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Undergraduate course

Political Philosophy

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeFIL249
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageNorwegian or English
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester


Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

This advanced course will focus on central topics in political philosophy such as social justice, global justice, human rights, liberty and liberalism, the politics of identity, the role of the state, the value of democracy, politics and power, or political obligation and disobedience. The aim of the course is to provide a deep knowledge and understanding of debates concerning issues of relevance to contemporary political life.

Learning Outcomes


After completing the course, the student should have

  • a general overview of key concepts, theories and controversies in political theory
  • a general understanding of similarities and differences between different theoretical approaches, argumentation ways and ways of presentation


After completing the course, the student should be able to

  • recognize and critically evaluate theoretical main positions, argumentation ways and ways of presentation in philosophical literature and in public policy discussions
  • convey feature of these main positions and reasoning methods in academic as well as in public contexts
  • reflect on the relevance of different directions in contemporary political theory for understanding the current social, cultural and institutional change processes


After completing the course, the student should be competent to

  • independently identify and evaluate the key literature in contemporary political theory
  • to impart knowledge about this literature and the perspectives it provides on current issues both to a professional and a general public
  • to assess the relevance of central concepts and theories in the analysis of and reflection on key political controversy
  • identify and critically evaluate argumentation ways and ways of presentation in both professional and general texts on social, cultural and institutional change processes

The course can be part of a bachelor's degree with a specialization in philosophy. In combination with other topics and subjects may be included in an education that qualifies for teaching philosophy in high school or college. The course may also be suitable to support specialization in fundamental questions in connection with the study of other subjects.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Approved first semester studies. Specialized study courses presuppose good background knowledge in philosophy, and students should normally have finished their exams in all 100-level cumpolsary courses. A good proficiency in English is necessary since it ought to be assumed that much of the prescribed reading will be in English

Access to the Course

The course is open to students admitted at the University of Bergen

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching is offered in the form of lectures and/or seminars

Supervision of term paper: supervision is a voluntary offer and can occur individually or in groups.

The number of gatherings may be reduced if the number of students attending the course is less than 4. In that case, the students will be compensated with individual or group tutoring.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

An approval of compulsory requirements is valid for three semesters, including the semester in which the approval is given. Submission of a draft of the semester assignment paper before supervision.

Submission of a short assignment at 900-1200 words. The topic is given by the teacher. Deadline is set by the department. The assignment must be approved to be able to take the exam.

Forms of Assessment

A semester assignment paper of 3000- 5000 words (not including table of contents, list of references etc.) The topic of the paper must be approved in advance by the teacher of the course. . The semester assignment paper will be assessed at the end of the semester.

Exams in the course are held every semester.

The compulsory activities have to be formally approved before one can take an exam in the course.

Grading Scale

From A to F

Assessment Semester


Course Evaluation

The teaching will be evaluated from time to time.

Programme Committee

Department of Philosophy

Course Coordinator

Department of Philosophy

Course Administrator

Department of Philosophy


Department of Philosophy


Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Term paper

    Submission deadline
    17.09.2021, 13:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam