Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


The fundamental questions each human being faces are—What should I believe? What should I do? Asking those questions implies that some answers are better than others and the better answers are those supported by better reasons. Answering them requires the ability to distinguish good reasons for believing or doing things from bad ones. In this unit, students acquire the concepts and develop the skills involved in analysing, creating and evaluating arguments for and against beliefs and actions. They learn to apply these skills to real cases from philosophy and other disciplines. Because the ability to think and argue clearly and convincingly is central not just to philosophy but to university studies in general, a wide variety of material is studied, and many students find the unit's content of immense value later on, both within the University and later in employment and their subsequent areas of specialisation.

6 points
(see Timetable)
(see Summer Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Summer teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Human Sciences and Data Analytics major sequence
  • Level 1 option in the Philosophy; Humanities in Health and Medicine; Criminology and Criminal Justice major sequences
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) identify and distinguish between good and bad arguments in philosophical and social contexts, recognising common argument fallacies; (2) independently construct arguments for philosophical positions; (3) recognise when evidence is needed to support a statement, and marshal appropriate evidence; (4) demonstrate expanded social and communication skills through learning to recognise what can be said in favour of viewpoints other than one's own; and (5) show coherent thought processes when faced with complex ethical and social situations.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) test; (2) workshop participation; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the examination component.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Nin Kirkham and Andrew Milne (Summer) and Dr Miri Albahari (S1)
Unit rules
PHIL1105 Introduction to Critical Thinking
Contact hours
lectures and workshops: up to 3 hours per week
Please note that this unit is taught in an intensive 4-week format in Summer School (January-February 2023). Due to the intensive nature, students are not permitted to enroll after 9th January.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.