Dissertation Seminar - Philosophy of Science

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Roman Frigg


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

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.

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

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.

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: 19

Average class size 2020/21: 9

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Non-credit bearing

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information