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What is the course structure?

We want you to become a confident, capable and skilled philosopher, familiar with the core aspects of this expansive subject area, its key thinkers and traditions, and their many debates.

Flexibility and choice are also key features of your philosophy degree: by selecting specialist modules you can create your own individual path. You can even complete your degree with a choice of dissertation or independent research project on a topic of your own, developed and agreed in discussion with your supervisor.

Whatever course you choose, you’ll encounter important philosophers including Descartes and Plato, and you’ll investigate areas of philosophy including Metaphysics, Epistemology, Moral and Political Philosophy. Specific modules will introduce you to Ancient Philosophy, Logic and issues surrounding the relation between mind and reality, and other central themes in contemporary philosophy.

What is the course structure?

Our first year curriculum aims to hone your ability to critically argue and complete well-structured analytical essays on philosophical readings. So you can master the fundamentals block by block, from reading well with understanding, outlining key concepts, detecting patterns of argument, and developing essay plans.

You'll be exposed to major philosophical arguments and positions in Central Themes in Contemporary Philosophy and Mind and Reality. Are beauty and goodness a matter of opinion? Are we just animals? Is experience a feature of the brain? Can we know anything about the external world? In Plato and Descartes, you'll pursue questions about justice and knowledge by standing on the shoulders of two philosophical giants. And in Introduction to Symbolic Logic, you'll develop your abilities to analyse and assess complex trains of argument.

From here, your individual degree will begin to define the additional core modules that you add to this:

BA Philosophy offers you a most flexible and comprehensive philosophy education. You’ll encounter Ancient Philosophy, a module in Philosophical Skills, (in which you'll learn how to analyse, evaluate and construct good arguments, and develop skills in academic writing and research), and Ethics and Modern Philosophy, as compulsory aspects in later years to complete your grounding. A quarter of your first year’s credits are your choice, and this increases to over 60% of modules being selected by you in your second year. Your final year is down to you: all your modules are chosen by you according to your individual interests and goals, and you’ll choose from an extensive and varied selection.

BA Philosophy with Psychology involves spending around a quarter of your time engaging with Psychology, in addition to philosophy. Our specialised modules in ‘Philosophy of Mind’ underpin the focus of this course. This allows you to tackle broad areas such as perception, cognition, knowledge of the self and others and consciousness from a multidisciplinary perspective. Whilst you are by no means limited to your optional choices to this area of interest, you will find that the vibrant research community in this area offer you a range of fresh, current modules that you won’t find elsewhere.

BA Philosophy and Literature benefits from our specific expertise in research, teaching and programme development across the departments of Philosophy and English and Comparative Literary Studies. On this programme, you will take two interdisciplinary modules, which are jointly taught by staff from the Philosophy and English Literature departments: Problems in Philosophy and Literature in your first year and Textual Studies in your third year. Additionally, you will be able to choose complimentary modules from across the two departments. You can shape your programme of study from year one, choosing a quarter of your modules from available options. You choose 60% of your modules in year two, and 75% of your modules in your final year.

BSc Mathematics and Philosophy allows you to explore the relationship between the two disciplines through logic and the philosophy of mathematics. On this course, you will take the required core modules during your first year within the two departments. You will be exploring areas such as symbolic logic, algebra and analysis, and the challenges in Mathematics and Philosophy. In your second and third year, more than 50% of your modules are up to you and may be selected from a broad range of optional modules. The course also gives you the option to undertake an additional year to undertake advanced study in logic or mathematics, subject to academic requirements.