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Academic Skills I (Philosophy)


Admission requirements

Course description can still be changed.

Admission to this course is restricted to first-year students enrolled in the BA programme Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives.


This course uses philosophical texts, themes and problems for training a number of basic academic skills, grouped in five modules:
1. reading and argument analysis: close reading of philosophical sources, identifying arguments, hidden assumptions and flaws of reasoning, summarizing;
2. introduction to library services: online library tutorial;
3. argument design: developing a thesis, finding and using supporting evidence, organising ideas with clarity;
4. research skills: finding information, compiling and referencing bibliographic material;
5. university-level writing: writing a short academic essay, from first draft to final revision.

Course objectives

This course aims to train students in a number of basic academic skills for working with philosophical texts, themes and problems.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • engage with written philosophical sources;

  • use university library services;

  • design arguments of some complexity;

  • find relevant information, compile and reference bibliographic material;

  • write a short academic essay, from first draft to final revision.


See: BA Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives

  • Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives - BA1

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures and seminars

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

Total course load: 5 EC x 28 hours = 140 hours

  • Attendance: 14 x 2 = 28

  • Literature: 40

  • Assignments: 3 x 8 = 24

  • Peer reviewing assignments: 3 x 4 = 12

  • Final essay: 36

Assessment method

  1. Participation: 10%
  2. Reading and argument analysis: 10%
  3. Online library tutorial: 10%
  4. Argument design: 10%
  5. Information skills: 10%
  6. Final essay: 50%


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average of the subtests.


There is no resit for assessment components 1, 3 and 5. Students who fail the course can re-submit improved versions of their submissions for components 2, 4 and 6. The mark for the resit will replace all previously earned marks for subtests. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination(s) cannot take the resit.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • posting of readings

  • posting of assignments

Reading list

  • Required readings will be made available on Blackboard.


Enrolment for courses and examns through uSis is mandatory.

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Prof.dr. D.L. Berger (Group 101) Dr. A. Bdaiwi (Group 102)