Staff member? Login here


Course overview

(MA) Master of Arts
University of Essex
University of Essex
Colchester Campus

External Examiners

Dr Joseph Schear
Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 PY981-7-FY / PY983-7-FY / PY984-7-FY / PY985-7-FY Core with Options 80 Core with Options
02 Philosophy option(s) from list Optional 40 Optional Optional
03 Philosophy option(s) from list Optional 40 Optional Optional
04 Philosophy option(s) from list Optional 20 Optional Optional

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

To provide students with a background in philosophy, as well as those with a variety of other backgrounds in humanities and social sciences, with a rigorous grounding in some of the principal thinkers and currents in European philosophy, from Kant to the present.

To offer the opportunity, for students who wish to do so, to study developments in critical social theory.

To offer the opportunity, for students who wish to do so, to explore the dialogue between philosophy and psychoanalysis, which has been a prominent feature of European philosophy over the last century.

To develop students capacities for independent thought and critical reflection.

To develop in students the research skills appropriate to the advanced study of philosophy, in particular through the writing of the MA Dissertation, thus providing them with the basis for further progression to a doctoral degree (subject to a pass at a minimum of 60 on the dissertation).

The outcomes listed below represent the minimum which might be expected of a masters level student.

It is the intention of the School that the majority of students on the MA will achieve significantly more.

Details of the standards expected for MA work at pass level and at distinction level can be found in the Graduate Handbook produced annually by the School of Philosophy and Art History.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

C: Practical skills

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:

D: Key skills

Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods:


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: