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Philosophy Taster

Pre University Philosophy Taster
Taught by staff from the University of Warwick’s Department of Philosophy, our Philosophy Taster course is two days long and packed with teaching activities designed to enhance your skills as a critical and imaginative thinker.

There will also be plenty of opportunities to work alongside your peers and to network and socialise in an informal environment. The course will introduce you to exciting concepts in Philosophy, opening your mind to new ideas and will reflect the highest standards of Warwick teaching and learning.

For more information on our Pre-University tasters, view our brochure or see below for detailed course information.

lecture_talk.jpgPhilosophy is a practice with a long history in human culture and civilisation. The Western tradition of Philosophy really begins to flourish in the 5th century BCE with the emergence of Socrates, who roamed the streets of his home city of Athens during its Golden Age, posing deep and searching questions to citizens who claimed to know how to live the good life. His questions about the nature of the good life, about beauty, knowledge, and justice, were simple in appearance, but proved very difficult to answer. Socrates compared himself to a torpedo fish, a type of electric ray, because of the paralysing effect his constant questioning had upon members of the Athenian elite. Eventually the Athenian government ordered Socrates’ death, an order which Socrates dutifully obeyed, but not before he had laid the foundation for the discipline of Philosophy as we know it: a spirited pursuit of knowledge about the fundamental nature of things, motivated by the simple desire to lead a good life.

To this day, philosophers use rational arguments and critical discourse to conduct rigorous intellectual investigations into the ideas and assumptions we often take for granted. Contemporary philosophers ask questions such as: What is the nature of the conscious mind? How does the conscious mind relate to the external world? What ethical principles, if any, should guide our behaviour towards others? Is there space for free will in a world that is causally determined in accordance with the laws of nature? What is political justice? What is the value of engaging with works of art and literature? Our Philosophy Taster course will introduce you to central questions and ideas in a range of different fields of Philosophy. The sessions, expertly led by academic staff from our Department of Philosophy, aim to impart important skills and abilities in critical reasoning and reflection, to help you to make progress on answering these questions and examining these ideas. The course will give you an opportunity to experience studying Philosophy at university level. It is also a great opportunity to meet like-minded people who are passionate about all things Philosophy.

Programme content

Over the two days, you will enjoy:

  • An opportunity to experience what it is like to study Philosophy at University-level
  • Analysis and reflection on fundamental questions arising from philosophical issues and texts

  • Activities designed to advance your skills as a critical and imaginative thinker

  • Hands-on instruction from Warwick University faculty

  • Readings and study materials provided for the course

  • A session on university applications

  • Lunches and refreshments

  • A certificate of attendance

Entry criteria

We are looking for motivated and enthusiastic individuals who are looking to apply for University or have already applied. You must be at least 16 years old in order to apply and be undertaking or have previously completed A levels or equivalent (key stage 5).

There are no subject specific criteria apart from curiosity about Philosophy and a desire to learn and contribute to study and discussion in this area. This course may be of interest to students considering studying Philosophy as a Single Honours or Joint Honours degree.

English Language Requirements

The Pre University Tasters will be taught in English, so students must be able to demonstrate a good level of proficiency in English language and comprehension. We assess student's English ability through their application form, any English language qualifications and correspondence.

100% of Pre University Philosophy students rated the taster as excellent.

*please note the previous Pre-University Taster included a Literature element.

100% of Pre University Philosophy students would recommend the taster to others.

*please note the previous Pre-University Taster included a Literature element.

Apply now

Discounts and offers

We offer a fantastic early bird booking discount. If you book more than one week before the taster courses, you will pay a reduced fee of £200.

We also offer a £200 fee per person for groups of 5 or more from one school regardless of when you book.


The full fee for the Philosophy Warwick Pre-University Taster is £330, and this is a fully inclusive cost and includes all tuition and hospitality.


We offer a number of bursary places. More information.


Course Leader:

Dr David Bather Woods

Course Teacher:

Stephen Butterfill

Course Teacher:

Lucy Campbell

Course Teacher:

Mat Coakley

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Interesting in studying Philosophy or related subjects at Warwick?

See our study pages for more information and also for open days at the Warwick campus and other opportunities to visit.