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Student and tutor module reviews

Key questions in philosophy

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

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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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 A333. The survey was carried out in 2017.

86 students (a response rate of 29.1%) 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 94 78
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 89.3 75
The module provided good value for money 70.9 56
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 85.9 73
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 92.6 75
The learning outcomes of the module were clearly stated 90.5 76
I would recommend this module to other students 84.5 71
The module met my expectations 86.7 72
I enjoyed studying this module 86.9 73
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 82.1 69
Faculty comment: "The Module Team is delighted that respondents continue to value the teaching materials in this module, the support they receive from their tutors, and that the large majority found the workload manageable. We are also pleased that they continue to enjoy studying this module. We have noted that some would have liked more time for the additional mini-projects during the three review-weeks. The Module Team will try to address their concerns when reviewing the study calendar in the upcoming mid-term review. The Module Team will continue to keep both the module materials and the module description under review."
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