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Philosophy and Literature (BA) (Full-Time, 2019 Entry)



Full-time 2019 entry, AAB, IB 36

Both philosophical and literary works ask us to reflect deeply on human experience in different ways. This course encourages you to think about the wide range of methods and capacities that contribute to human understanding.

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Jointly taught first and third year modules put you in conversation with scholars in both fields, around texts of shared interest. You can take module options in both departments in all years, and a free third year option in any subject. As a finalist you’ll write an independent research essay, supported by joint tutorials with Literature and Philosophy staff.

Year 1: Problems in Philosophy and Literature, Modes of Reading, Introduction to Philosophy, Logic I, plus an option to be chosen from English or Philosophy

Year 2: History of Modern Philosophy, options in Philosophy (30 CATS), and options in English (60 CATS)

Year 3: Textual Studies, options in Philosophy (30 CATS), options in English (30 CATS), and 30 CATs of options to be chosen from any available subject.

In the course of Years 2 and 3, your Philosophy options must include an optional core module (15 CATS) in philosophical study of art and aesthetics, such as Philosophy through Film or Aesthetics: Art, Beauty and the Sublime.

In the 1st year, 25% of your modules are options. In the 2nd and 3rd years, your modules are either 75% options or, in the year that you satisfy your optional core requirement, 12.5 % of your modules are optional core and 62.5% are options.

Our main teaching methods are lectures, lecture-discussions, and seminars alongside private study and study skills sessions. Our students benefit from expert guidance from staff in developing strong analytical and critical skills, and our students highly rate the feedback they receive. In addition to compulsory teaching, we also offer many extra academic activities, including optional lectures, colloquia, discussion groups and workshops.

Contact hours

Typically 3 hrs of contact time per week per module, in most cases this would be 2hrs lecture and 1 hr seminar but is variable depending on teaching methods.

Class size

Seminar sizes are typically 12-15 students. Lectures vary by module from 20-220.

We track your progress and provide you with feedback through regular non assessed work, assessed essays and written examinations. Your final degree classification is based on assessed essays, other assessed work (which may include, for example, group work or video presentations), examinations and an optional dissertation or individual project. Your second and third year work carries equal weight in determining your final degree classification. The intermediate and final years each count for 50% of your degree.

We run successful undergraduate exchanges with Queen’s University, Ontario, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, enabling second-year Philosophy students (single or joint honours) to compete for the chance to spend a full year studying in North America. Modules and examinations taken at Queen’s and Madison count towards your degree.

All students have the opportunity to apply for an intercalated year abroad at one of our partner universities, which currently include: Bourgogne, Dijon; Erasmus, Rotterdam; Copenhagen; Friedrich Schiller, Jena or Cologne; Vienna; Autonoma or Complutense, Madrid or Seville; Rome or Turin; and Koc, Istanbul. The Study Abroad Team in the Office for Global Engagement offers support for these activities, and the Department’s dedicated Study Abroad Co-ordinator can provide more specific information and assistance.

Study skills will be built into your core modules in the first year. In those modules, you will develop skills in close reading, essay writing, exam technique, critical thinking and presentation. As well as the opportunity of individual careers appointments, there are a wide range of events and workshops – including small workshops for people with no career ideas, speaker events for people interested in a certain sector, and large career fairs for organisations wanting to recruit a large number of graduates each year.

We also offer specific sessions for second and third years, directed as honours level assessed work. Warwick also offers the Undergraduate Skills Programme and Academic Writing Programme to help you further develop academic and career-related skills.

 Student blogs

leyla"The tutors within the department are always available during their office hours and will encourage you to actually ‘do’ Philosophy rather than just memorize the ideas of Philosophers for your exams."

Check out Leyla's blog

A level: AAB, to include grade A in English Literature or English Language and Literature

  • IB: 36, to include 6 in Higher Level English Literature or English Language and Literature

You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.

  • Contextual data and differential offers: Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).

  • Access Courses: Access to HE Diploma (QAA-recognised) including appropriate subjects with distinction grades in level 3 units. Candidates must meet essential subject requirements.
  • Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP) All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP website.
  • We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
  • Taking a gap year Applications for deferred entry welcomed.

    Interviews We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.

    Open Days All students who have been offered a place are invited to visit. Find out more about our main University Open Days and other opportunities to visit us.

Year 1
Problems in Philosophy and Literature

This module introduces you to the combined study of philosophy and literature, bringing literary theory, criticism and philosophical thinking about literature to the study of epistemology, and metaphysics and ethics. You will study the latter key areas of philosophy as represented by the work of Descartes and John Stuart Mill respectively. You will move on to articulate your own interpretations of texts by authors such as Proust, Coetzee, Nietzsche and Beckett. To read, discuss and write reflectively about philosophical and literary texts, and you will combine the approaches and concerns of the two disciplines.

Modes of Reading

What is a reader? How is our understanding and perception of a text formed? Why are these questions some of the most controversial and impassioned in the field of literary studies? This module allows you to explore these questions by putting a spotlight on the question of critical thinking in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. By reading a series of literary texts in relation to some of the most influential literary and cultural theorists of the last hundred years, you will take your own position on everything from Marxism and feminist theory to ecocriticism and postcolonial critique.

Introduction to Philosophy

You will have a wide-ranging introduction to philosophy, including ancient, continental, moral and political philosophy, followed by epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind and aesthetics, and logic. You will learn to engage critically with different viewpoints and critically analyse and evaluate arguments central to philosophy.

Logic 1: Introduction to Symbolic Logic

This module introduces you to formal (i.e., symbolic) logic, covering both propositional and first-order logic. You will study formal languages, and learn how they allow for precise definitions of central logical notions such as the logical validity of an argument. You will learn methods for establishing the validity and invalidity of an argument, and also learn how to translate English sentences into formal language ones and vice versa.

Year 2
History of Modern Philosophy

You will discover the metaphysical and epistemological ideas of great Empiricist philosophers Locke, Berkeley and Hume on substance, qualities, ideas, causation and perception. You will then explore Kant's ideas, including metaphysics, space, self-awareness, causation, scepticism and freedom. You will develop skills in critical engagement, articulating your own views of the relative strengths and weaknesses of these arguments and interpreting key philosophical ideas.

Year 3
Textual Studies

This course draws on philosophy and literature for the intensive study of texts that are of both philosophical substance and literary interest. In seminars, you will explore these elements in texts by authors such as Plato, Augustine, Rousseau, Woolf and Nabokov. In tutorials, you will be guided to develop an independent research essay. You will learn to analyse, interpret and argue across the interdisciplinary divide and develop your own intellectual and imaginative project, resulting in your own research essay.

In the course of Years Two and Three, your Philosophy options must include an optional core module (15 CATS) in philosophical study of art and aesthetics, such as Philosophy through Film or Aesthetics: Art, Beauty and the Sublime.
Selection of optional modules that current students are studying:

Nietzsche in Context; Philosophy, Literature and Film; Romantic and Victorian Poetry.

Law, publishing, teaching, marketing, civil service, academia.

We invite Philosophy and Literature alumni back to campus to speak to current students about careers.

A level AAB, to include grade A in English Literature or English Language and Literature

IB 36, to include 6 in Higher Level English Literature or English Language and Literature


Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA)

3 years full time

Start Date

24 September 2019

Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry

Tuition fees
Find out more about fees and funding

Additional costs

There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course.

This information is applicable for 2019 entry.

Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.