One of the oldest disciplines in the world, philosophy is concerned with questioning all that we know, and exploring new areas of knowledge. You will consider the purpose of human existence, the value of life, how we know right from wrong, and many other complex concepts. The discipline of philosophy is one that is constantly changing, as our understanding of the world around us develops and improves.
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The accreditation of your degree will depend on the institution you choose to study at. It will also be influenced by the level of study you are applying for, and the specific content of your course. At undergraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), or a Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil). At postgraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Arts (MA), a Master of Science (MSc), or a Master of Research (MRes). Further study will award you with a research degree such as a Master of Philosophy (MPhil), or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three to four years to complete, depending on where you choose to study. A postgraduate degree will normally take one to two years to complete.
Your institution may offer part-time study options, which usually means that your degree will take four to six years. You may also be able to take a foundation programme, which is useful if you do not meet the entry requirements for your degree.
FeesAnnual tuition fees for UK students are capped by the UK government. For the 2019/20 academic year, they are £9,250. This is subject to change each year, and will be updated on your institution website.
Postgraduate course annual tuition fees are set by the institution, which means that they can differ. Postgraduate programmes are generally less expensive than undergraduate programmes. You will find detailed fee information on the institution webpage.
The fees displayed below are an example of typical annual tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate philosophy degrees. Actual tuition fees can be found on the institution webpages.
Typical Annual Tuition Fees
- Undergraduate - £9,250
- Postgraduate - £8,000
An undergraduate degree will provide you with a foundation of knowledge in the main areas of philosophy. You might study modules on ethics, Ancient Greek philosophy, faith and reason, political philosophy, existentialism, freedom and responsibility, epistemology, and puzzles and paradoxes. The majority of undergraduate degree programmes will be designed to suit students that do not have a strong background in philosophy, as well as challenging those who have a well developed knowledge in the area. Your degree will be delivered through lectures and tutorials, and might incorporate practical sessions and field trips. You may be presented with the opportunity to take part in a work placement, but this depends on your institution. Depending on your course, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. Assessment methods can include written work, group projects, and presentations.
During a postgraduate degree, such as an MA or MSc, you will be able to build on the knowledge you gained at undergraduate level. The modules you study will be on the more complex and specialised areas of philosophy. You will cover the traditional subjects, as well as the more contemporary areas. Modules and specialisms might include philosophical logic, scepticism, human rights, mental health, and philosophy of mind. Assessment methods might include written work, group projects, and a major research projects.
The entry requirements for a philosophy degree will depend on where you choose to study. It will also be influenced by the level of study for which you are applying for. An undergraduate degree will require you to have a background in philosophy, with some accepting other qualitative subjects, such as history, sociology or English. If you do not have a strong background in philosophy, but can prove that you are passionate about the subject area, some universities might still consider your application. You can display this through your personal statement or an interview. For a postgraduate degree, most institutions will require you to have an undergraduate degree in philosophy, or a closely related subject.
Typical Entry Requirements
- A Level Grades - AAB-ABB
- UCAS Points - 136-128 UCAS points
- Required/Desired Subjects - Philosophy, History, English, Religious Studies, Sociology
- Undergraduate Degree - 2:1 or higher
- Required/Desired Subjects - Philosophy, History, Geography, Law, Sociology
Graduates of philosophy will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. When you study philosophy, you develop your qualitative skills, meaning that this is the most common type of job you will end up in. If you choose to work in a role directly related to philosophy, you might choose a role such as a philosophy teacher or lecturer, or a philosophy researcher. There are many other career options if you do not wish to work in a role directly related to philosophy. Fields could include business, journalism, law, IT, civil service, or finance.
Throughout your degree, you will have gained a wide range of transferable skills that will be useful in a variety of industries. These skills could include problem solving, idea development, effective communication, and data collection and analysis.