PHIL 7010 Political Philosophy

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102384

Coordinator Dimitris Vardoulakis Opens in new window

Description According to Aristotle's famous definition, the human is a political animal. Since the first theorization of the political in ancient Greek philosophy, politics has been thought from a variety of different angles. These range from traditional approaches such as the forms of government or the ways in which the sovereign can exercise power, to contemporary alternative approaches, such as theories of radical democracy which emphasize the participatory and agonistic aspects of the political. This subject will cover some fundamental texts and ideas in political philosophy.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Philosophy

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in a postgraduate program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced and integrated knowledge of distinct varieties of Continental political philosophy in important texts from a range of periods and places
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of a range of research principles and methods appropriate to political philosophy
  3. Use appropriate critical resources in order to interpret and evaluate argument in political philosophy
  4. Demonstrate conceptual, creative and technical skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas at an abstract level
  5. Recognise the significance of political philosophy in imagining and interpreting the world
  6. Construct coherent, evidence-based arguments related to political concepts.

Subject Content

- Ancient thinkers such Plato and Aristotle
- modern thinkers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza and Locke
- contemporary figures such as Marx, Arendt, Foucault and Derrida
- theories of democracy, biopolitics or normativity
- concepts such as equality and freedom to human rights


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Portfolio 1,600 words (4x400) 35 N Individual
Essay 4000 words 65 N Individual