Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Philosophy 1 DUMF1064

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

Philosophy 1 introduces students to some fundamental philosophical topics such as the nature of knowledge, religious belief, free will, and the nature of art. No previous learning in philosophy is required for this course which aims to educate students in the basic value and wide-ranging relevance of philosophical enquiry.


3 hours of lectures per week (one 2 hour block and one 1 hour)

1 x 1 hour seminar per week

Requirements of Entry

Standard requirements for entry onto any of the degree programmes in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Excluded Courses





1 x short answer/multi-choice question paper (approx. week 6): 15%

1 x essay (approx. 1500 words): 50%

1 x exam: 35%

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

Philosophy 1 aims to introduce students to the discipline of philosophy. It will begin by explaining its fundamental subject matter - metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and values (ethics and aesthetics) - and then focus on a selection of topics and texts representing some of these areas (e.g. Plato's Last Days of Socrates; logic and rationality; Hume on miracles; free will; and nature of art). Students will be taught and learn the value of critical and reflective thinking, and encouraged to think about how this can be applied to their other subjects, and to their lives beyond university.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the nature and value of the fundamental branches of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and values (ethics and aesthetics).

2. Explain the key concepts and questions associated with a range of texts and topics drawn from these fundamental branches (such as Plato's Last Days of Socrates; basic symbolic logic; Hume on miracles; free will; and the nature of art).

3. Critically engage with these texts and topics using appropriate philosophical modes of analysis (e.g. questioning metaphysical and epistemological assumptions, questioning argument validity).

4. Relevantly apply philosophical ideas and methods of analysis (e.g. critical thinking) to other areas of academic study and to contexts beyond formal education.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.