BASS Social Anthropology and Criminology

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Applied Philosophy, Special Topic

Unit code PHIL20032
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


All too often in philosophy, we pay insignificant attention to the real world concerns that our philosophical investigations apply to. This course addresses this lack by concentrating directly on ways in which philosophy reaches out to issues of social significance, for example the ways in which philosophy can shed light on social oppression and inequality. A range of important areas may be covered and the intention is that the precise range will modulate annually, but they will include issues in the philosophy of race, feminist philosophy, and other philosophical examination of inequality.

The course will introduce students to the ways in which philosophy engages with contemporary matters of social importance, with a particular emphasis on the ways in which traditional philosophical problems arise in our understanding of inequality. A particular aim of the course is to introduce students to areas of applied philosophy that are not restricted simply to applied ethics, but bring a wider range of philosophical issues to bear (epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, etc).


The course aims to:

- Guide students' development in thinking philosophically about real world problems.
- Familiarise students with some important writings in contemporary applied philosophy.
- Enhance students' ability to present and discuss philosophical issues orally, and their ability to present philosophical ideas and arguments in written work.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course unit, students will be able to demonstrate:

- Knowledge and understanding of some core texts and ideas in contemporary applied philosophy.
- The ability to critically engage with these texts and ideas.
- The ability to present and discuss orally the examined ideas.
- The ability to present in writing clear, cogent, sustained philosophical arguments, based on relevant background research.

Teaching and learning methods

Weekly lecture and tutorial.

Please note the information in scheduled activity hours are only a guidance and may change.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Group/team working
Oral communication
Problem solving
Written communication

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 67%
Written assignment (inc essay) 33%

Feedback methods

The School of Social Sciences (SoSS) is committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to students on their academic progress and achievement, thereby enabling students to reflect on their progress and plan their academic and skills development effectively. Students are reminded that feedback is necessarily responsive: only when a student has done a certain amount of work and approaches us with it at the appropriate fora is it possible for us to feed back on the student’s work. The main forms of feedback on this course are written feedback responses to assessed essays and exam answers.

We also draw your attention to the variety of generic forms of feedback available to you on this as on all SoSS courses. These include: meeting the lecturer/tutor during their office hours; e-mailing questions to the lecturer/tutor; asking questions from the lecturer (before and after lecture); presenting a question on the discussion board on Blackboard; and obtaining feedback from your peers during tutorials.

Recommended reading


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

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