Dissertation Seminar - Philosophy of Science

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Roman Frigg


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Philosophy of Science. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course is intended to develop the ability to construct sharp analytic philosophical arguments and to write structured philosophical essays. It will help students to choose the topic of their dissertation, help with how to go about researching the topic and how to write the dissertation (by presentation and criticism of preliminary drafts). The course starts with reviewing the structure and content of an MSc dissertation in Philosophy, and the grading scheme used for marking dissertations.This is followed by presentations by students on topics intended as possible topics of their dissertations. The presentations will be extensively discussed in the seminar by fellow students and in subsequent private meetings with the seminar leader. In Lent Term each student will read two former MSc dissertations with topics close to the interest of the student, and each student will report in the seminar on the merits and weaknesses of the selected works, trying to understand why the chosen dissertations received the marks they did. In the final part of the seminar students will again give presentations on the progress of their research.


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

Formative coursework

A number of assignments - at least one per term - whose completion will aid the research into and writing of the dissertation will be set.


The course is not assessed.

Key facts

Department: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

Total students 2018/19: 17

Average class size 2018/19: 17

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Non-credit bearing

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information