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Student and tutor module reviews

Exploring philosophy

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: A222
  • Level: 2

Student reviews

It is a well written course but quality of feedback depends largely on how your tutor perceives your work and style. Nigel Warburton's Essential Study Guide was a lot more helpful to get to grips with then tutor feedback alone, as it explained clearly the key concepts of philosophy and what good writing of it is about, hence once read the tutor comments made more sense rather then simply amount to cruel remarks. This book should be recommended in prepping for the module before the module begins.

There is certainly too many essays to fit into a small time frame considering how much time it takes to read any one piece of philosophy let alone what someone else wrote about philosophy and in addition to suggested exercises. There is no way to cover the whole field of philosophy anyway. I would not add more textbook or readings to bulk up the 4 topics chosen but instead give people the space to read and think and ponder before they write - most of us are doing this part time after all and philosophy is all about having the space and time to think properly.

I would recommend this course provided the workload changes. I was lucky enough to take a break half way and finished it a year on.

Course starting: October 2017

Review posted: September 2018

I loved this course. It made me think. The subjects discussed over the module were very engrossing and I got high marks in my TMAs, with a little less in my exam. I can't wait until the 3rd level module of Philosophy, but have to do English Literature, as choice, at the second level first before I'm able to do Philosophy again. I would recommend this course to anyone who likes to think about things such as religion, politics, morals, truth, knowledge etc. Great course!

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: April 2015

This was a really interesting course. Some topics were challenging, but in a really positive way! and you need to make sure that you have time to complete all of the reading. My tutor was excellent and really passionate and knowledgeable about the topic.
I would recommend this course.

Emma-Jayne Helen Bovey

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: May 2014

An excellent broad introduction to philosophy and a history of philosophical ideas.

The module sees how major themes in philosophy have been debated and developed from antiquity to the present, with plenty of direction for further study, particularly in the form of the philosophy anthology (set book).

Rather than being a history course per se, its crucial aspect is engaging with the themes and developing your own ideas on them, principally via the exercises in the 6 course books.

James Michael Henry

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: September 2013

This course is a very good introduction to philosophy and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

There is a lot to cover and not all areas can be included but the course makes a good job of bringing in key ideas and principles. It also gradually introduces you to how philosophy TMAs are written - a variation on the usual format.

I have previously studied Level 2 and 3 politics modules and some of the philosophy books complement the politics particularly well, especially ethics and, of course, political philosophy. I found the explanation of Kant was good, the more so because he is a difficult philosopher to grasp. The module can only give you a taster of his work (and others) but at least you are left with some idea of the basic theories.

I was a little apprehensive about the exam mainly because of the different style of answer expected in a philosophy paper but there were no surprises on the day. If you revise and practice answering questions, you will have no problem with the exam.

I have always made notes on each book as I go along and they were invaluable for the exam. Without notes I would have spent too much time re-reading and the pace of the course doesn't leave you with much free time.

My tutor was very good, helpful and I thought the TMA marking was fair and accurate; I hovered between 72 to 82 which was probably about right for me. TMAs were marked within about 10 days which was fine.

Course starting: October 2012

Review posted: August 2013

Brilliant Module, would recommend to anyone who wants to really have an intellectual challenge. I was blessed with having a very supportive and encouraging tutor.

Ian Johnston

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: April 2013

A very challenging and stimulating introduction to philosophy.

The course was well structured, the audios and books work well together to give you an overview of each topic and encourage you to do your own thinking. The workload is not too heavy, however some of the texts can be difficult to read; be prepared to read each one several times before you understand the arguments they contain. If you read something once and think you understand it, you are likely to have missed something important; I did on more than one occasion.

The support from my tutor was excellent, his comments and advice on my assignments helped to greatly improve my ability to structure and defend my arguments. I'm now seriously considering further study in philosophy as a result of taking this course.

I would thoroughly recommend this course for anyone with an interest in philosophy.

Michael Richardson

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: September 2012

Generally a good introduction to many of the major themes of philosophy, particularly issues such as personhood, the reliability and certainty of knowledge, the possibilities for an argument for God's existence etc.

If I have a criticism it was that the chapter on consciousness was brushed over. I would recommend this module to anyone who would like to put down the traditional learning skills and techniques that become quickly successful but rote and who wants to undertake study that requires more clarity of thought than learning.

Don't expect to end this module having acquired knowledge but be prepared to question every assumption you ever made. Thoroughly entertaining, stimulating and enhancing.

I was so impressed by the course that I have transferred to the MA in Philosophy, having previously met the entry requirements.

Ian Johnston

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: September 2012

This module was very interesting & thought provoking. It gave me the opportunity to engage in philosophy by doing it & develop a more critical approach to the concepts; beliefs underlying human thinking. The module also enabled me to find what areas of philosophy I would like to explore in more detail & my next module will focus on the philosophy of the mind.

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: September 2012

This is my fifth course with the OU. Very well structured and presented, with a nice balance of interactive/reading tasks.
This is not a potted history of Western Philosophy. You will learn the analytical skills required in philosophical activity, which are introduced and developed throughout the course.

This course has taught me to think differently. Philosophical activity requires discipline, patience and logic; transferable skills for all areas of life/study. It is also very interesting in it's own right, as there are underpinning principles discussed from all areas of Western society (ethics, science, politics etc).

Out of the six topic areas studied, I found two hard going, both involving mind/identity issues. Personal choice, but I was more interested in the practical rather than the metaphysical.

An enriching and worthwhile experience; highly recommended. My only disappointment is the lack of choice for further study at Level three.

Course starting: October 2011

Review posted: August 2012

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.


Module satisfaction survey

The figures below are taken from a survey of students who sat the exam/completed the end-of-module assessment for the October 2016 presentation of A222. The survey was carried out in 2017.

117 students (a response rate of 29.8%) responded to the survey covering what they thought of 10 aspects of the module.

Please note that if the percentage of students who responded to this module survey is below 30% and/or the number of responses is below 23 it means that only a small proportion of students provided feedback and their views as shown here may not be fully representative of all students who studied the module.

See this page for the full text of questions and more information about the survey.

% Count
Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of this module 90.5 105
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 86 98
The module provided good value for money 74.1 83
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 84.6 99
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 95.7 111
The learning outcomes of the module were clearly stated 92 104
I would recommend this module to other students 83.5 96
The module met my expectations 81.9 95
I enjoyed studying this module 82.6 95
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 86.1 99
Faculty comment: "We are pleased to see that, once again, the overall satisfaction with the quality of the module is over 90%, and that satisfaction with the teaching material is well above 95%. As an outcome of the module's Life Cycle Review, the Module Team will implement changes that will hopefully have an effect on students' evaluation of their workload and their evaluation of tutor support. Currently, 86.1% of students are satisfied with their workload, and 84% with support from their tutors. We aim to improve these percentages.
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