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Unit information: First Extended Essay in 2020/21

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Unit name First Extended Essay
Unit code PHIL30107
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Sticker
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts


Philosophy Extended Essay units allow students to undertake a project of independent study, in the course of which they will engage in extensive personal research into a philosophical question or topic of their choosing, subject to departmental approval. Students will discuss initial reading with a member of staff who is supervising the project, and then are expected to research the subject matter independently, periodically discussing progress with the supervisor, who will help the student shape his or her developing ideas. The student will be working towards the production of an essay of up to seven thousand words, of which the supervisor will read and comment with feedback upon a single draft.


To allow students to independently explore philosophical questions of personal interest, and to develop understanding of the issues involved to significant depth, as well as the writing skills associated with producing an independent piece of work of extended length.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of a chosen philosophical topic or issue.

2. Produce an extended piece of original work on this topic or issue of a standard appropriate to level H/6.

3. Demonstrate an advanced proficiency in developing their own arguments and ideas.

4. Display the ability to identify and work with appropriate secondary literature and/or original sources.

5. Work independently in producing an extended piece of research.

Teaching details

Personal reading and research, one-to-one virtual or in-person discussion meetings with the member of staff supervising the project, plus feedback on a single draft of the Extended Essay. Attendance at departmental research events (weekly research seminar + weekly work in progress seminars) to obtain a sense of what a good research project looks like, how to present research, and what sorts of questions and objections need to be addressed.

Assessment Details

An essay of up to 7000 words (ILOs 1-5)

Reading and References