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.
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
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