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PHIL491 Dissertation

A single-semester paper representing half of PHIL 490 (normally taken by approved students in the second semester and again in the first semester of the following year).

In consultation with a primary and a secondary advisor, students pursue independent research for a full year, which culminates in a thesis of 12,000-16,000 words on a topic of the student's choice. The thesis is an original work in philosophical scholarship. In a clear and polished presentation, it should demonstrate a high level of rigour in argument, awareness of relevant literature and relevant technical competence. The project requires substantial preparation, discipline and organisation. Successful completion is an important research qualification for further study in philosophy and related fields. For students entering professional life, it marks an exceptional degree of accomplishment and offers evidence of skills employers value.

Paper title Dissertation
Paper code PHIL491
Subject Philosophy
EFTS 0.2500
Points 60 points
Teaching period(s) First Semester, Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,614.50
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $6,400.00

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Prerequisite
72 PHIL points at 300-level or above
Limited to
BA(Hons), PGDipArts
Contact
michael.lebuffe@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
All permanent staff
Paper Structure
Students meet with prospective advisers at the beginning of the semester. They develop topics and theses, in a tentative form, by the third week and give a brief oral presentation to the whole department. Students propose and arrange work schedules with advisers. Meetings, with discussion of new written work, typically take place biweekly. At the beginning of the second semester, students give a more substantial oral presentation to the department. It is expected that a complete draft of the project will be finished by the end of April, leaving a month for final revisions.
Textbooks
Relevant texts will vary with student projects.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the dissertation, students should be able to
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a range of current positions on their topic
  • Critically evaluate these positions
  • Offer a well-developed oral argument for their own position
  • Write clear, effective and detailed argument
  • Demonstrate competence in technical skills related to their topic, which may include formal logic, textual interpretation, bibliographical, archival and foreign-language skills
  • Demonstrate mastery of relevant literature, which will include works of philosophy. For interdisciplinary project students, the literature will include work in other fields as well, such as political science, economics, physics, biology, religion or history
Eligibility
Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission. View more information about departmental permission.

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Timetable

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
None

Second Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
None

A single-semester paper representing half of PHIL 490 (normally taken by approved students in the second semester and again in the first semester of the following year).

In consultation with a primary and a secondary advisor, students pursue independent research for a full year, which culminates in a thesis of 12,000-16,000 words on a topic of the student's choice. The thesis is an original work in philosophical scholarship. In a clear and polished presentation, it should demonstrate a high level of rigour in argument, awareness of relevant literature and relevant technical competence. The project requires substantial preparation, discipline and organisation. Successful completion is an important research qualification for further study in philosophy and related fields. For students entering professional life, it marks an exceptional degree of accomplishment and offers evidence of skills employers value.

Paper title Dissertation
Paper code PHIL491
Subject Philosophy
EFTS 0.2500
Points 60 points
Teaching period(s) First Semester, Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,646.75
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $6,528.00

^ Top of page

Prerequisite
72 PHIL points at 300-level or above
Limited to
BA(Hons), PGDipArts
Eligibility
Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission.
View more information about departmental permission.
Contact
michael.lebuffe@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
All permanent staff.
Paper Structure
Students meet with prospective advisers at the beginning of the semester. They develop topics and theses, in a tentative form, by the third week and give a brief oral presentation to the whole department. Students propose and arrange work schedules with advisers. Meetings, with discussion of new written work, typically take place biweekly. At the beginning of the second semester, students give a more substantial oral presentation to the department. It is expected that a complete draft of the project will be finished by the end of April, leaving a month for final revisions.
Textbooks
Relevant texts will vary with student projects.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the dissertation, students should be able to
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a range of current positions on their topic
  • Critically evaluate these positions
  • Offer a well-developed oral argument for their own position
  • Write clear, effective and detailed argument
  • Demonstrate competence in technical skills related to their topic, which may include formal logic, textual interpretation, bibliographical, archival and foreign-language skills
  • Demonstrate mastery of relevant literature, which will include works of philosophy. For interdisciplinary project students, the literature will include work in other fields as well, such as political science, economics, physics, biology, religion or history

^ Top of page

Timetable

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
None

Second Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
None