces students to philosophical questions about the nature of art and beauty. For example: What is art? Can anything be a work of art? Can a pile of elephant dung be art? Is beauty objectively real or only ‘in the eye of the beholder’? Can aesthetic judgements be right or wrong? Is Beethoven better than Beyoncé? Is Shakespeare better than Eastenders? Or are aesthetic disputes like deciding between the merits of different flavours of ice cream?

Students can also consider questions that arise in relation to specific artforms: How is it possible to respond emotionally towards the plight of fictional characters that are known not to exist? Do rock/pop music and classical music require different aesthetic criteria for their appreciation and evaluation? Why do we take pleasure in the aesthetic representation of tragic events? Students will be guided through their reading of various classical and contemporary works on such issues, and encouraged to think for themselves about the problems addressed.

Dissertations and Beyond (Core)

This module aims to provide a framework for career planning and preparing for the world of work. It also provides the opportunity for students to develop the management skills needed for independent study, which is a compulsory part of level 3 of the programme.

Existentialism and Phenomenology (Core)

The aim of this module is to give students a thorough understanding of two intimately related philosophical traditions that came to prominence in the 19th and 20th centuries: existentialism and phenomenology. Each attempts to address the nature and meaning of human existence from the perspective of individual, first-person experience, focusing in particular on fundamental questions of being, meaning, death, nihilism, freedom, responsibility, value, human relations, and religious faith.

The module will examine selected existential themes through the writings of thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus. Since existentialism is as much a artistic phenomenon as a philosophical one, students will also be given the opportunity to explore existentialist ideas in the works of various literary figures, such as Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, and Milan Kundera.

Metaphysics (Core)

This module builds on the first-year module ‘Mind and Reality,’ focusing in particular on fundamental questions about the nature of reality. What is reality? What, in the most general terms, exists? Do concepts exist? Do numbers exist? Does time exist? What is it for something to exist in the first place? Are there non-existent things? And perhaps the most fundamental question of all: why does anything at all exist, rather than nothing?

Minds and Machines (Core)

The purpose of this module is to develop students understanding of some of the major issues in contemporary philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence. What kind of entity is the mind? How does it relate to the brain? Can we explain consciousness in physical terms? Could a machine ever be conscious? Are we headed for the Singularity—the point in the future at which machine intelligence overtakes human intelligence and goes on to design exponentially more intelligent machines? If so, how intelligent can machine intelligence get? Where does the mind stop and machinery start? For example, could a neural implant or even a smartphone form part of your mind? Are we ourselves thinking machines?

Moral Philosophy (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to some of the central concepts, issues, theories, and debates in an area of moral philosophy called 'normative ethics', thereby providing them with a framework for thinking seriously about moral matters, and to assist them in developing their philosophical and analytical skills. We will distinguish and evaluate the leading positions on these issues through a range of more specific topics in normative ethics.

Philosophy of Science (Core)

This module explores a range of philosophical questions relating to the nature of science. How are scientific theories developed? Are scientific theories discovered through a ‘flash of genius’ or is something more methodical involved? How much of scientific discovery is down to careful observation? Do scientific theories tell us how the world really is? Do the entities scientific theories postulate – atoms, electromagnetic waves, and so on – really exist? Or are scientific theories merely useful models of reality? Is science independent of its social context? To what extent is scientific inquiry affected by gender, race or politics? Is there such a thing as truth that is not relative to a particular culture, social class or historical era? Drawing on accessible examples from a variety of scientific fields and by answering these and related questions, we shall try to reach an understanding of how science works.

Topics in Epistemology (Core)

This module builds on the first-year module ‘What is Knowledge?’ to provide students with a more in-depth exploration of epistemology. Students can examine a range of issues in contemporary epistemology, including: the nature of epistemic justification (the internalism/externalism debate, the debates between foundationalists and coherentists), the analysis of knowledge, the role of contextual considerations in dealing with scepticism, social epistemology, virtue epistemology, a priori knowledge, and epistemic naturalism.

Level 3

Contemporary Problems in Philosophy (Core)

This module gives students the opportunity to engage with some key issues and contemporary debates in key areas of philosophy, such as epistemological relativism, the nature of consciousness, the nature of causation in science, the nature of the self. The precise topics addressed will vary from year to year and students will have input into the choice of topics. The aim of the module is to explore in-depth some significant contemporary philosophical issues and to enable students to develop and enhance their key philosophical and debating skills.

Ethics and The Meaning of Life (Option)

The purpose of this module is to enable students to examine claims made about what, if anything, makes life meaningful by some of the major figures in the history of philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, St Augustine, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Marx). The module begins by considering the Question of Meaning itself. Is it intelligible? What is it to seek meaning in life? Is God necessary for life as a whole to have meaning? If so, and if God doesn’t exist, what is an appropriate response to life’s “absurdity” or lack of meaning? Is suicide an ethically defensible response? Or can individual lives have meaning even if life as a whole has none? Could a life be meaningful even if it were entirely occupied with selfish or vicious activities? Could, for example, the life of a torturer be meaningful? Or must our lives have an ethical resonance to be meaningful? We will also consider nihilist views that the conditions necessary for meaning do not obtain, and metaethical debates about the nature of value in general.

Metaethics (Option)

This module builds on the second-year module ‘Moral Philosophy’, focusing in particular on the central questions in metaethics: Do moral terms and judgements refer to moral properties, and if so, what are these properties like? Are any moral judgements true, and if so, are they true objectively, in virtue of moral properties that exist in the world? If there are objective moral truths, how can we know what they are? What implications do theories of moral reasoning and moral motivation have for the question of whether there are objective truths in ethics?

Newton's Revolution (Option)

This module examines some of the philosophical issues raised by the Newtonian revolution in the natural sciences, such as: What is the nature of Newton’s distinction between ‘absolute’ and ‘relative’ space? In what sense can forces be said to exist? What is the ontology of force? Is it sufficient to provide a mathematical definition of force (e.g., f=ma)? Is gravity a special kind of force with its own unique set of properties? What is the nature of ‘action at a distance’? Is Newton’s view of space metaphysical? This is an interdisciplinary module that situates Newtonian science in its sociocultural context.

Nietzsche, Nihilism, and the Death of God (Option)

Friedrich Nietzsche famously proclaimed that ‘the death of God’ would lead to a period of ‘nihilism’ – the view that life lacks meaning and value. But Nietzsche also saw the death of God as a liberating opportunity to move beyond traditional moral values, which he regarded as life-denying and stifling the potential of human beings.

A central aim of Nietzsche’s philosophy, therefore, is to make his readers question the value of traditional morality. Are kindness, compassion, altruism, charity, and equality really valuable? Do such values promote the cultivation of great cultures and great human beings? Or are they simply what is most useful to, what Nietzsche called, ‘the herd’? All the major themes of Nietzsche’s philosophy will be considered: art, tragedy, ‘genealogy,’ master and slave moralities, guilt, truth, self-creation, the Übermensch (or ‘superman’), the ‘higher’ individual, life-affirmation, and eternal recurrence.

Philosophical Issues in Biology (Option)

The aim of this module is to examine some interesting puzzles in the ontology, epistemology, and metaphysics of biology. The module will address such questions as: How does natural selection explain the traits of organisms? How does the ‘scientific method’ support biological science’s success? What are the appropriate aims for conservation biology? Can culture evolve? Is there an objective class of conditions that qualify as ‘disease’? Are there laws of evolution; and if not, is evolutionary biology a science? Are there biological natural kinds? Can Darwinism explain anything interesting about human mental and social life?

Philosophical Project (Core)

This is an extended piece of philosophical work that gives students opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills of critical thinking and philosophical analysis.

Philosophy of Evil (Option)

This module explores a variety of questions relating to the concept of evil, and introduces students to a range of philosophical theories of the nature of evil. Students can explore the language and ontology of evil, the concepts of ‘radical’ and ‘banal’ evil, and examine how the existence of evil is accounted for by key figures in the history of philosophy. Typically, questions to be considered include: Is evil an irreducibly theological concept? Are notions of evil relative to individuals or cultures? Is evil a positively existing force or is it the absence of some quality, as darkness is the absence of light? Why are humans capable of wickedness?

Philosophy of Love, Sex and Perversion (Option)

This module explores a range of philosophical questions that arise in relation to love and sexual desire. Can love be defined, or does it belong to the realm of the ineffable? Is love inherently irrational? Is it reducible to the reproductive or sexual drive? Do we love the other for his/her own sake, or is love always self-serving? Are jealousy and possessiveness really the enemy of successful love? Does all love stem from need or lack? What, if anything, is the difference between love and infatuation? And is, as Plato held, love a form of enslavement?

In this module, students can address such questions through the lens of some of the greatest works in the Western philosophical tradition. We shall mostly consider reciprocal romantic love and investigate, among other things, its capacity to confer meaning and purpose upon life. We shall also explore the Freudian view that love involves regression to a situation in childhood in which we were perfectly safe, the search for love essentially being an attempt to recover this earlier form of security or wholeness. Can this need for wholeness ever be fully and stably fulfilled, or is, as Sartre argued, the project of love impossible? In addition, we shall reflect upon the nature of pornography, sadomasochism, and sexual perversion.

The Philosophy and History of Colour (Option)

The world as we encounter it in visual perception is a world of coloured objects – red buses, yellow daffodils, blue skies, and the like. Colour raises a variety of perplexing philosophical puzzles concerning the nature of physical reality and our epistemic to the mental states of others. This module serves as an introduction to these issues.

Some of the questions to be explored include: Do objects really have the colours we ordinarily take them to possess? If so, what sort of property is colour? Are colours really just ‘impressions’ that exist only in the mind? If so, what causes these impressions? Do such impressions have representational content? What is the relationship between philosophical and scientific theories of colour? This is an interdisciplinary module that also explores issues relating to colour in art history and the history of science.

†The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Student as Producer

Student as Producer is a model of teaching and learning that encourages academics and undergraduate students to collaborate on research activities. It is a programme committed to learning through doing.

The Student as Producer initiative was commended by the QAA in our 2012 review and is one of the teaching and learning features that makes the Lincoln experience unique.

Facilities

Philosophy at Lincoln sits within the School of History and Heritage, and is housed in the award-winning Art and Design building.

At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our undergraduates. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

View our campus pages [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/ourcampus/] to learn more about our teaching and learning facilities.

Career Opportunities

There are a range of skills that students can develop in the course of a Philosophy degree, such as critical thinking, and the ability to analyse and communicate complex knowledge clearly and logically, which can equip you for a wide range of careers.

The strong research focus in our advanced Philosophy modules, and the fact that students will research and write an independent dissertation during their third year, aims to ensure that they will also leave with highly marketable research skills of their own.

Careers Service

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with students to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during their time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing a course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise our graduates future opportunities.

The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages for further information. [http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/studentsupport/careersservice/]

Additional Costs

For each course students may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on their subject area. Some courses provide opportunities for students to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and meals may be covered by the University and so is included in the fee. Where these are optional students will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay their own transportation, accommodation and meal costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that students are required to read. However, students may prefer to purchase some of these for themselves and will therefore be responsible for this cost. Where there may be exceptions to this general rule, information will be displayed in a section titled Other Costs below.

Related Courses

The BA (Hons) History degree at the University of Lincoln is distinctive in the breadth of topics that students can choose to study. These include British, European and American history, from the Roman Empire to the end of the 20th Century.
Our BA (Hons) International Relations degree is an interdisciplinary programme which draws upon politics, economics, history, sociology, international law, geography and cultural studies to explore global issues such as conflict, global inequalities, sovereignty and human rights.
Lincoln’s BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics degree provides students with access to a diverse range of modules in politics and international relations. Students can explore British Politics, international diplomacy and the emergence of global institutions.
This joint programme draws on a range of social science disciplines to examine challenging and controversial national and international issues such as human rights, poverty and social exclusion.
This BA (Hons) Politics degree examines domestic and global politics, political theory and international relations. Students have the opportunity to explore the big political issues of the day in Britain and around the globe, and study the social and theoretical contexts which underpin these developments.
This degree combines a detailed exploration of political ideas, institutions and processes with an in-depth analysis of how policies are developed and implemented to deal with the social problems at the national and supranational level.
This joint degree offers the opportunity to gain an insight into the impact of domestic and global politics on the nature of society. Teaching is informed by emerging political themes and contemporary social debate.

Tuition Fees

2017/18 Entry UK/EUInternational
Full-time £9,250 per level
£12,800 per level
Part-time £77.00 per credit point  N/A
Placement (optional) Exempt Exempt

 

2018/19 Entry UK/EUInternational
Full-time £9,250 per level
£13,800 per level
Part-time £77.00 per credit point  N/A
Placement (optional) Exempt Exempt

In 2018/19, fees for all new and continuing undergraduate UK and EU students will be £9,250.

Please note that not all courses are available as a part-time option.

For more information and for details about funding your study, please see our UK/EU Fees & Funding pages or our International funding and scholarship pages. [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studyatlincoln/undergraduatecourses/feesandfunding/] [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/international/feesandfunding/]

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions [www.lincoln.ac.uk/StudentAdmissionsTermsandConditions].