Philosophy MA/BSc/MA(SocSci)

Directed Individual Research/Dissertation PHIL4006P

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This option enables the student to study some philosophical topic of his or her choosing, and to engage in an individual research project under the guidance of a supervisor, resulting in an extended piece of philosophical writing. Single Honours students must write a dissertation in philosophy. Joint Honours students write a dissertation in philosophy if and only if they do not write a dissertation in their other subject.


Four hours of tutorial supervision at times to be arranged.


An essay of 5000-8000 words (100%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

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

To give the student the opportunity to pursue an individual research project in philosophy, under the guidance of a supervisor.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

Students should:

· identify a research topic which is viable within the constraints of time and length, and with adequate philosophical content;
· plan time effectively in order to meet the deadline for submission of the dissertation;
· independently use the library and other research sources effectively;
· present a well-organised final product that meets the highest scholarly standards of presentation, citation, referencing and editing;
· pursue the research independently;
· master a substantial amount of the existing philosophical literature on the topic;
· make a genuine contribution to the issue, whether by means of clarification, critical commentary or original argument.

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.