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ED1545: WHAT MAKES US HUMAN 1B (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This course consider human agency and issues such as prejudicial thinking, reform and punishment.  Students will be sensitised to issues relating to the development of other humans and themselves.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 1
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No

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Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of ED1047 What Makes us Human (Passed) or ED1054 What Makes us Human 1 (Passed) or ED1057 What Makes us Human 1a (Studied)
  • MA (Hons) Education (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • ED1030 An Introduction to Gaelic Education for Learners (Studied)
  • ED1543 What Makes us Human 2 (Studied)
  • (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course is designed to explore the tensions between ideas of free will and determinism. In other words, are human beings free or are our actions the result of a complex range of determining factors including our genes, upbringing and conditioning?  How we answer this question has many implications for ideas of praise, blame and morality both in a classroom setting and in our wider lives. Concepts of personhood and agency are explored through investigating ideas from Philosophy, Anthropology, Genetics, Psychology, Law, Sociology and Education. 

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: This involves 2,000 word essay (100%) which has the following specific requirements: - Demonstrates understanding of issues surrounding free will and freedom - Demonstrates the contribution of different influences in development of ideas (supported by a range of references to the course reader and academic texts) - Makes reference to lectures and tutorials in discussion - Offers reasoned conclusions about the reality of free will and how this may affect the treatment of children.

Resit: Resubmission of failed criteria of 2,000 word essay (100%).

Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment Instrument - written reflection on selected tutorial discussion equivalent to 1,000 words.

Students will be invited to select one tutorial discussion as a starting point for the creation of their discussion using the thinking hats methodology (de Bono). This should identify the pathway of the argument/discussion. This should be accompanied by a short piece of reflective writing that further elaborates on the content of the discussion identifying key concepts of human agency and/or free will and determinism.
Tutors will provide formative assessment feedback. This will inform the writing of the summative assignment.


* In sufficient time to be able to be used by students to improve their work (typically within four weeks of hand-in, in line with the School of Education's policy on Assessment). * Appropriate and relevant feedback to help students understand where they have both gained and lost marks, and how to improve their mark. * face to face meetings between tutors and students who have failed.

Course Learning Outcomes


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