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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

  • An overview of some central themes and debates in political philosophy
  • A familiarity with key scholarly literature related to these themes and debates
  • An understanding of concepts and arguments relevant to these themes and debates
  • An understanding of how these themes and debates connect to each other and to current political issues


After completing the course, the student should be able to

  • Describe key concepts, positions, theories, and traditions in political philosophy
  • Recognize the role these concepts, positions, theories, and traditions play in scholarly debates in political philosophy
  • Reconstruct and evaluate arguments advanced in scholarly literature in support of different positions or theories in political philosophy
  • Recognize implications of political philosophy for political practice
  • Reflect on, and form well-reasoned judgements about themes and debates in political philosophy
  • Communicate understanding and ideas related to the course content both orally and in writing


After completing the course, the student should be competent to

  • Participate in scholarly debates in political philosophy
  • Contribute philosophical insights to public debates about current political issues.

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

Students will spend approximately 20 hours in class over the course of the semester, and approximately 10 hours per week outside of class working on course-related tasks. Class time will involve lectures or presentations by the instructor, discussions, and group work.

Students will have the option to participate in group supervision of the semester assignment. Over the course of the semester, there will be various opportunities for students to receive feedback on smaller formative assignments from the instructor and/or their peers.

If fewer than four students are registered, the number of lectures/seminars may be reduced. The students will be offered individual or group teaching.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

  • Attendance in class sessions is required. Students may not miss more than 6 hours of scheduled class time (3 class sessions) without a valid and documented excuse.
  • Students must complete at least 6¬†formative assignments (around 500 words each). Deadlines are set by the department.

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.


Department of Philosophy


Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Term paper

    Submission deadline
    14.09.2022, 13:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam