PHIL20720 Philosophy of Work

Academic Year 2022/2023

Work makes up a huge portion of our lives. Different people identify to different degrees and in different ways with their work: they might be more or less ambitious, they might care more or less about the content or products of the work, they might enjoy the collegial relationships more or less. At one extreme, work can be meaningless and/or undignified drudgery; at the other, work is an all-consuming vocation. This module will examine what work and careers can mean in our lives, alongside other typical sources of meaning and self-esteem and recognition. We will look at the concepts of ambition, loyalty, pride and service – concepts notorious for having both positive and negative inflections. We will ask about prestige and wages and power, and the different kinds of inequality in their distribution (especially with reference to class and gender and race). We will look at government policies to do with e.g. income taxation, the minimum wage, unemployment benefits, and retirement. We will ask about certain special categories of work, such as parenting, care work, charity work, and sex work.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

This is a philosophy module, and it is recommended you have at least one complete first-year philosophy module under your belt. A philosophical approach has to do with explaining the precise meaning of concepts, how they are used, what they presuppose, and how people can disagree in their application. Although there will be elements of sociology, psychology, economics and law in the module, you will be having philosophical discussions in tutorials, and will be writing philosophical essays -- but you will receive help in doing this.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures and tutorials.
Assessment by essays and exam. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
PHIL30840 - Philosophy of Work

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: 1500 words. Week 12 n/a Graded No


Essay: 1500 words.
Week 6 n/a Graded Yes


Examination: Exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam Yes Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

All submitted essays will be graded. Detailed feedback on essays will only be given to students who attend a majority of tutorials by the submission date.

Name Role
Paraskevi Anastasia Filea Tutor