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Major (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Philosophy (BA)


  • Course Outline
  • Course Structure
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Title Philosophy (BA)
Course Code B1356
Study Level Bachelor (Undergraduate)
Organisational Unit Creative Media, Arts and Design
Academic Contacts

Academic Chair: Dr Anne Schwenkenbecher | Email: A.Schwenkenbecher@murdoch.edu.au | Tel: 9360 6328

Qualification Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy
Duration 3 years full-time or part-time equivalent
Availability Murdoch campus (internal)
Murdoch campus (external)
Description Philosophy is the foundation of all other disciplines. It focuses on the very scope and limits of human understanding and deals with the most fundamental knowledge of the world and ourselves. All systematic enquiry is ultimately grounded in philosophy. It is the art of clear thinking, the ability to address the most fundamental questions in life and an understanding of how to revise our conceptual frameworks in order to elicit change in the world, which set up philosophy students to become competent thinkers, leaders, and innovators who make a real impact. The Philosophy program at Murdoch introduces students to the major strands of philosophical thought as well as offering three special focus areas: ethics and political philosophy, 20th century European philosophy, and history of metaphysics.
The Bachelor of Arts at Murdoch is a degree unlike any other in Australia. It embraces new directions in teaching and practice-based learning to train the thinkers and researchers of the 21st century. So many of the biggest and most vital issues we face today are about human society and the human condition. How can we understand who we are, how we want to live, or what kind of society we want to create, without the insights, knowledge and skills provided by the humanities? Our degree is different because we teach our students to put these into practice in a way that is recognised and valued by employers. Our graduates are empowered to be the agile and creative thinkers who will thrive in a rapidly changing world. They are able to think creatively, communicate effectively, manage projects, exercise highly-developed analytical and interpersonal skills, and they possess an in-depth knowledge of contemporary societal issues and trends. These are professional skills which are recognised and valued universally. In short, you can study what you love and get a job too!
Admission Requirements: Onshore course offerings As per normal undergraduate admission requirements

English competence.
Special Requirements There may be a reduction of choice of units if completing this course in the external mode.
Major Learning Outcomes Learning Outcomes
[1] Demonstrate substantive knowledge of more than one area of philosophical enquiry and of a wide variety of historical and contemporary philosophical texts.
[2] Design and manage self-directed research projects of increasing complexity in accordance with the methodological and ethical conventions of the discipline.
[3] Construct well-reasoned arguments for or against philosophical positions in oral and written form.
[4] Interpret, translate and apply philosophical concepts and skills to a wide range of practical problems and societal questions.
[5] Recognise and practice ethical discourse on complex or controversial issues in a reasoned and respectful manner.
Course Learning Outcomes Students will:

LO 01 Possess broad and coherent knowledge of the content, theoretical perspectives, research methods and practices of a discipline in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
LO 02 Design and manage self-directed projects of increasing sophistication involving both independent inquiry and collaborative work.
LO 03 Construct critically reflective arguments that identify, analyse and evaluate complex issues, texts and data in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
LO 04 Persuasively communicate complex information, concepts and problems through clear and accurate written work, creative artefacts and verbal presentations.
LO 05 Recognise and practice well-developed interpersonal skills and ethical practice in collaboration with people from diverse backgrounds.
LO 06 Develop innovative and imaginative approaches to the application of knowledge and skills in the arts, humanities and social sciences to a range of practical tasks and experiences.
Employment Prospects Philosophy develops critical faculties, broadens intellectual horizons, enhances critical thinking abilities and fine-tunes writing skills. It provides excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers where analysis and communication are important. The skills students gain will be directly applicable in areas including policy development, research and evaluation, project design and coordination, change management, administration roles in state, federal and local government, online learning development and technology, journalism and media, professional writing, equal opportunity, access/transition to education programs and the not-for-profit sector - just to name a few. By combining Philosophy with vocationally-based degrees such as Law, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Psychology, Theology, Education, Theatre and Drama, and even Commerce and Economics, students can pursue a specific career with added intellectual focus, further enhancing their graduate prospects.
Recommended Double Majors English and Creative Writing; History; Law; Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies
Recommended Minors Creative Writing; Modern History; Social Justice in Contemporary Culture
Excluded Minors Ethics; Philosophy
Main research areas ethics, political philosophy, environmental philosophy, philosophy of economics, applied ethics, hermeneutics, metaphysics, phenomenology, history of ideas
Languages and Writing Skills Philosophy students are strongly encouraged to include a writing unit in their selection of a secondary area of study. It is also recommended that students consider studying a language other than English, with Indonesian and Japanese available at Murdoch within the Bachelor of Arts.
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.

Course Structure - 72 credit points

Course Core - 24 credit points

100 Level Units - 9 credit points

Spine Unit - 3 credit points

MSP100 Career Learning: Managing Your Career - 3 points
MURDOCH: S1-external, S2-external

Course Core Units - 6 credit points

ART101 Coming into Community - 6 points
MURDOCH: S1-internal (quota of 112 places) (closed), S1-external, S2-internal, S2-external


ART102 Inventing the Future - 6 points
Not available this year

200 Level Units - 15 credit points

Spine Units - 6 credit points

Select from the following:

MSP200 Building Enterprise Skills - 3 points
MURDOCH: S1-external, S2-external

MSP201 Real World Learning - 3 points
MURDOCH: S1-external, S2-external, SUM-external, W-external, Y-external

ART208 Presenting in Public: Writing and Performing for Professional Contexts - 3 points
MURDOCH: S2-internal

ART325 Professional Placement - 3 points
MURDOCH: S1-internal

AIS308 Working with Indigenous Communities: Internship - 3 points
MURDOCH: S1-internal

COD303 Preparing for Professional Community Practice - 3 points
MURDOCH: S2-internal, S2-external

POL340 Public Policy Internship - 6 points
MURDOCH: S2-internal, S2-external

AST384 Asian Studies Project - 3 points
MURDOCH: AU7-external, S1-external, W-external

Course Core Units - 9 credit points

ART201 Global Citizenship - 3 points
MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external, S2-internal, S2-external

ART202 The Weight of Data - 3 points
MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external, S2-internal, S2-external

BAR200 Developing Research Skills and Methods - 3 points
MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external, S2-internal, S2-external

Major Units - 24 credit points

Options - 24 credit points

Select from any of the available Majors, Co-Majors or Minors

Major Structure - 24 credit points

100 Level Units - 6 credit points

Core Units - 6 credit points

PHL130 Introduction to Philosophy - 3 points
MURDOCH: S2-internal, S2-external

PHL131 Critical and Creative Thinking - 3 points
MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external

200 Level Units - 15 credit points

Core Units - 9 credit points

PHL206 Ethics, Responsibility and Justice - 3 points
MURDOCH: UA3-internal, UA3-external

PHL217 Meaning and Interpretation - 3 points
MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external

PHL222 Science, Power, Knowledge - 3 points
MURDOCH: S2-internal, S2-external

Specified Electives - 6 credit points

Select from the following:

PHL210 Applied Ethics: Environment, Animals and Society - 3 points
MURDOCH: S2-internal, S2-external

PHL204 Philosophy, Politics, Economics - 3 points
Not available this year

PHL205 Metaphysics: Conceptual Engineering - 3 points
Not available this year

PHL209 Artificial Minds vs Real Thoughts - 3 points
Not available this year

PHL216 Wellbeing and the Good Life - 3 points
MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external

PHL207 Existentialism - 3 points
MURDOCH: S2-internal, S2-external

PHL221 Film and Philosophy - 3 points
Not available this year

300 Level Units - 3 credit points

Core Units - 3 credit points

PHL377 Philosophy in Practice - 3 points
MURDOCH: S2-internal, S2-external

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