You will study three core Philosophy modules:
Research Skills and Methods
This module consists of ten sessions of core skills, which will include generic research skills as well as looking at discipline-specific topics.
Philosophy of Health and Happiness
The module will examine debates at the forefront of current research in the philosophy of health and happiness. You will explore conceptual problems (e.g. what ‘health’ and ‘disease’ are) and question contemporary lifestyle issues (for instance, regarding how health, happiness and meaning relate, as well as whether there is a correlation between income and life satisfaction). You will also be asked to consider how technological advances (such as those in genetics) are changing these understandings.
God, Freedom and the Meaning of Life
The module provides an introduction to a number of philosophical issues that have a relevance to the philosophy of religion, such as: Are there sound arguments for/against the existence of God? Is freedom compatible with God's foreknowledge? Why is there something rather than nothing? Is life meaningless without God? Can there be morality without God?
Your remaining three modules are optional. Options available within Philosophy typically include:
Global Ethics I
This module aims to introduce you to key concepts and debates in ethics, with some focus on global ethics. First, we will explore several prominent traditions in ethical theory; next we will apply these normative ethical theories to concrete ethical questions. In investigating these theories and applications, you will be encouraged to question your presumptions about the nature of ethics and moral values. The module also develops critical reasoning and argumentative skills through philosophical discussion and writing. The theoretical tools of analysis and argument can be applied in all aspects of global ethics.
This module introduces you to the increasing number of dilemmas in bioethics that cross national boundaries and transcend domestic regulation. Bioethical dilemmas, whether arising from scientific and technological developments or from the research practices of pharmaceutical companies, raise issues which cannot be effectively addressed at national or regional levels. Bioethics clearly calls for global solutions to what are global dilemmas and you will be introduced to some of the key bioethical issues which arise in the contemporary global context.
Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
This module covers a range of advanced topics in the philosophy of mind and empirically-informed philosophy of psychology. In any given year, some of the following topics will be addressed in detail: the mind-body problem; perception; theories of intentionality; differences between human and animal cognition; theories of emotion; accounts of cognitive rationality; the relationship between ownership and authorship of thoughts; introspection, neuroscience and free will; and the narrative view of the self.
You may also choose to do one module outside your main discipline as one of your optional modules. This would be chosen from other Arts and Humanities distance learning programmes such as those offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, the Ironbridge Institute for Cultural Heritage or the Shakespeare Institute.
Please note that the optional modules listed on the website for this programme are intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.