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Key questions in philosophy

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: A333
  • Level: 3
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Student reviews

This course was a joy to study. It covered lots of ground and is a genuinely great preparation for the next level - whether applying to the OU or elsewhere. Other universities really appreciate the hard-work put in by OU students and value OU degrees. I do wish there was the option of a full philosophy degree though.

Our tutor was brilliant - very supportive and knowledgeable. It didn't seem to matter where my independent research took me - he always understood exactly what I was talking about or reading. It's a very good continuation from A222, though the higher expectations are immediately evident. I have to say thanks to the Open University - you helped me to find something I loved doing and I'll definitely be back.

Gareth Paterson

Course starting: October 2015

Review posted: February 2017

I absolutely loved this module. It covers a diverse range of topics(death, rationality, war, action) in good depth. It is similar to A222 in that each topic is given 4-5 weeks and different views on it are given.

I particularly enjoyed the final essay - there is no exam, and instead a 3000 TMA is submitted. Freedom was given to define a given question narrowly, effectively allowing you to create your own question. You get the chance to practice oral presentations, as TMA03 asks you to submit an audio recording which summaries your TMA. Also, you can develop research skills with the independent reading and tasks.

I was very satisfied with the quality of the textbooks and the online materials. It is clear, but demanding. I would advise completing A222 before this module as it builds on the skills and follows a similar format.

Overall - great, best module I have taken with OU thus far.

Angela O'Sullivan

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: May 2016

If you enjoyed A222, I predict that you'll enjoy A333. It's in a similar format, but with different topics, some more challenging ideas and an element of 'independent study', in which you are directed to read specific papers from the OU Library. The independent study papers are from the more clearly-written end of the spectrum of philosophical writing, so although not easy reads, they make sense on careful reading. It's important to give attention to these papers and not skip over them, as you need to refer to them in the assignments.

The other difference from A222 is that the final assessment is by a 3,000 word essay. The essay question is quite broadly written, and your first task is to narrow it down to something specific. This gives you the opportunity to write in some depth about something that has caught your interest, in a way that is all your own. I found this the most rewarding part of the module. If you get absorbed in this task, you may want to spend a lot of time on it, but otherwise, A333 takes about the same amount of study time as A222.

If you haven't studied A222, I advise caution. Although A333 doesn't substantially build on the content of A222, you do need the skills developed in A222.

Kate Graham

Course starting: October 2014

Review posted: August 2015

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.

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