University of Dundee

Philosophy and Politics MA (Hons)

University of Dundee
In Dundee

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Important information

Typology Master
Location Dundee (Scotland)
Duration 4 Years
Start September
  • Master
  • Dundee (Scotland)
  • Duration:
    4 Years
  • Start:

If you ever find yourself thinking about big questions beyond everyday experience - questions that may never have a single, final answer - then you would probably enjoy studying philosophy.

We offer MA degrees both in Philosophy and in European Philosophy (where you specialise in continental thinkers such as Sartre, Derrida and Foucault).

Dundee is unique in Scotland in specialising in continental philosophy. This means we teach philosophy primarily through reading and discussing key texts from the European tradition, including some of the most exciting thinkers of the last century: Nietzsche, Sartre, Foucault, Deleuze, and de Beauvoir, for example.

We explore how philosophy is important to real-world concerns and contemporary issues by:

drawing on films and artworks in our lectures
discussing important scientific developments
debating controversial ethical issues
looking at how texts written three hundred years ago can be relevant to political situations today
You will be encouraged to make links between philosophy and other subjects, such as politics, literature, film, the environment, psychology, and computer science.

Philosophy at Dundee has the highest number of specialist researchers and teachers on Nietzsche, existentialism, phenomenology and recent French and German philosophy in Scotland.

Our course ties Modern European philosophy to concrete, practical, and everyday questions-such as ethics, technology, economics, communication, work and art.

Facilities (1)
Where and when



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Fulton Building, DD1 4HN


SeptemberNow taking bookings

To take into account

· Who is it intended for?

A philosophy degree provides you with intellectual and perceptual skills which are an advantage in the pursuit of any professional career. Studying philosophy will allow you to: Identify and explain the underlying issues in all kinds of debate. Read closely and become sensitive to arguments from a variety of sources and traditions. Offer clear and rigorous critical responses to arguments. Summarise and assess points of view which are not your own. Learn the self-discipline required for independent research.

· Requirements

BBBB (minimum) - AABB (typical) at Higher. BCC (minimum) - BBB (typical) at A-Level. A relevant BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with DDM 30 points at Higher Level grades 5, 5, 5.

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What you'll learn on the course

Philosophy degree

Course programme

MA Philosophy, MA European Philosophy

Typical Degree Programme

At Level 1, you will study Plato and Descartes, as well as a variety of thinkers on the good life and the nature of reality. At Level 2 you will study existentialist philosophers such as Sartre and Camus in relation to contemporary culture, technology, and film, and topics in aesthetics and the philosophy of art.

For a Philosophy degree, students are required to take any two Level 1 or 2 modules (not necessarily one of each; it could be two at level 1, or two at Level 2).

You can then specialise in Levels 3 and 4 through taking different options including modules on technology, the self, art and religion.

For single Honours students the dissertation in Level 4 is the high point, where you put forward and defend a thesis in an area of philosophy of your choice. Recent dissertation topics have involved music, film, the environment, gender, law, evolutionary theory, artificial intelligence, photography, literature and theatre.

You will have the opportunity to study with experts in these fields and to work with them on major philosophers such as Plato, Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Bergson, Badiou, and Deleuze.

Level 1

Semester 1

A total of 6 modules, typically including at least 2 of:

  • PI11007 – Descartes, Thought and Reality
  • PI11008 – Introduction to Scientific Methods and Creativity
  • HU11001 - Human Futures

Semester 2

  • PI11005 – Introduction to Aesthetics
  • PI11006 – Plato and the Good Life

Plus further MA modules.

Level 2

Semester 1

A total of 6 modules, typically including at least one of:

  • PI22006 – Aesthetics

Semester 2

  • PI21004 – Thinking About Life: Existentialism, Lifeworld, and Dasein

Plus further MA modules.

Level 3

Semester 1

A total of 4 modules (2 modules for joint Honours), from a list such as the one below, which varies from year to year:

  • PI31019 - Understanding Media
  • PI31025 - Philosophy, Science, Imagination
  • PI32022 - Philosophies of the Self

Semester 2

  • PI31024 - German Idealism and Its Consequences (evening available)
  • PI31021 – Marriage, Seduction and Sex in Film Philosophy
Level 4

Semester 1

A total of 4 modules (2 modules for joint Honours), from a list such as the one below, which varies from year to year:

  • PI42014 – Fundamental Text in the European Tradition – Phenomenology
  • PI41026 – Sovereignty, Biopolitics and Autoimmunity: A Critique of Political Life (evening available)

Semester 2

  • PI40007 – Dissertation
  • PI41022 – Philosophy of Information

At Level 4, in addition to the modules listed above, it is possible to take ONE level 3 module.

Students on the European Philosophy programme must take 'Existential Themes in Technology, Culture and Film' at Level 2 and specialise in European Philosophy at Levels 3 and 4.

European Philosophy modules are marked with an asterisk.

How you will be taught

You will attend two philosophy lectures per week, in which teaching staff will introduce you to the major themes and topics of a philosopher or philosophical problem.

You will also attend a philosophy tutorial every week, where you will question and develop your own world views, construct arguments to defend them, and put together projects to illustrate them with a small group of students.

You will also engage in independent reading and research, with specially designed worksheets and assignments to help you to do this most effectively.

All Level 1 and 2 students have a tutor who leads the weekly tutorial discussion and who is there to help you if you need advice.

How you will be assessed

Assessment in philosophy is by coursework essays, tutorial performance, exams and dissertations. We take full advantage of the University's Virtual Learning Environment MyDundee: on some modules students write online journals, post minutes of tutorials, or take part in online discussions.

Additional information

Overseas students (non-EU) Fee -  £17,275 per year of study

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