Dissertation Seminar - Philosophy of Social Science

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof. Kate Vredenburgh


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.

This year, some or all of this teaching will take place online.

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.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

Total students 2020/21: 32

Average class size 2020/21: 14

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Non-credit bearing

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication