Philosophy Dissertation PHIL5001P

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The student should complete a dissertation on a philosophy related topic of between 12,000 and 15,000 words. The student should be able to explain the leading positions and arguments relevant to the topic chosen and argument pursued.


Meetings of 1 hour as needed during term 3 with supervisor; ad hoc meetings during summer or by email as needed (minimum of 10 hours).

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

A candidate will be permitted to progress to preparation of the dissertation, or other substantial independent work required by the degree, only if he or she has obtained a grade point average of 12 (equivalent to C3) or above in the taught courses with at least 75% of the credits at Grade D3 or better and all credits at Grade F or above.

Excluded Courses



The dissertation will be 12,000-15,000 words long.

Assessment: The dissertation will be assessed using the University's standard scale.


In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. 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 are listed below in this box.

Course Aims

- To achieve efficiency in individual research in philosophy.
- To write with the clarity and conciseness appropriate to professional academic philosophy.
- To develop skills of philosophical analysis and argumentation in a sustained piece of work.
- To develop independent lines of philosophical argument.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


(1) Demonstrate their ability to define, plan, and execute a sustained, focused, and coherent research project.


(2) Demonstrate their understanding of the important contemporary literature on the chosen topic.


(3) Demonstrate their ability to engage critically with the selected literature, through the construction and defence of philosophical arguments, in a way that displays independent thinking.

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.