Dissertation Seminar - Philosophy of Social Science

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof. J. McKenzie Alexander, LAK 5.01


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Philosophy of the Social Sciences. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The course is intended to develop the ability to make philosophical arguments and to write structured philosophical essays. It will serve to prepare students for research and writing their dissertation.  In Michaelmas term, the first few meetings will cover philosophical and argumentative writing, with a number of in-class exercises. Then we will discuss the structure and content of an MSc dissertation in Philosophy and the grading rubric used for marking dissertations. The remainder of Michaelmas term will cover possible thesis topics in the philosophy of social science, with group presentations.  In Lent term, seminars will cover topics that are chosen by MSc students for their theses.


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

Formative coursework

A number of assignments whose completion will aid the writing of the dissertation will be set over the course of MT and LT.


This course is not assessed.

Key facts

Department: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

Total students 2018/19: 22

Average class size 2018/19: 22

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Non-credit bearing

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication