Philosophy 1B: How Should I Live? PHIL1011

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will introduce students to core issues in moral and political philosophy, including the question of why we should be concerned with acting morally. We will explore what makes one's life and the lives of others valuable, and the consequences of our answer to this for views of how we should live with others and what meaning a life can be said to have.


One hour lectures on Mondays and Tuesdays at either 10am or 2pm over 9 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. Two hour "Collaborative Classes" (listed as "seminars" on MyCampus) which blend lecture/seminar elements, either on Wednesdays at 2pm or Thursdays at 9am over 9 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. Students who join the 10am lecture group are automatically enrolled in the Thursday 9am Collaborative Class. Students who join the 2pm lecture group are automatically enrolled in the Wednesday 2pm Collaborative Class.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Essay (1,500 words) - 40%

10 x multiple choice quizzes -10%

Exam (90 minutes) -50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Study and engage with issues, theories and types of argument characteristic of moral and political philosophy.

■ Introduce students to issues concerning the value and importance of moral discourse.

■ Introduce students to issues in political philosophy concerning how we should treat others.

■ Study and engage with different theories on the value of human lives.

■ Develop skills of interpretation, criticism, clarity, relevance, concise expression and sound argumentation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Explain, with examples, some common forms of argument, good and bad, used in ethical discussion.

■ Explain and evaluate theories on the importance of moral discourse.

■ Discuss philosophically some important contemporary moral problems and theories.

■ State and evaluate arguments concerning important issues in political philosophy.

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.