BASS Politics and Sociology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Applied Philosophy

Course unit fact file
Unit code PHIL20032
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


In the current social, technological and political climate, new ethical dilemmas continue to appear and receive increasing attention from ethicists, policy makers, and the general public. The course will introduce students to the ways in which philosophy engages with contemporary matters of social and political importance, with a particular emphasis on the ways in which traditional philosophical problems arise in our understanding of discrimination and inequality, as well as contemporary issues in medical practices.

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 (philosophy of language, social and political philosophy, epistemology, 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

2 essays worth 50% each.

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

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Mihaela Popa-Wyatt Unit coordinator

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