Learning resources

Your studies are supported by online materials, the library, and Autonomous Learning Groups


You should regularly check your university email and check for announcements on the course Learn page.

The course Learn page will provide information concerning:

  • General information and announcement about the course

  • Lecture notes and PowerPoint slides

  • Tutorial arrangements

  • Information about assessment arrangements


University of Edinburgh Library

The University of Edinburgh has an extensive suite of paper and electronic learning resources. The library’s resources can be searched online via DiscoverEd.


Exemplar essays

Anonymised exemplar essays for this course have been posted on Learn. These are essays written by past students that they have kindly agreed us to use. We hope that they are useful to you. We encourage you to read these essays in conjunction with the Philosophy-specific marking guidelines. We suggest that you discuss the exemplar essays with your tutor, think about what works and what doesn't in the essays, why the essays fell into their grade-band, and how the essays could be improved.

It is important to emphasise that there are many ways for an essay to fall into a particular grade-band. The Philosophy-specific marking guidelines provide explanation of the many and diverse ways in which an essay can be a 1st, 2.i, 2.ii, and so on; the guidelines also make clear that what determines a grade-band is a cluster of properties rather than necessary and sufficient conditions. The exemplar essays only show one way to achieve a certain grade; it is not the only way. Note that if you attempt to copy text or content from the exemplar essays in your own work this would be treated as a case of serious academic misconduct and would have serious repercussions.

Autonomous Learning Groups

Each course has dedicated Autonomous Learning Groups. It is up to you, the members of the ALG, to organise the meetings. You decide how often to meet and what to do in your ALG. ALGs are designed to help you learn and get to know your classmates; they are not a formal requirement of the course. It is important to note that assessment in your courses is non-competitive: you are not competing against your classmates, only against the general grade criteria. It is in your interests to help each other.

As a rough guide, we suggest your ALG meets every 2-3 weeks. You could use the meetings to:

  • Read and discuss the papers together
  • Discuss essay-writing and time-management techniques
  • Constructively critique each other's draft essays or plans
  • Read some of the further readings or related papers
  • Work on presentations or discussion posts that the class may involve
  • Share tips on career advice

Please email the Course Organiser if you feel that it would be useful for the group if she or he joined one of your sessions. Please contact the course secretary if you find it necessary during the semester to transfer into a different group.