What are minds and how do they work? What explains the objective character of thought, the fact that thoughts can be true or false? Can the subjective character of experience be explained scientifically? What makes other peoples' minds and actions intelligible to us? Addressing questions such as these, requires both insights into mechanisms from psychology, and facing conceptual challenges in philosophy.
Throughout this degree, you’ll focus on minds and actions: the mechanisms and structures, biological, cognitive and social, which underpin them; their development and evolution; the reasons they vary between individuals and species; and their complex relations with culture.
Your first year will cover foundational topics in philosophy and psychology and you’ll also be introduced to philosophical psychology. In the honours years, you’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of modules on topics such as the origins of mind, the nature of thought and language, the philosophy of mind and action, social cognition, and joint action.
This degree is not simply an opportunity to take modules from two departments: it provides you with a coherent programme of study on topics at the intersection of philosophy and psychology. We are unique in having many lecturers who are experts in philosophical psychology, and several lecturers whose published research includes both experimental psychology and philosophy.
BA Philosophy with Psychology means you’ll spend around a quarter of your time engaging with Psychology degree-level learning, as well as your philosophy. The 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 science and non-science, and even multidisciplinary perspective. Whilst you are by no means bound to limit your optional choices to this area of interest, you will find that the intense research interests that make us renowned for this specialism offer you a range of fresh, current modules that you won’t find elsewhere
If you have an interest in theoretical and philosophical aspects of psychology, or if you want to understand how actions are produced and what minds are for, our BA Philosophy with Psychology could be the degree for you. This degree is not BPS approved and does not provide a route to clinical psychology.
Programme Convener: Steve Butterfill.
In your first year, your core modules will include:
- Central Themes in Philosophy
- Mind and Reality
- Plato and Descartes
- Logic 1: Introduction to Symbolic Logic
- Brain & Behaviour
You'll also select optional modules comprising 30CATS. Some common choices from the Philosophy and Psychology departments are listed below. However, you may select modules from other departments if you wish.
- Ancient Philosophy
- Ideas of Freedom
- Existence, Experience and History: Key Topics in Post-Kantian Continental Philosophy
- Reason, Argument, and Analysis
- Psychology in Context
- Psychology in the Real World
In your second year you will study the following modules:
You should then select optional modules comprising 60 CATS: at least 30 CATS will be from our optional philosophy modules (You may choose to take up to 30 CATS in module(s) from another department.)
In your final year there are no core modules. You choose optional modules totalling 120 CATS. At least 60 CATS must come from our list of Philosophy modules and 30 CATS must come from the Department of Psychology. The remaining 30 CATS can be taken from either Philosophy or Psychology, or another department if you wish.