Module Catalogue 2024/25

PHI1101 : Philosophical Approaches to the Humanities and Social Sciences

PHI1101 : Philosophical Approaches to the Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor David Rose
  • Owning School: School X
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Code Title
PHI1102Philosophical, Cultural and Theoretical Encounters
PHI1103Critical Reasoning
Co Requisite Comment

Revised as part of curriculum review and as a response to need for dedicated reasoning and critical thinking module for stage 1 philosophy students: a survey course of philosophical theories for various degrees, a technologically enhanced learning experience and a course to contribute to a possible Liberal Arts degree, It was felt this could only be achieved by a restructuring of the current one course into three components (PHI1101, PHI1102). This element will form the joint introduction to philosophical theories before students can stream into either a more advanced critical reasoning module (PHI1003) or an interdisciplinary collaborative project module (PHI1102). Philosophy students must do PHI1003. Other students have the choice.


The course aims to survey various philosophical theories to explanation and interpretation through the combination of an online archive of encyclopaedic introductions to thinkers and theories from across faculties and schools, and the application of these theories to fields of research and disciplines.

To introduce a wide range of basic theories which will be encountered throughout the three years of a degree programme in the humanities.

To encourage students to think reflectively about the assumptions and approaches appropriate to their disciplines.

Outline Of Syllabus

Module leaders and seminar leaders will determine content, but areas and theories will probably consist of:

Introduction to philosophical thinking
Scientific method, empiricism, Positivism,
Cultural Studies
Post structuralism, Deconstruction

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

The aim of the module is:

1.       to familiarize students with a selection of theories likely to be encountered in the human, cultural and social sciences (from a non-inclusive and non-exclusive list of scientific rationalism, hermeneutics, Marxism, structuralism, psychoanalysis, feminism...)
2.       to demonstrate the application of conceptual thinking to pertinent issues and topics
3.       to analyse the axiomatic presuppositions of accepted theoretical positions.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the module, students will:

1.       to develop critical thinking in relation to putative explanations in the human, cultural and social sciences
2.       to aid the transition from the dependent nature of secondary education to the independent nature of tertiary education through:
a.       fostering confidence in reading difficult texts
b.       guiding students in techniques in independent research and personal learning
c.       fostering confidence in group discussions and seminar participation
d.       developing essay planning techniques and writing skills

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials81:008:00The number is not fixed
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture31:003:00Introductory, mid and end lecture for the course given by module leader
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading104:0040:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities82:0016:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching131:0013:00Seminars
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Recorded material and guided self-study through blended online learning units will introduce key theories and seminars (K1) and reinforcement in seminars overseen by module leader (K2).

The main material will be encyclopaedic presentations of various thinkers and theories by current members of staff (a one-off commitment and revised periodically) from the unit but also across Schools and Faculties. These videos will remain accessible for all three years and act as a resource for students in future modules. The module leader in collaboration with all participants would decide on the plan of in person seminars, loosely following the above, which would use these provisions as a resource.

Weekly meetings between module leader and seminar leaders would involve debriefs and weekly panning. Given the fluid nature of the cohort, the flexibility to reflect current student interests in the seminars is important.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M25Essay plan (500 words). To help stage 1 students with structuring, referencing etc.
Essay1A75Application of a theory to an object of study, explaining clearly, showing how it is appropriate and critically examining its limits (1500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The professional skills assessments are set to instil good practice in seminar participation from stage 1 and to have students reflect on their practice.

The essay plan is to work as a scaffolding exercise for new stage 1 students to help them develop any skills needed for essay writing, such as planning, referencing etc.

The written essay (1500 words) demonstrates subject competence and evaluation how far they have met the learning objectives of the course.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.