Course Overview

Night Sky

‌The relation between values and knowledge is a central concern for any society. At present, it is widely assumed that the pursuit of knowledge is valuable only to the degree that it has measurable practical benefits as an outcome. Our MA programme offers a context for detailed consideration of this assumption. We identify and question the issues involved in it at deeper levels of analysis than are available through ordinary discussion.

This high level of critical scrutiny is made possible through the programme’s broad philosophical perspective - engaging with questions arising in other disciplines also. More specifically, our programme provides an in-depth study of different forms of values in terms of both their cognitive basis and their relation to other areas of knowledge and activity. We also consider the way in which knowledge has been defined and theorized since the Enlightenment. The programme combines historical perspectives and contemporary critical debates so as to provide a fund of analytic and argumentative skills that are advantageous for further work in philosophy or for competing in the job market. A notable feature of the programme is that students are given the opportunity to organize a peer-reviewed international graduate conference. In so doing, students of the programme engage in knowledge exchange with their international peers.

Scholarships Available
Find out about our Postgraduate Scholarships here.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System. Applications are welcome from students whose primary degree was in Philosophy or a cognate subject.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have or expect to obtain a grade of an overall Second Class Honours, Grade 2 (H2:2) or higher with a Second Class Honours, Grade 1 (H2:1) in Philosophy in their first degree. Applications are welcome from students whose primary degree was in Philosophy or a cognate subject.


Additional Requirements

Duration

1 year, full-time; 2 years, part-time

Next start date

September 2020

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

12

Closing Date

Please view offer rounds website

NFQ level

Mode of study

Taught

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

Course code

1MVK1, full-time | 1MVK2, part-time

Course Outline

Full-time

The full-time programme is completed over one academic year.  Students must take modules and complete a minor dissertation to the value of 90 ECTS in total.

Part-time
  • Students must take modules and complete a minor dissertation to the value of 90 ECTS in total over two years
  • Students must attain 30 ECTS in year 1 to progress to year 2
  • Students must attain 60 ECTS in year 2.

The range of modules on offer may vary from year to year depending on staff availability

Sample Modules

Research Methods CORE 10 ECTS

Philosophy seminar: participation and management CORE 10 ECTS

Dissertation CORE 30 ECTS

Political Values in the Modern World OPTIONAL 10 ECTS

Moral Reasoning OPTIONAL 10 ECTS

The Philosophy of Emotion OPTIONAL 10 ECTS

Knowledge and Value in Modernity OPTIONAL 10 ECTS

Environmental Aesthetics OPTIONAL 10 ECTS

Ethics and Artificial Intelligence OPTIONAL 10 ECTS

Cultural Philosophy of Globalisation OPTIONAL 10 ECTS

Phenomenology of Art and Culture OPTIONAL 10 ECTS

 

 
COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Core modules

PI6104 Research Methods –  Dr.Heike Felzmann

This course will support students in developing advanced research skills in philosophy. Students will develop familiarity and competence with the advanced use of library resources and electronic databases relevant to philosophy research and will be introduced to the use of reference management programmes. They will discuss basic elements of advanced philosophical writing and will be supported throughout the different stages of developing their MA thesis. The module will comprise some on-line discussions via Blackboard.

 PI504.I Philosophy Seminar: Participation and Management - Dr. Tsarina Doyle

This module allows students to do a substantial presentation of their research at discipline level, and to receive training and experience in both chairing seminars and contributing to them. Assessment is based on the presented paper in semester 1 or 2

PI6106 Dissertation

Each student will write a 15,000-word dissertation, based on research into a topic of their choice, and supervised by a member of staff in Philosophy.

Optional Modules

PI6103 Knowledge and Value in Modernity – Dr. Tsarina Doyle

This module will examine the issues of Value and Knowledge in the historical context of Modernity.    Attention will be given to such issues as the character of human subjectivity, the relation between mind and world, objectivity, the status of natural science and human values, and the character of modern culture.   A range of modern philosophers will be discussed, including Hume, Kant and Nietzsche.    Attention will also be given to the intersections between modern and contemporary arguments.

PI6110 Ethics and Artificial Intelligence – Dr. Heike Felzmann

Artificial intelligence technologies have evolved dramatically in recent years, impacting on many areas of human life. Societal responses to these developments have ranged from enthusiastic optimism to deep suspicion. The module will explore prominent ethical issues arising in relation to the design, use and societal impact of Artificial Intelligence. Topics addressed in the module include Philosophy of Technology, Value Sensitive Design, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), Privacy and consent, Contextual integrity, Transparency and explainable AI, Trust and Trustworthiness, Datafication, Algorithmic surveillance, Algorithmic Bias, Autonomous artificial agents and responsibility, and Human replacement.

PI6102 Political Values in the Modern World  – Dr. Richard Hull

This course will look at the ways in which political values interact with the modern world.   It will begin with an introduction to central political and ethical theories along with exploration of key distinctions that tend to be relied upon, whether implicitly or explicitly.   It will then focus on current issues in political theory, concentrating on themes such as justice, equality, freedom, toleration and genetics.  It will look at how these themes are contested in modern diverse democracies.

PI6108 Environmental Aesthetics   – Dr. Gerald Cipriani

This module aims to provide students with an insightful understanding and critical grasp of environmental issues in relation to aesthetic values. The module will draw from a variety of philosophical and cultural traditions East-West to explore aesthetic conceptions of nature or the environment at large. Those include beauty, the sublime, the picturesque, the wilderness, the environment and the idea of milieu.

PI6105 Moral Reasoning   – Dr. Heike Felzmann

Moral reasoning is conceptualised in fundamentally different ways, from being rational and principle-driven, to being based on intuition or affective processes, to being grounded in shared social practices.  In this course students will explore different approaches to moral reasoning in relation to both historical and contemporary authors, and address the relation between philosophical analysis and psychological and neuroscientific findings.

PI6101 The Philosophy of Emotion – Dr. Felix O’Murchadha

This course will explore emotion and feeling from a phenomenological perspective. Taking account of classical phenomenological texts and contemporary debates, this course will consist in a discussion of the nature of emotion, an analysis of specific emotions and finally an exploration of some broader themes with respect to emotion, specifically with respect to the constitution of the self and the nature personhood.

SPA442 Phenomenology of Art & Culture  – Dr. Gerald Cipriani

The module will explore phenomenological approaches to art and culture, focussing on Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Cassirer, and Adorno. Through this, participants will be familiarised with key texts, techniques and strategies of phenomenological analysis, central problematics, and issues which cross divides between different areas of cultural practice. The expertise gained will allow participants to develop more specialised doctoral studies in phenomenology of art and culture (and cognate areas) or develop skills which can inform related areas of philosophical doctoral studies such as ethics, and globalization.

PI6107 Cultural Philosophy of Globalization 
 – Dr. Gerald Cipriani

This module aims to provide students with an insightful understanding and critical grasp of ethical and aesthetic issues related to the phenomenon of globalization.

Modules for Full Time Course

Modules for Part Time Course

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

Credits
You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
Module
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Required PI6104: Research Methods


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This course will support students in developing advanced research skills in philosophy. Students will develop familiarity and competence with the advanced use of library resources and electronic data bases relevant to philosophy research and will be introduced to the use of reference management programmes. They will discuss basic elements of advance philosohical writing and will be supported throughout the different stages of developing their MA thesis
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Competently use library resources for advanced research in philosohy
  2. Manage their references by means of electronic reference management programmes
  3. Competently manage the research and writing of a larger piece of philosophical research (minor dissertation)
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (50%)
  • Department-based Assessment (50%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "The Research Student's Guide to Success" by Pat Cryer
    Publisher: Open University Press
  2. "Your Research Project: A Step by Step Guide for the First Time Researcher, Sage" by NIcholas Walliman
The above information outlines module PI6104: "Research Methods" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PI6106: Dissertation


15 months long | Credits: 30

Each student will write a dissertation of 15,000 words, based on research into a topic to be agreed upon in consultation with a member of staff in Philosophy. Students will submit proposals early in semester two, and will be appointed a supervisor.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Complete a large research project of 15,000 words which might serve as the basis for research at doctoral level
  2. Understand how to complete long-term research projects
  3. Complete research projects using standard conventions about citation, bibliography, sources, etc.
Assessments
  • Research (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "The Research Student's Guide to Success" by Pat Cryer
    Publisher: Open University Press
  2. "Your Research Project: A Step by Step Guide for the First time Research. Sage" by NIcholas Walliman
The above information outlines module PI6106: "Dissertation" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional PI6105: Moral reasoning


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Learning Outcomes
  1. tbc
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (50%)
  • Department-based Assessment (50%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
The above information outlines module PI6105: "Moral reasoning" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional PI6102: Political values in the modern world


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This course will look at the ways in which political values interact with the modern world. It will begin with an introduction to central political and ethical theories along with exploration of key distinctions that tend to be relied upon, whether implicitly or explicitly. It will then focus on current issues in political theory, concentrating on themes such as justice, equality, freedom, toleration, and genetics. it will look at how these themes are contested in modern diverse democracies.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. distinguish and understand different political concepts and theories
  2. distinguish and understand different ethical concepts and theories
  3. analyse the role of different political and ethical distinctions in practice
  4. analyse current national and global political issues in the light of 1,2 and 3
  5. effectively participate in class discussion and present work to peers
  6. successfully research and write an MA quality essay
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "A companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy" by Goodin & Petit (eds),
  2. "A companion to ethics" by Singer, P. (ed),
  3. "Contemporary Political Philosophy" by Kymlicka, W.
  4. "Liberals and communitarians" by Mulhall, S. & Swift A.,
  5. "Multicultural Citizensip" by Kymlicka, W.,
  6. "From Chance to Choice" by Buchanan, Brock, Daniels & Wikler,
The above information outlines module PI6102: "Political values in the modern world" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional PI504.I: Philosophy Seminar: Participation & Management


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

This module allows students to do a substantial presentation of their research at discipline level, and to receive training and experience in both chairing seminars and contributing to them.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the fundamentals of philosophical argumentation and analysis
  2. Organize and schedule seminars for invited speakers
  3. Formulate and present a piece of argumentation based on independent research
  4. Evaluate philosophical arguments in the context of peer-review
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "A rulebook for arguments" by Anthony Weston
    ISBN: 0872209547.
    Publisher: Hackett Pub.
  2. "Presenting at conferences, seminars, and meetings" by Kerry Shephard
    ISBN: 1412903432.
    Publisher: London ; SAGE Publications, 2005.
  3. "Essential tips for organizing conferences & events" by Fiona Campbell... [et al.]
    ISBN: 0749440392.
    Publisher: London ; Kogan Page, 2003.
The above information outlines module PI504.I: "Philosophy Seminar: Participation & Management" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional PI6110: Ethics and Artificial Intelligence


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Artifical intelligence technologies have evolved dramatically in recent years, impacting on many areas of human life. Societal responses to these developments have ranged from enthusiastic optimism to deep suspicion. The module will explore prominent ethical issues arising in relation to the design, use and societal impact of Artificial Intelligence. Topics addressed in the module include Philosophy of Technology, Value Sensitive Design, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), Privacy and consent, Contextual integrity, Transparency and explainable AI, Trust and Trustworthiness, Datafication, Algorithmic surveillance, Algorithmic Bias, Autonomous artificial agents and responsibility, and Human replacement.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify and summarise important ethical concerns related to the design, use and societal impact of Artificial Intelligence.
  2. Apply relevant theoretical models from the ethical, legal and social science literature to identified ethical concerns regarding AI.
  3. Critically analyse strengths and weaknesses of different positions from the ethical, legal and social science literature on ethical concerns related to the design, use and societal impact of Artifical Intelligence.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to communicate core insights from divergent perspectives on ethical concerns coherently and concisely.
  5. Conduct an in depth investigation into an ethical concern regarding AI by analysing and integrating extensive up to date relevant research literature.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Towards a Code of Ethics for Artificial Intelligence" by Paula Boddington
    Publisher: Springer
  2. "Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life" by Helen Nissenbaum
    Publisher: Stanford University Press
  3. "Privacy as Trust: Information Privacy for an Information Age" by Ari Waldman
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  4. "Privacy, Big Data, and the Public Good: Frameworks for Engagement" by Julia Lane, Victoria Stodden, Stefan Bender, Helen Nissenbaum (Editors)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  5. "Robot Ethics 2.0: From Autonomous Cars to Artificial Intelligence" by Patrick Lin, Keith Abney, Ryan Jenkins (Editors)
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
  6. "Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor" by Virginia Eubanks
    Publisher: St Martin's Press
The above information outlines module PI6110: "Ethics and Artificial Intelligence" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional SPA442: Phenomenology of Art and Culture


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module is an introduction to the phenomenology of art and culture. The lectures draw from the philosophical tradition that seeks to disclose and understand the formation of meaning as it appears in practice, perception and interpretation. The module introduces the students to the method and style of phenomenology with particular reference to the visual arts and cultures. Phenomenology should not here be understood in the narrow sense of a dogmatic theoretical framework, but rather as a mode of reflection that makes us both become aware of and contribute to the processes involved in meaning formation from different perspectives.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate insightful understanding of phenomenology as method applied to interpreting art and culture
  2. Identify critical issues of interpretation in relation to art and culture
  3. Explain rigourously and accurately existing works in the field
  4. Develop critical thinking and creative ideas
  5. Research and write a coherent essay with citations on an agreed relevant topic in the field of art and culture
  6. Actively take part in constructive and critical dialogues
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "The Continental Aesthetics Reader" by Clive Cazeaux, ed.
    Publisher: Routledge
  2. "Phenomenologies of Art and Vision: A Post-Analytic Turn" by Paul Crowther
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
  3. "The Bloomsbury Anthology of Aesthetics" by Joseph Tanke & Colin Mc Quillan, Eds.
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
The above information outlines module SPA442: "Phenomenology of Art and Culture" and is valid from 2019 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional PI6108: Environmental Aesthetics


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module aims to provide students with an insightful understanding and critical grasp of environmental issues in relation to aesthetics values
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate insightful understanding of environmental issues in relation to aesthetic values
  2. Identify critical environmental issues within the context of the contemporary world
  3. Display a sound understanding of how philosophical reflection can contribute to addresssing issues concerning aesthetic experience and the environment.
  4. Explain rigourously and accurately existing works in the field
  5. Develop critical thinking and creative ideas
  6. Research and write a coherent essay with citations on an agreed relevant topic in the field of environmental aesthetics
  7. Actively take part in constructive and critical dialogues
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "Chinese Environmental Aesthetics" by Wangheng Chen
  2. "A Japanese View of Nature—The World of Living Things" by Kinji Imanishi
  3. "Physics (4th c. BCE)" by Aristotle
  4. "Critique of Judgment" by Immanuel Kant,
  5. "A Philosophical Inquiry Into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful" by Edmond Burke
  6. "The Search for the Picturesque" by Malcolm Andrews
  7. "Walden; or, Life in the Woods" by Henry David Thoreau
  8. "Essential Muir" by John Muir
  9. "Nature and Landscape: An Introduction to Environmental Aesthetics" by Allen Carlson, 2008
  10. "Living in the Landscape: Toward an Aesthetics of Environment" by Arnold Berleant, 1997
  11. "The Aesthetics of Human Environments" by Arnold Berleant, 2007
  12. "Everyday Aesthetics" by Yuriko Saito, 2010
  13. "Thinking through Landscape" by Augustin Berque, 2013
The above information outlines module PI6108: "Environmental Aesthetics" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional PI6103: Knowledge and Value in Modernity


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module will examine the issues of value and knowledge in the historical context of modernity. Attention will be given to such issues as the character of human subjectivity, the relation between mind and world, objectivity, the status of natural science and human values, and the character of modern culture. A range of modern philosophers will be discussed, including Hume, Kant and Nietzsche. Attention will also be given to the intersections between modern and contemporary arguments
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Discuss the defining features of modernity
  2. Discuss the role of natural science in modern philosophy
  3. Examine arguments with regard to the nature of mind and world in modern philosophy
  4. Discuss arguments with regard to the status of human value in modern philosophy
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (50%)
  • Department-based Assessment (50%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "The Nietzsche Reader" by Ansell Pearson, Keith and Large, Duncan (eds)
    Publisher: Blackwell
  2. "Hume, David, A Treatise of Human Nature" by Edited by L. A. Selby-Bigge, revised by P.H. Nidditch
    Publisher: Clarendon Press
  3. "Kant, Immanuel, Critique of Pure Reason" by Edited by P. Guyer, and A. Wood
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  4. "The Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy" by Guyer Paul
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  5. "Projection and Realism in Hume's Philosophy" by Kail, P.J.E
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
  6. "Nietzsche and Morality" by Leiter, Brian and Sinhababu
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
The above information outlines module PI6103: "Knowledge and Value in Modernity" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional PI504.II: Philosophy Seminar: Participation & Management


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module allows students to do a substantial presentation of their research at discipline level, and to receive training and experience in both chairing seminars and contributing to them.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the fundamentals of philosophical argumentation and analysis
  2. Organize and schedule seminars for invited speakers
  3. Formulate and present a piece of argumentation based on independent research
  4. Evaluate philosophical arguments in the context of peer-review
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Module Director
Lecturers / Tutors
Reading List
  1. "A rulebook for arguments" by Anthony Weston
    ISBN: 0872209547.
    Publisher: Hackett Pub.
  2. "Presenting at conferences, seminars, and meetings" by Kerry Shephard
    ISBN: 1412903432.
    Publisher: London ; SAGE Publications, 2005.
  3. "Essential tips for organizing conferences & events" by Fiona Campbell... [et al.]
    ISBN: 0749440392.
    Publisher: London ; Kogan Page, 2003.
The above information outlines module PI504.II: "Philosophy Seminar: Participation & Management" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates with this qualification will be eligible for doctoral research and careers in the public and social services, NGOs and journalism.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,600 p.a. FT; €3,355 p.a. PT 2020/21

Fees: Tuition

€6,376 p.a. FT; €3,187 p.a. PT 2020/21

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. FT; €168 p.a. PT 2020/21

Fees: Non EU

€15,550 p.a. 2020/21

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant—please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.

Find out More

Dr Tsarina Doyle
T: +353 91 495 473
E: tsarina.doyle@nuigalway.ie 

Quick Links




What Our Students Say

Meghan

Meghan Hind |    

'I wanted an MA programme that combined flexibility with structure. I chose the MA in Values and Knowledge programme at NUI, Galway for the breadth of perspectives and topics offered in modules, its focus on research and presentation skills, and its philosophically rigorous questioning of the very concepts and structures that inform, surround, and even create our experiences of life. Not only has this MA programme met and exceeded my initial expectations, the sense of community among faculty and students, the participatory and engaging teaching styles of the professors, and the attention paid to the interests and needs of every individual student have made the programme a truly enriching and engaging experience. I wholeheartedly recommend it.' (Meghan Hind, US Mitchell Scholar on the MA in Philosophy (Values and Knowledge) programme)
Sean

Sean Comer |    

I chose to study philosophy at NUI, Galway after considerable time and research. I wanted a university that focused as much on my educational and career path as I do. There is no question, the quality of the university and the appeal of the city were also factors. Galway, recently voted the best overall micro city in Europe by the Financial Times, is a student friendly, vibrant and lively city. I feel that the MA is unique in the way it encourages the student to examine and question contemporary philosophical concepts of values and knowledge. The range of optional modules allowed me to focus on subjects I had a direct interest in, while the core modules encourage you to develop skills in research and philosophical writing. The Philosophy Seminar: Participation and Management module in particular, gives an opportunity to research, write and present a paper to the philosophy department. This peer review process is invaluable in developing presentation expertise, which is vital for further academic study and useful in the world of work. I am delighted I chose to study Philosophy at NUI, Galway.

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  • Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020

    Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2020 PDF (21 MB)

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    MA In Values & Knowledge PDF (274 KB)