Continental Philosophy from Structuralism to Deconstruction

Course details

From £205.00
10 CATS points

21 Jan 2019 - 25 Mar 2019
Day of week

Continental Philosophy from Structuralism to Deconstruction


Continental philosophy is engaging and dynamic and so it reaches people far beyond the confines of academic departments. Its impact on contemporary politics, art, ethics and psychology has been far reaching and profound and these thinkers continue to offer clever and surprising answers to the important questions that engage us today.

This course can be read as a standalone course or as a continuation of earlier work from phenomenology to hermeneutics. It provides a detailed introduction to the concepts and Lacanapproaches of modern European philosophers including Saussure, Levi-Strauss, Lacan, Foucault, Deleuze, Kristeva, Barthes, Irigaray, Lyotard, Derrida.

The course is designed to be accessible and engaging to both the beginner and to those who have already read some philosophy.

Programme details

Term Starts:   21st January

Week 1:          Saussure: Course on General Linguistics

Week 2:          Levi-Strauss: The Structural Study of Myth

Week 3:          Lacan: The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I

Week 4:          Foucault: The Discourse on Language

Week 5:          Barthes: Inaugural Lecture

Week 6:          Kristeva: Women's Time

Week 7:          Deleuze: What is Philosophy?

Week 8:          Irigaray: The Power of Discourse and the Subordination of the Feminine

Week 9:          Lyotard: What is Postmodernism?

Week 10:        Derrida: Difference


Background Reading:

Richard Kearney & Mara Rainwate, The Continental Philosophy Reader


If you are planning to purchase books, remember that courses with too few students enrolled will be cancelled. The Department accepts no responsibility for books bought in anticipation of a course.

If you have enrolled on a course starting in the autumn, you can become a borrowing member of the Rewley House library from 1st September. If you are enrolled on a course starting in other terms, you can become a borrowing member once the previous term has ended.


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from between January 1st and July 31st after the current academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


All weekly class students may become borrowing members of the Rewley House Continuing Education Library for the duration of their course. Prospective students whose courses have not yet started are welcome to use the Library for reference. More information can be found on the Library website.

There is a Guide for Weekly Class students which will give you further information. 

Availability of titles on the reading list (below) can be checked on SOLO, the library catalogue.


Course Fee: £205.00
Take this course for CATS Points: £10.00


Dr Mary-Ann Crumplin

Mary-Ann specialises in modern European philosophy. She has taught for the Department for several years and has published research in metaphysics, ethics, psychoanalysis and political theory.

Course aims

to provide a rigorous introduction to the philosophy of 20th century Europe.

Course Objectives

1. to understand the philosophical projects undertaken by Continental philosophers.

2. to read and discuss some key texts.

3. to recognise the enduring significance of these thinkers and their impact on contemporary society and culture.

Teaching methods

Each week the tutor will present an introduction to the topic with powerpoint slides and handout notes. Students will have prepared for the class by reading a short set text and there will be class discussion of the concepts covered in the presentation in the light of these texts.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

1. understand the key elements of the philosophies studied;

2. be able to articulate the significance of these ideas for contemporary social thought;

3. have read some primary philosophical texts.

Assessment methods

Participants will be given four short exercises during the course to take home and complete and then return to the tutor. The tutor will provide written feedback on these assignments.

Students can choose to be assessed EITHER on the basis of three of these completed short exercises OR on the basis of an essay of 1,500 words on a title either agreed in advance with the tutor or chosen from the list of suggested essay questions that will have been distributed at the beginning of the course.


Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form.


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)