There has been an increasing interest in happiness in many disciplines including healthcare, philosophy, psychology, economics and ethics.
At the same time the concepts of wellness health, illness and disease have become issues of controversy.
This programme focuses on happiness and its overlap with health and wellbeing asking questions such as: What is happiness and health? How does illness affect our understanding of what matters? Do our views about death and mortality affect how happy we are? You will explore issues at the intersection of philosophy, ethics, psychology and medicine, which have important implications for policy and health care. This programme is aimed at graduates with a background in philosophy, psychology, theology, health sciences, medicine or social sciences. It also carries CPD credits for members of the Royal College of Physicians.
The programme allows for multi-disciplinary entry. You need an upper second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in Philosophy or another relevant subject (e.g. Theology, Politics, Psychology, English, Sociology, Linguistics) or a Joint Honours degree of which Philosophy or another relevant subject is a component.
Academic requirements: We accept a range of qualifications
English language requirements: You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
by holding an English language qualification to the right level
by taking and successfully completing one of our English courses for international students
You will study three core modules as follows:
Both of -
Research Skills and Methods: This module is an introduction to the methods of contemporary philosophy. It identifies key philosophical reasoning tools and styles of argument, providing opportunity to apply these to classical philosophical debates. It also highlights the great variety of philosophical theorising on offer by contrasting so-called ´armchair´ and empirically-informed philosophy, as well as theoretical and applied philosophy. Throughout there will be an emphasis on honing essential practical skills, namely reading and writing philosophy at postgraduate level. This module will also be useful as a basic refresher course for those who have studied some philosophy already. The sessions are taught by a member of the Department of Philosophy, focusing on discipline-specific topics.
Philosophy of Health and Happiness: The module will examine debates at the forefront of current research in the philosophy of health and happiness. You will explore conceptual problems (e.g. what ‘health’ and ‘disease’ are) and question contemporary lifestyle issues (for instance, regarding how health, happiness and meaning relate, as well as whether there is a correlation between income and life satisfaction). You will also be asked to consider how technological advances (such as those in genetics) are changing these understandings.
This module will be accredited for CPD by the Royal College of Physicians (equivalent to 10 category 1 credits).
Plus one of:
God, Freedom and the Meaning of Life: The module provides an introduction to a number of philosophical issues that have a relevance to the philosophy of religion, such as: Are there sound arguments for/against the existence of God? Is freedom compatible with God´s foreknowledge? Why is there something rather than nothing? Is life meaningless without God? Can there be morality without God?
Philosophy and Mental Health: This module provides an overview of contemporary debates in philosophy and mental health. In each seminar a new issue will be investigated, but there will be three interrelated threads throughout the module. The first is about the nature of psychiatry. The second is about the sense in which psychiatric disorders are disorders of the self. The third is about how we should respond to people with psychiatric disorders, considered from a wide range of perspectives, including interpersonal, clinical, ethical, legal and public health policy. These themes will be addressed by reference to different aspects of psychiatry (e.g. classification, diagnosis, aetiology, research, treatment), different psychiatric disorders (e.g. addiction, anorexia, dementia, dissociation, schizophrenia, personality disorders, psychopathy), and different disciplinary frameworks.
You will also choose three optional modules from a range which includes:
Bioethics: This module introduces you to the increasing number of dilemmas in bioethics that cross national boundaries and transcend domestic regulation. Bioethical dilemmas, whether arising from scientific and technological developments or from the research practices of pharmaceutical companies, raise issues which cannot be effectively addressed at national or regional levels. Bioethics clearly calls for global solutions to what are global dilemmas and you will be introduced to some of the key bioethical issues which arise in the contemporary global context.
Human Rights: This module covers a selection of human rights issues from a legal, political and philosophical perspective. Recent developments and topic issues, including civil rights threats after September 11, are discussed, so is the protection of minorities, capital punishment, and the development of gender-based human rights.
Philosophy of Cognitive Science: This module covers a range of advanced topics in empirically-informed philosophy of mind. In any given year, some of the following topics will be addressed in detail: theories of intentionality; differences between human and animal cognition; pathologies of belief such as delusions and self-deception; theories of emotion; accounts of cognitive rationality; the relationship between ownership and authorship of thoughts; the narrative view of the self; the psychology of wisdom and expertise.
Global Ethics I: This module aims to introduce you to key concepts and debates in global ethics. First, we will explore several prominent traditions in ethical theory; next we will apply these normative ethical theories to concrete ethical questions. In investigating these theories and applications, you will be encouraged to question your presumptions about the nature of ethics and moral values. The module also develops critical reasoning and argumentative skills through philosophical discussion and writing. The theoretical tools of analysis and argument can be applied in all aspects of global ethics.
Global Ethics II
You will also become part of, and contribute to, the vibrant international community of the College of Arts and Law Graduate School, which offers dedicated research resources and a supportive working environment. Our team of academic and operational staff are on hand to offer support and advice to all postgraduate students within the College.
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