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.

Epistemology PHIL5067

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

In this course we will critically assess a number of alternative theories of knowledge. We will also examine debates over scepticism, as well as covering disputes about the nature of epistemic justification.


2 lectures per week for 9 weeks, plus 4 tutorials. The course may not run every year. Options running this year are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





Two essays, equally weighted, each with a word limit of 2500 words.

Course Aims

The course aims to:

■ introduce students to a number of major issues in the Theory of Knowledge (Epistemology).

■ familiarize students with the main positions and arguments within each topic.

■ enable the students to deploy these arguments for themselves.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Critically engage with contemporary debates on the definition of knowledge;

■ Critically engage with contemporary accounts of scepticism about knowledge;

■ Explain and assess Internalist versus Externalist, and Foundationalist versus Coherentist Theories of Justification

■ Critically discuss approaches to the problem of induction.


Assessment for this course is at Masters Level.

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.