Teaching method

The School of Philosophy (EFIL) focuses especially on pedagogy during the Bachelors.

The first year of the undergraduate programme in philosophy consists of common courses given within the faculty and courses specific to the students' degree programme.

The former is made up of general courses (history, literature, arts and civilisations, etc.) taught by course teams and include practicals and a tutorial session that enable students to learn in a cross-disciplinary environment. The common courses in the first term also provide students with the opportunity to change to another Bachelor's programme in the Faculty of Philosophy, Arts and Letters at the end of the January exam session if the advisory board agrees.

From the second term of the first year on, the focus is on courses specific to the degree programme. A tutoring system ensures that new students receive support from more experienced students.

The teaching of philosophy requires close proximity between students and the course team. The teachers are therefore particularly available to answer questions, clarify a paper or guide students with their individual assignments, whether after classes or on a one-to-one basis during drop-in sessions or by appointment.

The teaching of philosophy also involves a personal commitment on the part of the students, who must put a lot of effort into reading major philosophical texts from the very first year. This is why special attention is paid to supervision of the students. Practicals and supervised reading are tasks assigned to research and teaching assistants, who, throughout the year, work with the students to gradually train them in the art of reading - they need to learn how to attentively read a philosophical text - and in the principles of writing philosophical commentaries and essays.

Finally, oral presentations are an opportunity for students to learn public speaking and to prepare for oral exams which may be rather new for them in first block.

Students will in 3rd block demonstrate their ability to carry out significant research for the first time in philosophy by writing a bachelor's paper They will show their ability to master a philosophical subject and discuss it in an informed and coherent manner. 

They must also correctly use research tools consistent with existing scientific conventions, argue and discuss in a correct, clear and structured manner, present the results of their research and  defend their findings before a committee composed of their supervisor and reader.

Thus, the study programme offered aims to foster:

  1. A progressive orientation: the bachelor's programme in Philosophy goes from the most general to the most specific. The actual philosophical part of the programme, whilst being quite signicant from the outset, is reinforced in a gradual way. This, in fact, enables the student to allow his study choice to evolve, giving him, if he so wishes, the opportunity to re-orientate his course in the most favorable of conditions.
  2. An active pedagogical approach: by encouraging the student to play an active role in his own learning, by encouraging him to personally put into practice the knowledge and tools he has acquired and the information he has received during the course. This is one of the main aims of the bachelor's programme of Philosophy. This becomes much more concrete in the practical sessions that the student will have to participate in and the pieces of work that he will have to produce. It is here that he will learn how to read and analyse philosophical texts and present them and comment on them with clarity and precision, as well as drafting reports and written pieces of work relating to the subject.
  3. Interdisciplinarity: sound academic training in Philosophy involves an opening into other domains of knowledge and culture. Therefore, the bachelor's programme in Philosophy also covers an ensemble of courses related to non-philosophical subjects. In particular, the student will need to choose a "minor" from a domain other than Philosophy. That minor, which will be followed in the second and third blocks of the bachelor's programme, corresponds to 30 credits and may be chosen from any other faculty of the University, in accordance with the personal ambition of the student and subject to the approval of the faculty in question.