Dissertation Seminar - Philosophy and Public Policy

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Susanne Burri


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

Aim: This course is intended to develop the ability to write a structured philosophical essay and serves to prepare students in the MSc Philosophy and Public Policy for dissertation writing.


10 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT.

The course starts with a five hour module on argumentative writing in philosophy (weeks 1-5).  This is followed by three hours on researching philosophy journals, referencing, and the art of writing a dissertation (weeks 6, 8, and 10).  During the last six weeks, students will do presentations of their prospective thesis work (two hours per week).  In the remaining weeks, students will (i) take on training sessions across the School that will benefit their careers, and (ii) talk one-on-one to the course leader about their thesis research (1 hour).


Formative coursework

Three essays of 500 words for Philosophy and Argumentative Writing (weeks 2, 3 and 4) 

Essay of 500 words to explore your dissertation topic due in the first week of Lent Term

Essay of 2000 words due in the first week of Summer Term

Optional draft of 6000 words due at the end of July  

Indicative reading



This course is not assessed.

Key facts

Department: Philosophy

Total students 2014/15: 39

Average class size 2014/15: 13

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Non-assessed

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication