Political Philosophy Non Honours PHIL3014

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course concentrates on some central and controversial values invoked in the appraisal of political life and on a range of theories that seek to ground them. In particular, we will discuss the nature and scope of individual rights, liberty and autonomy; and questions concerning the nature and justification of democratic government.


16x1hr lectures; 4x1hr seminars over eleven weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

This is one of the Level 3 options in Philosophy and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Grade D3 or above in one of the Philosophy level 2 courses or at the discretion of the Head of Philosophy.

Excluded Courses

PHIL4039 Political Philosophy.


Essay (1,800 words) - 40%

Examination (2-hour duration) - 60%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ study a number of major issues in contemporary political philosophy;

■ study and critically engage with core positions and arguments within political philosophy on topics such as: liberalism; rights; autonomy; democracy;

■ Compare and critically evaluate competing positions within contemporary political philosophy.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Explain the main theses of important theories within contemporary political philosophy;

■ Assess the arguments offered both in support of and against the central theories;

■ Explain and critically evaluate explanations of moral discourse and behaviour.

■ Contrast the views of select philosophers on core topics within 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.