All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.
The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.
Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).
You will make an original contribution to research by designing, carrying out and writing up a project on a topic you choose, supported by your dissertation supervisor.
Philosophy of Law
You will learn how to critically explore themes on contemporary philosophy of law from different theoretical perspectives, including positivism, natural law, feminist jurisprudence, law and economics.
Animal Ethics: Philosophy, Politics and Law
Examine and critique ethical perspectives on human use of, and interaction with, nonhuman animals. This module introduces you to a range of philosophical perspectives and the implications of these perspectives for applied animal ethics cases and for relevant political and legal contexts.
This module considers issues of art and beauty. Some say beauty is an act in the world. Others link beauty to pleasure in perceiving the world. Hume and Kant have subtle theories of this sort that need exploration. What is art? Is it to be analysed aesthetically or institutionally? Many interesting issues about particular arts, such as music and literature, are also considered.
Wittgenstein on Language, Mind, and Reality
Explore Wittgenstein’s so-called ‘early’ and ‘late’ work on the nature of language and meaning and their relation to reality and his views on the nature of philosophy. You'll examine the Tractatus Logico-philosophicus and the ‘picture theory of the proposition’, the idea that the job of language is to describe actual and possible states of affairs, and the posthumous Philosophical Investigations. In this work, language is seen as multi-faceted, consisting of overlapping ‘language games’, and it is stated that 'to imagine a language means to imagine a form of life'.
Authorship and Identity in Renaissance Literature
You will study how English writers from the Renaissance period (1579 to 1645), both male and female, canonical and more obscure, deliberately fashion themselves as ‘authors’, in relation to previous writers and works from both Classical and Early Modern European literary traditions. The module will introduce you to important techniques such as imitation and translation, and will provide an overview of significant European writers and sources. It will then focus on the following English authors: Edmund Spenser, Samuel Daniel, Lady Mary Sidney Herbert, Aemilia Lanyer, Lady Mary Wroth, Elizabeth Carey, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, and John Milton.
You will analyse the Gothic, from the conception of the genre in the 18th century to its manifestation in contemporary literature and film, focusing on the genre's convergence with contemporaneous social and cultural preoccupations.
Speaking Pictures: Literature and the Visual Arts
You will explore the relationship between literature and the visual arts from the Renaissance to the present. You'll examine a wide range of literary texts alongside paintings, works of art criticism and theoretical writings.
Crime Fiction: Reading the Body, Reading the Signs
To explore this wide-ranging and unique genre, you will first investigate the two main crime fiction traditions, classical (Poe, Doyle and Christie) and hardboiled (Ellroy). Next, your seminar group will analyse four novels chosen from among the many subgenres that have developed more recently, such as the forensic detective novel, black hardboiled crime, true crime and many others.
This module enables you to undertake independent research on a question of your choice. Working with an academic across your final semester, you will write a 6,000-word dissertation.
Gender, Science and Knowledge
This module provides a critical overview of the different ways of theorising the relationship between gender, science, and knowledge. It explores the concepts of objectivity, rationality and nature within scientific thinking by focusing on the gendered nature of knowledge, as well as providing opportunities to reflect critically on the idea that that science is a cultural product, which is nonetheless factual.
Contemporary Political Philosophy
How should we reason about justice, equality, liberty and democracy? You will explore ways of thinking about these topics through critical readings of leading contemporary political philosophers.
The Politics and Philosophy of the Environment
How should we think about the environment? And how should we act towards to it? You'll study environmental attitudes, the politics and ideology of environmentalism, its ethics and philosophy, pressure groups and political parties, and the principles of environmental policy.
Writing the Revolution: Sex, Religion and Politics in the Literature of 17th-century England
You will explore the literature of the mid-17th century in the context of the century's revolutionary turns and counter-turns: civil war, regicide, the establishment of a republic, favouring puritanism, and the Restoration of the monarchy. Among the writers studied will be John Milton, Andrew Marvell and the Restoration playwrights, George Etherege and Aphra Behn.
Secrets and Lies: Victorian Decadence and Degeneration 1860-1901
Explore the development of new forms of writing which focus on the darker alternative or hidden aspects of Victorian society, such as the new woman, the homosexual man, the foreigner, and the poor, in the context of degeneration theory.
Key Philosophical Thinkers
This module introduces you to the writings of a key philosopher in the history of ideas, as well as relevant reading. The central themes in the work of this thinker will be critically considered and evaluated with reference to contemporary debates.
The module focuses on the Analects of Confucius and provides an opportunity to examine the teachings of Confucius on, for example, education, society, politics and governance, conduct and ethics, or the ideal life. It also introduces the word-thought-life procedure, in which we reflect on the application of Confucian thought in relation to one’s own situation.
The Philosophy of Photography
Explore the theories of the nature of photography and photographic images, centred on the contested idea that photographs have a special relation to reality. You will independently research photographic images found in various contexts. These include photo-journalism, camera phones, social media, forensic evidence, art galleries, museums, advertising and fashion photography.