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It is designed for those seeking to explore Philosophy for personal development, for enjoyment, and for those seeking a solid preparation for degree level study in the subject.
Throughout the course you will be encouraged to think critically about a wide range of philosophical issues. In doing so you will develop an understanding of the discipline and develop your ability to think clearly and to argue effectively. Philosophy is a hugely rewarding subject. It will help you to develop intellectual skills that will enhance your personal life and be valuable in your career.
The course will provide the student with a Level 3 Diploma in Philosophy made up of ten modules, and concludes with an online examination. Materials can be studied online or students have the option to have the printed materials delivered for an additional charge of £65.
Students will expect to derive the following benefits from the diploma course:
This module looks at central traditional and contemporary disputes in moral philosophy. People are commonly moral relativists but is this view defensible? The consequences of our actions are often thought to be morally relevant, but are they the only consideration? In this module we will look at alternative answers to these questions.
In this module what we have learnt from the first module is applied to animal ethics, environmental ethics, and the controversy surrounding abortion. Ethical issues are always in the news and in this module we develop the philosophical skills needed to assess them.
Here we look at the social contract and the extent to which we are obliged to obey our rulers. This takes us to classical texts by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, and important contemporary texts by John Rawls and Robert Nozick. We also consider social justice and why we should care about inequality. Should we, as Nozick thinks, accept any amount of inequality so long as people have well protected property rights?
What is the basis of our belief in an external world? Can we be certain about anything? In epistemology, or the theory of knowledge, we consider the reliability of our perceptions. We draw on Descartes, Locke, Russell, Berkeley, and Kant to ask whether a mind-independent world really exists. We also look at the major contemporary contribution to epistemology made by John McDowell in his book Mind and World.
Are we composed of mind and body are we merely physical things? How can you be sure that other people have minds? Are you the same person today that you were last year? These issues (mind-body dualism, the problem of other minds, and personal identity) are considered on this module, drawing on the works of Descartes, Davidson, and Wittgenstein.
In this module we consider two central themes in metaphysics. First we look at the problem of universals. Individual objects can be red, hard, and so on. People can be brave or good. But do such things as redness, hardness, courage, and goodness exist? Then we consider freedom of will. We appear to freely decide what to do from moment to moment. We make plans and try to execute them. But is free will merely an illusion?
A large part of the philosopher's task is to examine arguments. It can be important to have a grasp of an argument's underlying logic in order to assess its merits. This module introduces some of the techniques logicians use to uncover the logic behind what people say.
Does God exist? Doesn't the existence of natural disasters show that God is a myth? Is there life after death? On this module we consider these religious issues drawing on arguments in, among others, Descartes, Kant, and Aquinas.
What is the value of art? Is it simply a matter of personal taste or are there objective reasons for liking a painting, sculpture, or novel? Should art be assessed according to its moral value or is art independent of morality? We look at these issues in light of long-standing debates in aesthetics.
In this module we draw on earlier modules in epistemology and metaphysics and religion to consider what history is. Is history merely a series of events or does it have larger meaning? What causes historical change? Is it individuals or larger changes in social structure? We draw on Hegel, Marx, and others to address these questions.
Previous Knowledge Required
No previous knowledge or experience is essential to study this course.
12 Months Tutor Support. Tutors are available to answer student questions relating to course materials and to comment on the assignments that are sent in to state how well students have understood the unit content.
Final online multiple choice examination counts for 100% of the final grade. Throughout the course there are ten SAPs (coursework) and a thesis. The course clearly states that this is not mandatory to complete as it has no bearing on the final grade. We do suggest that students complete these as this will not only assist them in examination preparation but also will give the student the skill set should they wish to continue their studies (continuous professional development) at a higher level.
This Level 3 Diploma in Philosophy is Quality Assured by OLQA. Upon successful completion of the course you will receive certification awarded by Oxford College. The qualification does not carry UCAS points but is recognised by employers and some universities as a level 3 qualification. For entry into university students will need to check the relevant university’s entry requirements to see if they will accept a Level 3 Diploma in place of A Levels / UCAS points.