Modules for course VVW3 | BA/PRM
BA Philosophy and Religion and Music

This is a provisional list of modules to be offered on this course in the 2019–20 academic year.

The list may not be complete, and the final course content may be different.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2017–18; 2018–19.

Find out more about studying and applying for this degree.

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Year 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

20 credits from:

Optional Modules

40 credits from:

  • WXM-1004: Intro - Harmony & Counterpoint (20) (Semester 1)
    This module aims to develop students’ understanding of the elements of musical language – melody, harmony, counterpoint, rhythm – through the study of compositional practice in the late Renaissance and Baroque periods. Students work through a course of study which will develop aural skills, score reading and analytical skills, creativity, and a thorough understanding of the parameters for the construction of music during the periods in question. This module is intended for those students who little or no prior knowledge of harmonic principles. Students with some prior experience (e.g. those who have done chorale harmonization as part of A-Levels or equivalent) will be encouraged to register for WXM1008. Please note: WXM1004 and 1008 both cover effectively the same material in both semesters; in semester 2, both groups are taught together; in semester 1 WXM1004 covers similar ground as WXM1008, but at a slower pace (hence the doubled contact hours).
    or
    WXC-1004: Cyflwyniad Harmoni/Gwrthbwynt (20) (Semester 1)
    Bwriad y modiwl hwn yw datblygu dealltwriaeth myfyrwyr o elfennau ieithwedd gerddorol – alaw, harmoni, gwrthbwynt, rhythm – trwy astudio’r arfer a oedd yn gyffredin i gyfansoddwyr yn ystod cyfnod y Dadeni Hwyr a'r Baróc. Mae myfyrwyr yn gweithio trwy gwrs o astudiaeth a fydd yn datblygu medrau sain glust, darllen sgorau, a medrau dadansoddol, creadigrwydd a dealltwriaeth o’r paramedrau a osodai’r sylfeini ar gyfer creu cerddoriaeth yn ystod y cyfnod dan sylw. Bwriedir y modiwl hwn ar gyfer y myfyrwyr hynny sydd â phrofiad cyfyngedig o egwyddorion harmonig. Anogir myfyrwyr mwy profiadol (e.e. y rhai sydd wedi astudio cydgordio corâl fel rhan o Lefel-A) i gofrestru ar gyfer WXC1008 yn lle hwn.
  • WXK-1010: Sonic Art (20) (Semester 1) or
    WXC-1010: Celfyddyd Sonig (20) (Semester 1)
  • WXK-1011: Composition Year 1 (20) (Semester 2)
    This course will introduce students to some of the compositional techniques used in the twentieth and twenty first centuries and show how harmony, rhythm, structure, instrumentation and pitch have evolved, presenting students with the basic tools for composition. The first half of the course will look at these techniques in relation to a number of important musical styles that evolved during the twentieth century. The course will also consider individual instruments and their particular characteristics, in addition to vocal writing. Students are then encouraged to try out these techniques in exercises and assignments, which will be set throughout the course..
    or
    WXC-1011: Cyfansoddi Blwyddyn 1 (20) (Semester 2)
    Bydd y cwrs hwn yn cyflwyno’r myfyriwr i rai o’r technegau cyfansoddi a ddefnyddiwyd yn yr 20fed ganrif, gan ddangos sut mae harmoni, rhythm, adeiledd, offeryniaeth a thraw wedi datblygu. Rhoddir y cyfryngau sylfaenol i’r myfyrwyr ar gyfer cyfansoddi. Bydd y cwrs hefyd yn ystyried offerynnau penodol a’u nodweddion arbennig, yn ogystal ag ysgrifennu ar gyfer y llais. Yna anogir y myfyrwyr i roi cynnig ar y technegau yn eu cyfansoddiadau hwy eu hunain.
  • WXP-1016: Solo Performance Year 1 (20) (Semester 2)
    This module combines a programme of individual instrumental or vocal tuition with an introduction to a range of important issues which concern performers, including preparing and delivering a recital programme, effective practice techniques, working with other musicians, and different approaches to interpretation. THIS MODULE IS NOT AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC. CO-REQUISITE: minimum of ABRSM 7 or equivalent.
    or
    WXC-1016: Perfformio Unawdol Blwyddyn 1 (20) (Semester 2)
    Mae’r modiwl yn cyfuno rhaglen o hyfforddiant unigol ar offeryn neu lais â chyflwyniad i amrediad o faterion pwysig sy’n ymwneud â cherddorion, yn cynnwys paratoi a pherfformio rhaglen datganiad, technegau ymarfer effeithiol, gweithio â cherddorion eraill, a dulliau gwahanol o dehongli. NID YW'R MODIWL HWN AR GAEL I FYFYRWYR O'R TU ALLAN I'R YSGOL CERDDORIAETH. CYD-OFYNIAD: o leiaf ABRSM Gradd 7 neu gyfwerth.

60 credits from:

  • VPR-1103: Existentialism (20) (Semester 1)
    The module will begin with an overview of the meaning of existentialism, its key themes and thinkers. The module is then divided into five parts. In part one we examine the philosophical groundwork that underpins existentialism as a theory. Here students will be introduced to such ideas as Sartre’s concepts of consciousness, being, nothingness, facticity and transcendence. In part two we explore the importance of freedom to the human condition, and the meaning behind Sartre’s famous slogans, ‘we are condemned to be free’, and ‘existence precedes essence’. Here we will examine the first of our contemporary films, The Truman Show, in order to demonstrate the validity of these ideas within society today. Part three then surveys the notion of the ‘absurd’ as a philosophical concept and identifies its trace in literature, art, and film. Students will examine a variety of responses to the absurd, including those outlined by Kafka, Camus, and Kierkegaard. We will then watch the film Ground hog Day with a view to identifying how these responses can be portrayed in contemporary film. Part four examines Sartre’s notion of bad faith, and the ease in which we fail to respond adequately to the demands of existentialism. Finally, part five considers the effect that others have on our existence and in our capacity to engage our lives authentically.
  • VPR-1104: Death of God (20) (Semester 2)
    The module begins by examining how the events of Nietzsche’s life and the cultural climate of his time are reflected in his writing style and the ideas he seeks to expound. Following this introduction, the module is divided into four parts. In part one we explore the philosophical context for why God’s death is deemed a necessity for Nietzsche. Here we look at his criticism of Christianity and Platonism, and examine his concepts of will to power, slave and master morality, bad conscience and ressentiment. In part two we examine the nature of God’s death, and by looking at a variety of Nietzsche’s writings, we piece together how God ‘died’. In part three, we begin to investigate the implications of the death of God for our understanding of morality, truth, and suffering. Here students are introduced to Nietzsche’s idea of a revaluation of values, and his famous conceptions of the Übermensch (or superman), eternal recurrence, and the relevance of Dionysus. Finally, in part 4 we revisit the key ideas that have been explored within this module to entertain a controversial yet coherent reading of Nietzsche’s philosophy—one that proposes the possibility of God’s return.
  • VPR-1105: Ethics: Religious Perspectives (20) (Semester 1)
    The module will begin with a discussion of the origin of ethics and will examine some of the relevant survivng materials relevant to the subject from the great civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt (including the stories about heroes who exemplified the kind of virtues most admired, and the legal codes which defined acceptable and unacceptable conduct). The module will then examine the ethical values of the Jewish religion, as reflected in the Old Testament, and the ethical values of the Christian tradition as reflected in the New Testament. This will be followed by an overview of ethical concerns in the Buddhist tradition. The module will conclude with an examination of the ‘divine command’ theory of ethics and will consider to what extent the moral good should be identified with God’s will or God’s command.
    or
    VPC-1105: Moeseg: Agweddau Crefyddol (20) (Semester 2)
    Bydd y modiwl yn dechrau gyda thrafodaeth ar darddiad moeseg a bydd yn edrych ar beth o'r deunyddiau perthnasol i'r pwnc sydd wedi goroesi o ddiwylliannau mawr Mesopotamia a'r Aifft (yn cynnwys storïau am arwyr a ymgorfforai'r rhinweddau a edmygid fwyaf, a'r codau cyfreithiol a ddiffiniai ymddygiad derbyniol ac annerbyniol). Bydd y modiwl wedyn yn archwilio gwerthoedd moesegol y grefydd Iddewig, fel yr adlewyrchir hwynt yn yr Hen Destament, a gwerthoedd moesegol y traddodiad Cristnogol, fel yr adlewyrchir hwynt yn y Testament Newydd. Yn dilyn hynny ceir golwg gyffredinol ar faterion moesegol sy'n gysylltiedig â'r traddodiad Bwdistaidd. Daw'r modiwl i'w derfyn drwy edrych ar ddamcaniaeth foesegol 'gorchymyn dwyfol', a bydd yn ystyried i ba raddau y dylid uniaethu daioni moesol ag ewyllys Duw neu orchymyn Duw.
  • VPR-1106: Intro: Judaism & Christianity (20) (Semester 1)
    The module outlines of some of the basic tenets of the Jewish faith as reflected in the Old Testament and the Christian faith as reflected in the New Testament. Among issues considered will be the contribution to the Jewish faith by the rabbis and the controversies faced by Judaism over the centuries, culminating in a discussion of issues relating to the holocaust. Among Jewish philosophers discussed will be Maimonides and Martin Buber. The modules will then turn to the Christian faith and will examine some of the theological issues arising from the New Testament, with a particular focus on Paul’s theology and the Early Church Fathers, such as Origen and Eusebius. There will also be a discussion of a representative sample of major Christian thinkers over the centuries.
  • VPR-1109: Introduction to Islam (20) (Semester 2)
    Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, yet for most people its beliefs and practice remain obscure despite having close religious connection with Judaism and Christianity. For this reason, this module has been designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to Islamic faith, philosophy and practice. The module will introduce students to the study of Islamic theology by exploring the emergence and development of Islam, from its origins in the seventh century to its modern revival. Therefore, the module will guide students through the following aspects of the study of Islam: (1) Introduce students to the history and development of early and modern Islam (against the background of social and cultural contexts); (2) Examine core Islamic beliefs and practices; and (3) Investigate the wider Islamic tradition by surveying Islamic law, philosophy and mysticism.
  • VPR-1110: Themes - Eastern Religion/Phil (20) (Semester 2)
    This module offers an introduction to the philosophical and religious development of key eastern religious traditions - Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Shinto – and provides a detailed overview of their origins, histories, doctrines and scriptures. In order to explore a wide spectrum of religious and philosophical beliefs, the following will be considered teaching priorities: (1) Survey of the beliefs and practices of six Eastern religions and philosophies; (2) understand the multifaceted religious heritage of the six Eastern religions – from the pre-modern era to contemporary religious practice; (3) Examination of the mutual influences and intersections of the Eastern religions and philosophies and how they interact with other elements of Eastern culture and society; (4) Deconstruct the East and West meeting points, focusing on the spread and influence of Eastern religion and philosophy in the West.
  • VPR-1300: Intro to Philosophy of Religio (20) (Semester 1)
    The module begins by clarifying the state of the analytic philosophy of religion at the turn of the 20th century, reflecting upon its inheritance of 19th century ‘modernity’. This is contrasted with some concurrent developments in the continental tradition (German Romanticism, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche). This is the context from which, and into which, Wittgenstein speaks. We will cover the early, middle, and late eras of Wittgenstein’s thought, and show the revolutionary impact that his thought had for the philosophy of religion. We track the various directions in which Wittgenstein’s influence was felt; for example, in A. J. Ayer’s verificationism, or those overtly ‘Wittgensteinian’ philosophers of religion such as D. Z. Phillips. The ‘meta-philosophy of religion’ is introduced throughout, as we tackle the question of how best to philosophise about religion.
  • VPR-1301: Introduction to Logic (20) (Semester 2)

Year 2 Modules

Compulsory Modules

20 to 40 credits from:

  • WXM-2011: Musicology Year 2 (20) (Semester 2)
    Research is a fundamental academic skill, and so too is the ability to effectively communicate the results of that research in writing. On this module, students undertake research into a musical topic of their own choice, and write up their findings in the form of a short dissertation of around 4500-5000 words. At the same time, the module introduces students to some of the conventions and methods of musicological research and presentation, through the study of various examples of academic writing. Moreover, students will continue to develop study skills taught in The Study of Music, including bibliographical skills, skills of independent thinking, and skills in oral presentation. The module will prepare students for undertaking a Dissertation in Year 3, and may also be useful to students considering undertaking an Editing Project in Year 3.
    or
    WXC-2011: Cerddoreg Blwyddyn 2 (20) (Semester 2)
    Mae ymchwil yn fedr academaidd sylfaenol, ac felly hefyd y gallu i ysgrifennu’n effeithiol ar ganlyniad yr ymchwil honno. Ar y modiwl hwn, mae myfyrwyr yn gwneud ymchwil i bwnc o’u dewis, ac yn ysgrifennu ar eu canfyddiadau mewn traethawd o ryw 4500-5000 o eiriau. Ar yr un pryd, mae’r modiwl yn cyflwyno myfyrwyr i rai o gonfensiynau a dulliau ymchwil a chyflwyno cerddoregol, a hynny trwy astudiaeth ar wahanol enghreifftiau o ysgrifennu academaidd. Ar ben hynny, bydd myfyrwyr yn parhau i ddatblygu’r medrau astudio a ddysgir yn Astudio Cerddoriaeth, yn cynnwys medrau llyfryddiaethol, medrau meddwl yn annibynnol, a medrau cyflwyno ar lafar. Bydd y modiwl yn paratoi myfyrwyr ar gyfer ysgrifennu Traethawd Hir ym Mlwyddyn 3, a gall hefyd fod yn fuddiol i fyfyrwyr sy’n ystyried Project Golygu ym Mlwyddyn 3.
  • WXM-2205: Notation and Editing (20) (Semester 2)
    Students taking the course will transcribe and edit a variety of music, some vocal and some instrumental, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, from reproductions of original sources. Some sources will be in score, some in parts, some in tablature; some will be manuscript and some printed. Certain pieces of work will involve a single source; others will require the collation and appraisal of more than one source, with variant readings tabulated and conclusions drawn about the relationship of the sources. As the title suggests, the course is divided into two parts, which will focus on different skills: Semester 1: ‘Notation’ introduces students to the palaeography of music before 1600 and teaches the elementary skills for the understanding and transcription of white mensural notation. Semester 2: ‘Editing’ covers techniques and approaches of critical editing and philology, which will enable you to produce a scholarly edition with all the standard ingredients. Case studies for this part of the module are taken mainly from the so-called ‘common practice era’.
  • WXK-2233: Composition Year 2 (20) (Semester 2)
    This module seeks to build on Level 4 Composition, while at the same time introducing new ideas and techniques. Throughout, the emphasis will be on introducing students to the multiplicity of styles and techniques that have emerged during the second half of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st. This may include bold experimentation and creative innovation, including working with non-tonal styles (pre-tonal, post-tonal, atonal), or the study of post-tonal and post-minimal styles of recent decades.
    or
    WXC-2233: Cyfansoddi Blwyddyn 2 (20) (Semester 2)
    Adeilada’r modiwl hwn ar astudiaethau Cyfansoddi Blwyddyn 1, ynghyd â chyflwyno syniadau a thechnegau newydd ar yr un pryd. Bydd pwyslais cyson ar arbrofi mentrus a newydd-deb creadigol, gan weithio gydag arddulliau anghyweiraidd (cyn-donyddol, ôl-donyddol ac anhonyddol), ynghyd ac ymdriniaethau newydd o ffurf. Ceir gwaith damcaniaethol (gwrando, dadansoddi a thrafod pynciau) ynghyd a gwaith ymarferol (gweithio drwy dechnegau, cyflwyno enghreifftiau, datrys problemau), gan ganolbwyntio ar dechnegau ac elfennau penodol - rhai yn newydd, a rhai yn gyfarwydd ers modiwl Cyfansoddi Lefel 1. Nid yw’r modiwl hwn yn addas ar gyfer myfyrwyr sy’n dymuno cyfansoddi mewn arddulliau hanesyddol neu pastiche.
  • WXK-2235: Acousmatic Composition (20) (Semester 2)
    Acousmatic music is sonic art which uses sound as its basic material and the loudspeaker as its mode of delivery. This module aims to introduce students to acousmatic composition in a more focused way than is possible in the Year 1 Practical Music Technology module, and with a more creative emphasis. It aims to equip students with the basic technological, compositional and aesthetic knowledge and understanding necessary for acousmatic composition. (This module is not intended for students wishing to compose popular music, or music using conventional approaches to harmony, melody or rhythm.)
  • WXP-2241: Solo Performance Year 2 (20) (Semester 2)
    The students will be expected to build on and expand skills already established during the solo performance modules in Year 1. This will be carried out through individual instrumental or vocal tuition. The tutor will provide consultation and help construct a projected programme of stylistically-varied technical and interpretive solo repertoire for the students to explore that will benefit the individual’s technical and musical development. Please note that students may also follow a maximum of 20 credits in ensemble performance across levels 5 & 6. This module is capped at 20 students
    or
    WXC-2241: Perfformio Unawdol Blwyddyn 2 (20) (Semester 2)
    Bydd disgwyl i’r myfyrwyr adeiladu ar fedrau y maent eisoes wedi’u dysgu yn ystod y modiwlau perfformio unigol ar lefelau 1 neu 2 ac adeiladu arnynt. Gwneir hyn trwy hyfforddiant offerynnol neu leisiol unigol. Bydd y myfyriwr a’r tiwtor yn ymgynghori, a bydd y tiwtor yn cynorthwyo i lunio rhaglen arfaethedig o repertoire technegol a deongliadol yn dangos arddulliau amrywiol, i’r harchwilio gan y myfyriwr, ac a fydd yn fuddiol i ddatblygiad technegol a cherddorol yr unigolyn. modiwl 'cap' o 20 o fyfyrwyr

Optional Modules

20 to 40 credits from:

  • WXM-2021: Ethnomusicology in Action (20) (Semester 1)
  • WXK-2232: Orchestration Today (20) (Semester 1)
    Description: This course aims to expand upon issues addressed in Orchestration A. More involved orchestration procedures will be discussed in relation to the new elements of instrumental technique that evolved in the wake of developments in instrumental technology. Students will add auxiliary woodwind instruments to their orchestras together with additional percussion so that students can score for a modern orchestra. Each student is required to respond both verbally and on paper in either week 3, 6 or 9, to a task which will be given out in the previous seminar. This will be assessed as part of the coursework (see assessment below). Method, frequency and number of classes: Eight classes of around 1 hour and 15 minutes during weeks 1 - 6 and weeks 8 - 9, with a one-to-one tuition session in week 10. Assessment: One large assignment at 50% with three smaller pieces of course work making up 30%, and a verbal/written response to a set task, worth 20%. coursework 1: set in week 1, to be submitted in week 3 coursework 2: set in week 4 to be submitted in week 6 coursework 3: set in week 8 to be submitted in week 10 assignment: set in semester 2 week 10, to be submitted in week 13 WXK 2232: Learning Outcomes: On completion of the module, a student should have: 1. acquired skills of scoring in an appropriate manner for a modern orchestra, writing idiomatically for the instruments used (assessed by the written coursework and the assignment) 2. understood the technical restraints of instruments (assessed by the written coursework and the assignment) 3. developed skills in score presentation, using appropriate indications such as bowing (assessed by the written coursework and the assignment) 4. identified Orchestration procedures and should be able to discuss these (assessed by the aural task)
    or
    WXC-2232: Cerddorfaeth Gyfoes (20) (Semester 1)
    Bwriad y modiwl hwn yw dysgu'r sylfeini ar gyfer cerddorfaeth. Bydd pob enghraifft cerddorol yn deillio o gyfansoddwyr o gyfnodau Clasurol, Rhamantaidd a'r Ugeinfed Ganrif (e.e. Beethoven, Rachmaninov a Prokofiev) sydd wedi dylanwau yn gryf ar gyfansoddwyr ffilm heddiw (e.e. John Williams, Dario Marianelli a David Arnold). Bydd y cwrs yn ddechrau gyda'r Gerddorfa Linynnol gan ychwanegu offerynau chwyth a pres yn raddol. Erbyn wythnos darllen, bydd y myfyriwr yn medru trefnu yn hyderus ar gyfer cerddorfa fechan. Yn ystod yr ail hanner, bydd pwyslais ar dechnegau cerddorfaeth ar gyfer cerddorfa lawn gan ychwanegu mwy o offerynnau. Bwriad y cwrs yw dysgu cerddorddfaeth draddodiadol gyda phwyslais ar ddefnydd mewn cerddorfaeth ffilm. Gorau oll os yw'r myfyriwr yn dilyn (neu wedi dilyn) WXC2234/3234
  • WXK-2300: Interactive Sound and Music (20) (Semester 1)
  • WXM-2303: Genres & Composers A (20) (Semester 1) or
    WXC-2303: Genres a Chyfansoddwyr A (20) (Semester 1)
  • WXM-2304: Genres and Composers B (20) (Semester 2)
  • WXP-2307: Ensembles and Groups A (20) (Semester 1)
  • WXP-2308: Conducting (20) (Semester 1)
  • WXM-2309: Music in Health and Well-being (20) (Semester 2) or
    WXC-2309: Cerdd mewn Iechyd a Lles (20) (Semester 1)

60 credits from:

  • VPR-2202: Applied Ethics (20) (Semester 1)
    The module will begin with a brief outline of the various ethical challenges which face contemporary society. It will then consider the following issues: (a) world poverty (is it the responsibility of individuals or governments or both to alleviate world poverty?); (b) the arguments justifying an environmental ethic; ethical considerations to be considered in the case of voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia; the issue of abortion and the notion of reverence for human life; war and peace (the just war theory; ethics and nuclear weapons etc).
  • VPR-2203: Paradoxes of Self: Nietz./Jung (20) (Semester 1)
    We begin with a survey of how opposites have been construed within Western and Eastern philosophical traditions. Particular emphasis will be given to how they have been, and continue to be regarded as necessary postulates for making sense of the way we think and experience life, and also useful approaches for considering how we can enhance our lives and make them more meaningful. This introductory part of the module will recap some of the relevant themes studied in the Year One modules, ‘Existentialism’, and ‘Death of God’ (including metaphysics; truth; subjectivity; and freedom). Students will then identify these ideas within two contrasting models of opposites proposed by two iconic thinkers of twentieth-century philosophical and psychological thought: Friedrich Nietzsche and C.G. Jung. We shall explore their models side by side, drawing on their similarities and essential contrasts, and also drawing upon their key philosophical influences, whose ideas helped to shape their different models. (These include, Heraclitus, Aristotle and Plato, Schopenhauer, and Kant, and also Eastern philosophical traditions.) The implications of their different models of the nature and dynamics of opposites will be scrutinised in light of how they apply their theories to real life, and how they have different ideas about how oppositional thinking can be utilized and maximised in our own lives. To this end, students will explore their different ideas of the ideal human being who does just that: the Übermensch (or superman) of Nietzsche, and ‘the Self’ of Jung. The module will conclude with an analysis of the extent to which Nietzsche’s and Jung’s models of the union of opposites and their embodiment within their visions of an ideal human being can be regarded as viable, practical models for us to emulate. To this end, students will have the opportunity to see how Nietzsche and Jung themselves fare when compared to their own and each other’s ideal conceptions.
  • VPR-2218: Sociology of Religion (20) (Semester 2)
    This module provides a comprehensive discussion of the classical and modern theoretical underpinnings of the sociological study of religion. The module will cover several theoretical topics and issues: Firstly, the origins of religious belief and practice will be explored by reviewing the major theories related to the debates on the social origin of religion. Secondly, the module will provide different theoretical foundations for understanding religion in modern social life, its culture and institutions. Thirdly, the module will identify common themes across religious traditions, providing broader insight into different understandings of religion, of those who practice religion, and how religious motivations and justifications affect the social world. Fourthly, these common themes will be examined within a sociological framework, which will be built on the contributions of both classical sociologists, such as Durkheim, Marx, Troeltsch and Weber, and recent sociologists.
  • VPR-2219: Comp. Philosophy: East/West (20) (Semester 2)
    This module seeks to explore two distinct philosophical traditions: Eastern and Western. Framing the module in a comparative way enables students to identify key relationships and differences that relate to major philosophical themes. In particular, the module begins by defining the comparative philosophical approach, which will be used throughout the course as the means to study the East and the West. The vast majority of the module will be dedicated to examining different metaphysical and ethical concerns. The module will explore several key thematic notions: (1) Reason and Faith (ignorance, knowledge, causation, scepticism, revelation and divinity); (2) Reality (origins, existence, monism, dualism, pluralism and naturalism); (3) Virtue (tradition, divinity, rites, human nature and altruism); (4) Mind (enlightenment, emptiness, transcendence, introspection and immanence).
  • VPR-2300: Ancient Philosophy (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides a broad overview of, and introduction to, ancient philosophy in the Western tradition. It will cover, mainly in chronological order, the entirety of the ‘ancient’ philosophical era, beginning with the pre-Socratics, moving through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and onwards to Stoicism, some key Roman philosophers, and Neo-Platonism. Emphasis will be put on the connections between ancient philosophy and later philosophical or religious developments, and on the influence that ancient philosophy has had on human thought generally. Historical narrative detail will be included where relevant (e.g., Socrates’ death, the Peloponnesian War, Aristotle and Alexander the Great, etc.) to provide context. Significant emphasis will be placed on the continued relevance that ancient philosophical schools can have for our modern lives, enabling us to overcome adversity and ‘live well’.
  • VPR-2301: 20th Century Phil of Religion (20) (Semester 2)
    The module begins by clarifying the state of the analytic philosophy of religion at the turn of the 20th century, reflecting upon its inheritance of 19th century ‘modernity’. This is contrasted with some concurrent developments in the continental tradition (German Romanticism, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche). This is the context from which, and into which, Wittgenstein speaks. We will cover the early, middle, and late eras of Wittgenstein’s thought, and show the revolutionary impact that his thought had for the philosophy of religion. We track the various directions in which Wittgenstein’s influence was felt; for example, in A. J. Ayer’s verificationism, or those overtly ‘Wittgensteinian’ philosophers of religion such as D. Z. Phillips. The ‘meta-philosophy of religion’ is introduced throughout, as we tackle the question of how best to philosophise about religion.
  • VPR-2302: Faith and Reason (20) (Semester 2)
    The module is composed of two parts, each looking at the interaction of ‘faith’ and ‘reason’. In the first part, I construct a narrative regarding the origins of our modern conception of ‘reason’, contrasting this with our conception of what it is to have ‘faith’. This narrative begins with Francis Bacon and (which is the more usual philosophical starting point) Descartes. I develop this through certain key thinkers of the modern period (Spinoza, Locke, Hume), concluding with the 19th century’s conception of ‘natural theology’. I press the case that a certain conception of ‘reason’ squeezed ‘faith’ out of the picture (along with a great deal of other meaningful dimensions of human life), prompting us to ask whether we must hold to the traditional conception of ‘reason’ at any cost. The second part of the module looks at contemporary examples of the interaction of ‘reason’ and ‘faith’, in the form of the interaction of science and religion. We consider examples of science being used to support religion (‘Intelligent Design’, the ‘Fine Tuning’ argument), and to debunk religion (evolution, the cognitive science of religion), and ask whether science and religion must necessarily be in conflict with each other. No prior philosophical or scientific knowledge is presumed. A brief introduction to quantum theory will be included.
  • VPR-2303: Immanuel Kant (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides an introduction to the thought of Immanuel Kant. It covers his contributions to metaphysics and epistemology, by discussing his ‘transcendental idealism’. It covers Kant’s significant contributions to ethics, introducing the various formulations of his ‘categorical imperative’. It covers his contributions to the philosophy of religion, in particular his moral argument for belief in God. Throughout the module, I place Kant in the context of the history of philosophy, identifying those key aspects of philosophy to which Kant was responding (i.e., rationalism and empiricism), and those philosophers whose work was shaped by Kant’s legacy. Finally, we reflect on the place Kant’s thought holds in contemporary philosophy, particularly moral philosophy.
  • VPR-2305: Hinduism in the Modern World (20) (Semester 1)
  • VPR-2408: Religious Education (20) (Semester 2) or
    VPC-2408: Addysg Grefyddol (20) (Semester 2)

Year 3 Modules

Compulsory Modules

0 to 40 credits from:

  • WXM-3277: Dissertation (40) (Semester 1 + 2)
    The dissertation is an independent piece of writing on a subject selected by the candidate in consultation with a member of staff and approved by the Board of Examiners. This selection and approval takes place in the summer term immediately preceding Year 3. The writing should take account of previous relevant research but demonstrate originality of mind in approach and argument. Credit will be given for quality of ideas, clarity and logic of argument and presentation, suitability of bibliography, and elegance of presentation. The dissertation will be accompanied by seminars on the research, bibliography and methodology skills required for writing the dissertation.
    or
    WXC-3277: Traethawd Hir (40) (Semester 1 + 2)
    Mae'r traethawd hir yn ddarn o ysgrifennu annibynnol ar destun a ddewisir gan yr ymgeisydd mewn ymgynghoriad ag aelod staff ac a gymeradwyir gan yr Bwrdd Arholi. Mae'r dewis a'r cymeradwyo hwn yn digwydd yn ystod tymor yr haf yn union cyn Blwyddyn 3. Dylai'r ysgrifennu gymryd i ystyriaeth ymchwil flaenorol berthnasol, ond dylai ddangos gwreiddioldeb meddwl o ran dull ymdrin a dadl. Rhoddir credyd am ansawdd syniadau, eglurder a rhesymeg dadl, dull cyflwyno, addasrwydd llyfryddiaeth a mireinder y cyflwyniad. I gyd-fynd a'r traethawd hir ceir seminarau bob pythefnos lle bydd y myfyrwyr yn gweithio gyda thiwtoriaid y modiwl ar y sgiliau ymchwil, llyfryddiaeth a methodoleg sydd eu hangen i ysgrifennu'r traethawd hir
  • WXM-3283: Edition (40) (Semester 1 + 2)
    Participants of this module will prepare a critical edition of a suitable work from original sources or photographic reproductions of such sources. The work concerned will be selected by the candidate in consultation with a member of staff; the selection approved by the Board of Examiners, during the summer term of Year 2. The length of the work will depend upon various factors, including scoring, the number and complexity of sources, and the extent and degree of editorial intervention the materials demand; but in every instance full editorial apparatus will be required, including a detailed textual commentary. The edition should show awareness of previous editions of relevant music, but also demonstrate a capacity for solving specific editorial problems. Credit will be given for the quality of presentation as well as of editorial work. The project will be accompanied by seminars on the research, bibliography and methodology skills required for preparing the edition.
  • WXK-3289: Composition (project) (40) (Semester 1 + 2)
    The composition project is an opportunity for students to spend a sustained period engaged in compositional activity, working towards the production of a work, or works, of significant scale and duration. Students complete a composition or portfolio of compositions for any combination of instruments, voices, electroacoustic and studio resources, with the guidance of a supervisor. Project composers meet regularly as a group to consider broad issues and to share ideas and approaches. Compositions should demonstrate a thorough understanding of their genre, facility in the relevant technical skills, clarity of creative intent, and contemporary cultural relevance in their aesthetic approach. Compositions should be submitted in the form of a notated score, recording or a combination. If the work involves music for moving image, a DVD of music synchronised to picture must also be submitted. The piece or portfolio should normally be about 22 minutes in duration, by agreement with the supervisor, and depending on the tempo, the complexity of the music and the nature of the instrumental/vocal/ electroacoustic resources used. Portfolios may contain a mix of different genres. This module is not appropriate for students wishing to compose in historical or pastiche styles.
    or
    WXC-3289: Cyfansoddi (project) (40) (Semester 1 + 2)
    Mae’r project yn gyfle i fyfyrwyr dreulio cyfnod estynedig mewn gweithgaredd yn ymwneud â chyfansoddi, gan weithio tuag at greu gwaith, neu weithiau, ar raddfa a hyd sylweddol. Mae myfyrwyr yn cwblhau cyfansoddiad neu bortffolio o gyfansoddiadau ar gyfer unrhyw gyfuniad o offerynnau, lleisiau, adnoddau electroacwstig ac adnoddau stiwdio, dan gyfarwyddyd arolygwr. Bydd y cyfansoddwyr sydd ar y project yn cwrdd yn gyson fel grŵp i ystyried materion eang ac i rannu syniadau a dulliau. Dylai cyfansoddiadau ddangos dealltwriaeth drylwyr o’u genre, meistrolaeth ar y medrau technegol perthnasol, eglurder o ran bwriad creadigol, a pherthnasedd diwylliannol cyfoes o ran eu dull esthetig. Dylai myfyrwyr gyflwyno cyfansoddiadau ar ffurf sgôr wedi’i nodiannu, recordiad neu gyfuniad. Os yw’r gwaith yn cynnwys cerddoriaeth ar gyfer delwedd symudol, dylech hefyd gyflwyno DVD o gerddoriaeth wedi’i chydamseru â’r llun. Fel rheol, dylai’r darn neu’r portffolio gymryd rhyw 22 munud, trwy gytundeb â’r arolygwr, ac yn ôl y tempo, cymhlethdod y gerddoriaeth a nodweddion yr adnoddau offerynnol/ lleisiol/ electroacwstig a ddefnyddir. Gall portffolios gynnwys cymysgedd o wahanol genres. Nid yw’r modiwl hwn yn addas i fyfyrwyr sy’n dymuno cyfansoddi mewn arddulliau hanesyddol neu pastiche.
  • WXP-3298: Solo Performance Project (40) (Semester 1 + 2)
    Participants of the module will prepare and perform a public recital of 40 minutes’ duration, featuring stylistically-diverse solo repertoire from different periods. Individual instrumental or vocal tuition will be accompanied by seminars in which the students will work on advanced questions of repertoire, rehearsal strategies, performance practice and historically-informed performance. This module is capped at 15 students
    or
    WXC-3298: Project Perfformio Unawdol (40) (Semester 1 + 2)
    Bydd y rhai sy’n dilyn y modiwl yn paratoi a pherfformio datganiad cyhoeddus yn para am 40 munud, yn cynnwys repertoire unawdol mewn arddulliau amrywiol o gyfnodau gwahanol. Caiff myfyrwyr hyfforddiant offerynnol neu leisiol unigol ochr yn ochr â seminarau, lle bydd y myfyrwyr yn gweithio ar gwestiynau uwch ar repertoire, strategaethau ymarfer, ymarfer ar gyfer perfformio, a pherfformio dan ddylanwad hanesyddol. Dim ond 15 o fyfyrwyr ar y modiwl yma
  • SPECIAL PROJECTS: Students must choose at least ONE Project, either in Music or in other subject. Students are welcome to choose more than one project: either two in Music or one in each School.

Optional Modules

20 to 60 credits from:

60 credits from:

  • HPS-3006: Dissertation (40) (Semester 1 + 2) or
    HAC-3006: Traethawd Hir (40) (Semester 1 + 2)
  • VPR-3302: Applied Ethics (20) (Semester 1)
    The module will begin with a brief outline of the various ethical challenges which face contemporary society. It will then consider the following issues: (a) world poverty (is it the responsibility of individuals or governments or both to alleviate world poverty?); (b) the arguments justifying an environmental ethic; ethical considerations to be considered in the case of voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia; the issue of abortion the notion of reverence for human life; war and peace (the just war theory; ethics and nuclear weapons etc.)
  • VPR-3303: Paradoxes of Self: Nietz..Jung (20) (Semester 1)
    We begin with a survey of how opposites have been construed within Western and Eastern philosophical traditions. Particular emphasis will be given to how they have been, and continue to be regarded as necessary postulates for making sense of the way we think and experience life, and also useful approaches for considering how we can enhance our lives and make them more meaningful. This introductory part of the module will recap some of the relevant themes studied in the Year One modules, ‘Existentialism’, and ‘Death of God’ (including metaphysics; truth; subjectivity; and freedom). Students will then identify these ideas within two contrasting models of opposites proposed by two iconic thinkers of twentieth-century philosophical and psychological thought: Friedrich Nietzsche and C.G. Jung. We shall explore their models side by side, drawing on their similarities and essential contrasts, and also drawing upon their key philosophical influences, whose ideas helped to shape their different models. (These include, Heraclitus, Aristotle and Plato, Schopenhauer, and Kant, and also Eastern philosophical traditions.) The implications of their different models of the nature and dynamics of opposites will be scrutinised in light of how they apply their theories to real life, and how they have different ideas about how oppositional thinking can be utilized and maximised in our own lives. To this end, students will explore their different ideas of the ideal human being who does just that: the Übermensch (or superman) of Nietzsche, and ‘the Self’ of Jung. The module will conclude with an analysis of the extent to which Nietzsche’s and Jung’s models of the union of opposites and their embodiment within their visions of an ideal human being can be regarded as viable, practical models for us to emulate. To this end, students will have the opportunity to see how Nietzsche and Jung themselves fare when compared to their own and each other’s ideal conceptions.
  • VPR-3318: Sociology of Religion (20) (Semester 2)
    This module provides a comprehensive discussion of the classical and modern theoretical underpinnings of the sociological study of religion. The module will cover several theoretical topics and issues: Firstly, the origins of religious belief and practice will be explored by reviewing the major theories related to the debates on the social origin of religion. Secondly, the module will provide different theoretical foundations for understanding religion in modern social life, its culture and institutions. Thirdly, the module will identify common themes across religious traditions, providing broader insight into different understandings of religion, of those who practice religion, and how religious motivations and justifications affect the social world. Fourthly, these common themes will be examined within a sociological framework, which will be built on the contributions of both classical sociologists, such as Durkheim, Marx, Troeltsch and Weber, and recent sociologists.
  • VPR-3319: Comp. Philosophy: East/West (20) (Semester 2)
    This module seeks to explore two distinct philosophical traditions: Eastern and Western. Framing the module in a comparative way enables students to identify key relationships and differences that relate to major philosophical themes. In particular, the module begins by defining the comparative philosophical approach, which will be used throughout the course as the means to study the East and the West. The vast majority of the module will be dedicated to examining different metaphysical and ethical concerns. The module will explore several key thematic notions: (1) Reason and Faith (ignorance, knowledge, causation, scepticism, revelation and divinity); (2) Reality (origins, existence, monism, dualism, pluralism and naturalism); (3) Virtue (tradition, divinity, rites, human nature and altruism); (4) Mind (enlightenment, emptiness, transcendence, introspection and immanence).
  • VPR-3330: Ancient Philosophy (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides a broad overview of, and introduction to, ancient philosophy in the Western tradition. It will cover, mainly in chronological order, the entirety of the ‘ancient’ philosophical era, beginning with the pre-Socratics, moving through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and onwards to Stoicism, some key Roman philosophers, and Neo-Platonism. Emphasis will be put on the connections between ancient philosophy and later philosophical or religious developments, and on the influence that ancient philosophy has had on human thought generally. Historical narrative detail will be included where relevant (e.g., Socrates’ death, the Peloponnesian War, Aristotle and Alexander the Great, etc.) to provide context. Significant emphasis will be placed on the continued relevance that ancient philosophical schools can have for our modern lives, enabling us to overcome adversity and ‘live well’.
  • VPR-3331: 20th Century Phil of Religion (20) (Semester 2)
    The module begins by clarifying the state of the analytic philosophy of religion at the turn of the 20th century, reflecting upon its inheritance of 19th century ‘modernity’. This is contrasted with some concurrent developments in the continental tradition (German Romanticism, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche). This is the context from which, and into which, Wittgenstein speaks. We will cover the early, middle, and late eras of Wittgenstein’s thought, and show the revolutionary impact that his thought had for the philosophy of religion. We track the various directions in which Wittgenstein’s influence was felt; for example, in A. J. Ayer’s verificationism, or those overtly ‘Wittgensteinian’ philosophers of religion such as D. Z. Phillips. The ‘meta-philosophy of religion’ is introduced throughout, as we tackle the question of how best to philosophise about religion.
  • VPR-3332: Faith and Reason (20) (Semester 2)
    The module is composed of two parts, each looking at the interaction of ‘faith’ and ‘reason’. In the first part, I construct a narrative regarding the origins of our modern conception of ‘reason’, contrasting this with our conception of what it is to have ‘faith’. This narrative begins with Francis Bacon and (which is the more usual philosophical starting point) Descartes. I develop this through certain key thinkers of the modern period (Spinoza, Locke, Hume), concluding with the 19th century’s conception of ‘natural theology’. I press the case that a certain conception of ‘reason’ squeezed ‘faith’ out of the picture (along with a great deal of other meaningful dimensions of human life), prompting us to ask whether we must hold to the traditional conception of ‘reason’ at any cost. The second part of the module looks at contemporary examples of the interaction of ‘reason’ and ‘faith’, in the form of the interaction of science and religion. We consider examples of science being used to support religion (‘Intelligent Design’, the ‘Fine Tuning’ argument), and to debunk religion (evolution, the cognitive science of religion), and ask whether science and religion must necessarily be in conflict with each other. No prior philosophical or scientific knowledge is presumed. A brief introduction to quantum theory will be included.
  • VPR-3333: Immanuel Kant (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides an introduction to the thought of Immanuel Kant. It covers his contributions to metaphysics and epistemology, by discussing his ‘transcendental idealism’. It covers Kant’s significant contributions to ethics, introducing the various formulations of his ‘categorical imperative’. It covers his contributions to the philosophy of religion, in particular his moral argument for belief in God. Throughout the module, I place Kant in the context of the history of philosophy, identifying those key aspects of philosophy to which Kant was responding (i.e., rationalism and empiricism), and those philosophers whose work was shaped by Kant’s legacy. Finally, we reflect on the place Kant’s thought holds in contemporary philosophy, particularly moral philosophy.
  • Students may choose whether to take the dissertation in Philosophy/Religion or their other subject