The details
Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
03 April 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

Are some things beyond the limits of thought or human understanding? Are some insights ineffable or inexpressible? Is it self-contradictory to suppose that there are? Our aim in this module is to take up these questions through close readings of Kierkegaard, whose enigmatic works famously entertain such notions as 'the absurd', 'the incomprehensible' and 'the Absolute Paradox'.

Module aims

The aims of this module are to:

  • To introduce and explore major themes in Kierkegaard.

  • To support students in a close reading of the core texts.

  • To advance understanding of philosophical issues surrounding the question of the limits of thought.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Acquire the knowledge and understanding to discuss major themes in Kierkegaard and relate these to wider philosophical debates.

  2. Write an extended essay on these themes, informed by these debates and showing independence of thought.

Module information

Our studies will revolve around four texts that Kierkegaard published in 1843 to 1844: Philosophical Fragments, Fear and Trembling, Repetition and The Concept of Anxiety.  Topics covered will include death, sin, moral exemplars, God, faith, tragedy, anxiety

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 1-hour seminar each week for 9 weeks.
  • One reading week with no seminars.

Discussion will be encouraged throughout.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay (4000 words)    100% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Daniel Watts, email:
Dr Dan Watts
PHAIS PG Queries:



External examiner

Dr Alexander Golob
King's College London
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 18 hours, 18 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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