The University of Southampton
Courses

PHIL6052 Research Skills in Philosophy

Module Overview

This module prepares you for your own research work. The module will examine the process of writing a structured essay on a topic related to the dissertation project, formulating a research proposal, identifying the problems this may pose and the benefits it may bring. It will also give you practice in conducting bibliographical searches and analyses. The module will further familiarise you with the facilities offered by the library and with internet resources. Through the seminars, the module will give you an opportunity to articulate, discuss and evaluate your developing thoughts on possible dissertation themes.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- To prepare you for your research work - To explore the process of formulating a research project - To help you articulate, discuss and evaluate your developing thoughts on possible dissertation topics by way of writing a structured essay on a subject related to the dissertation project - To explore the process of writing a research proposal, identifying the problems this may pose and the benefits it may bring - To provide practice in conducting bibliographical searches and analyses - To further familiarise you with the facilities offered by the library and with internet resources

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • your proposed dissertation topic
  • how to use the philosophical research resources that the library and the internet provide
  • how to undertake independent research appropriate to the production of a structured essay, research proposal and bibliographical analysis paper
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • research a complex topic independently
  • present the outcome of your research orally in a seminar context
  • write an essay introducing one of the themes pertinent to the dissertation project
  • formulate a research proposal, based on an appreciation of the problems and potential benefits involved in that process
  • summarise and present clearly, both orally and in writing, the central themes, questions, problems and solutions related to important texts
  • assess critically the coherence and cogency of research projects
  • engage in group discussion, making and taking constructive criticism
  • manage the time and resources available to you in order to achieve success in the above tasks
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • understand complex philosophical texts. This involves: - identifying the central themes and problems in a philosophical text - identifying main views and solutions offered by the authors - identifying authors’ arguments in support of the above
  • critically assess complex philosophical texts. This involves: - identifying and explaining solutions to the philosophical questions and problems proposed in the central texts - assessing the cogency and success of the above - identifying and explaining other possible solutions and assessing their relative merits
  • articulate, present and debate philosophical ideas, both orally and in writing, in an open-minded but rigorous way

Syllabus

This module prepares you for your own research work. The module will examine the process of writing a structured essay on a topic related to the dissertation project, formulating a research proposal, identifying the problems this may pose and the benefits it may bring. It will also give you practice in conducting bibliographical searches and analyses. The module will further familiarise you with the facilities offered by the library and with internet resources. Through the seminars, the module will give you an opportunity to articulate, discuss and evaluate your developing thoughts on possible dissertation themes.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching activities include • Seminars Learning activities include • Reading assigned material • Attending seminars and contributing to discussion • Preparing and giving presentations • Doing research for and writing assessed essays

TypeHours
Seminar20
Preparation for scheduled sessions40
Wider reading or practice25
Completion of assessment task25
Follow-up work40
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Examples of research projects. Module tutors will provide examples of research projects – both within philosophy and elsewhere – for discussion in class.

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Analysis  (1500 words) 40%
Essay  (1500 words) 40%
Research proposal  (500 words) 20%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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