Applications open for 2022 entry Apply now

Critical Reasoning

The programme introduces you to the fundamental methods and principles of good reasoning. You will learn how to identify patterns of argument, evaluate evidence, and articulate your ideas clearly and persuasively.

This will not only inform the close reading, essay writing and debating you do as part of your degree, but will also allow you to express yourself intelligently and authoritatively after you graduate, no matter what you decide to do next.


Our Critical Reasoning programme is studied by all undergraduates in their first year at the College.

The programme comprises two courses:

Formal & Informal Reasoning

Indicative lecture topics include:

  • Concepts & Techniques of Formal Logic
  • Deduction & Induction
  • The Tropes of Informal Logic
  • The Value of Truth
  • Rhetoric and Persuasion
Scientific Reasoning

Indicative lecture topics include:

  • Experiment, Observation & Theory
  • Scientific Explanation
  • Confirmation Theory
  • Thought Experiments
  • The Value of Computer Simulations


The Critical Reasoning programme is assessed by two exams, each one taking place at the end of the corresponding teaching term. Your studies in Critical Reasoning will contribute to your grade for the New College of the Humanities Diploma, which is awarded alongside your degree.