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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
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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.

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