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Student and tutor module reviews

Issues in contemporary social and political philosophy

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: A851
  • Level: Postgraduate

Student reviews

A851 constitutes a smooth step-up in gear from A850 with greater opportunities for independent research, especially in respect of the end-of-year project.

In terms of subject-matter, Rawls seems to exercise a pervasive influence throughout; and the course represents an excellent introduction to the twin concepts of Liberalism and Communitarianism, neither of which was especially familiar to me at the outset.

As usual, tutorial support was of a very high order and thus A851 is another OU course to be recommended highly.

Stephen John Coote

Course starting: February 2012

Review posted: December 2012

Pro: A great course with excellent content. Demanding however - so the usual H&S caveat of required multiple readings of texts. The experience of the readings was par for the course, some of them were compelling and refreshing, others were excruciating but worth the effort. Overall a satisfying learning experience with no regrets in signing up for the year.

Con: Email forums had their moments, but were largely a disappointment. To work as a teaching/learning element the OU needs to completely re-assess just how these are to function. e.g. It might be taken as a given for a philosophy student to set out a position and to nail their colours one way or the other - but on the email forums this rarely happens - most students either lack the confidence to contribute or are simply content to 'lurk'.

Without pro-active academic leadership in pursuit of identified teaching outcomes, I doubt the full potential of the forums will even be discovered, let alone exploited. Perhaps better skills training for the academic moderators might be part of the way forward.

Gerald Dane

Course starting: February 2010

Review posted: December 2010

This felt like a very grown-up course, and was far more interesting than I would have imagined. I hope that it is very good grounding for A857, as it is all based around the one key text. Rawls may not have been my first choice for study (eg. when I completed my UG degree in Philosophy) but I am now a convert.

Course starting: February 2006

Review posted: December 2006

Interesting module, even if social and political philosophy isn't a favourite, with less spoon-feeding than A850, but should be quite easy to complete if you've done A850 and are willing to focus on this subject area.

Course starting: February 2003

Review posted: December 2004

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 February 2014 presentation of A851. The survey was carried out in 2014.

37 students (a response rate of 58.7%) 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 83.8 31
Overall, I am satisfied with my study experience 78.4 29
The module provided good value for money 64.9 24
I was satisfied with the support provided by my tutor/study adviser on this module 75.7 28
Overall, I was satisfied with the teaching materials provided on this module 83.8 31
The learning outcomes of the module were clearly stated 63.9 23
I would recommend this module to other students 75.7 28
The module met my expectations 73 27
I enjoyed studying this module 75.7 28
Overall, I was able to keep up with the workload on this module 77.8 28
Faculty comment: "The module team has noted the responses to the questionnaire; particularly the relatively poor results for the enjoyment of the module and whether or not it met expectations. This is one of the three modules for the MA, and the student feedback varies from year to year (the previous set of results, on the first module, were much better). We will look into making changes to improve student satisfaction in the remaining presentations of this module. These results will also inform our thinking in our writing a replacement for the current MA; due to begin in 2016."
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