Course Title: Understanding Philosophy: Themes from Popular Culture

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Understanding Philosophy: Themes from Popular Culture

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


335H Applied Communication


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014

Course Coordinator: Dr Robert Miller

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3037

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Starting with philosophical themes in popular movies, TV, art, music and literature, links will be made to the arguments and riddles of existence that have exercised the minds of some ’big names’ in philosophy, and thereby come to a better understanding of what the discipline of philosophy is all about. The course will also show how some of the central issues of philosophy can be found in popular culture and in everyone’s everyday experiences and thoughts.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This is an elective, which will complement the learning outcomes you are developing in your program.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss philosophical issues of general human interest such as, reality and illusion, knowledge and belief, free-will and destiny, time and death, meditation and mysticism, the nature of beauty, the meaning of life.
  • Describe how philosophical themes influence, or are contained within, popular cultural works such as, movies, TV serials, novels, art and music.
  • Compare and contrast the main arguments and positions of some major philosophers, or philosophies.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities which may include project work, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, individual and group activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The Library provides guides on academic referencing: and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.


Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include written and oral reports, reflective papers, creative projects and presentations, individually and in groups.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: