BA Philosophy / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Philosophy of Psychology

Course unit fact file
Unit code PHIL30362
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course will be concerned with questions about conscious experience, theories of perception, the modularity of mind, simulation theory, and the individuation of the senses. Questions include:

  • Is the mind made up of task-specific modules?
  • Can we perceive things of which we have no conception?
  • How do we know what other people are thinking?
  • How do we distinguish visual from auditory experience?

Philosophy of psychology draws on a range of empirical results in psychology, and this course will introduce students to scientific evidence that has a bearing on these philosophical issues.


The course aims to:

  • Help students to engage with some of the central problems in philosophy of psychology;
  • Enhance students' power of critical analysis, reasoning and independent thought, and their ability to bring those powers to bear on important philosophical issues;
  • Familiarise students with some of the most interesting and provocative texts in contemporary work on philosophy of psychology.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Knowledge and understanding of a range of central 20th century texts on philosophy of psychology;
  • Some in-depth critical knowledge of the most important modern and contemporary theories in the areas covered by the course;
  • The ability to critically reflect on those theories, and to articulate and defend their own views.

Teaching and learning methods

There will be a mixture of lectures and tutorials.

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

Text for the course will be made available online.

Study hours

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

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Graham Stevens Unit coordinator

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