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History and Philosophy (BA) (Full-Time, 2021 Entry)

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Bachelor of Arts (BA)

3 years full-time (4 years full-time with study abroad)

Start Date
27 September 2021

Department of Study
Department of History

Location of Study
University of Warwick

What sort of knowledge is historical knowledge? How much of what we understand and feel about the world around us is the direct result of the particular history of our own culture? Should we understand philosophical ideas as merely reflecting the world in which they are developed, or do they play a leading role in changing it?

Course overview

This course will help you understand the importance of thinking critically about how we know and experience the world, and recognise the importance of linking precision in thought and analysis to a grounded understanding of different historical periods.

You’ll learn to consider ideas for their own sake, while recognising that they are developed in particular contexts, for particular purposes, and reflect the conditions under which they are produced.

Students will be offered the opportunity at the start of their second year to apply for an optional Year Abroad. Following the application process, those students who are offered and take up a Year Abroad place transfer to the four-year History and Philosophy (with a Year Abroad) course, with the Year Abroad as the third of the four years.

Course structure

Core first-year History modules will introduce you to the study of modern history in a global context and help you develop research skills, while core Philosophy modules examine Plato and Descartes and introduce you to symbolic logic. In subsequent years, you will have a wide range of choice from across the curriculum of both Departments, with core modules in your second year on History of Modern Philosophy and Individual, Polis and Society: Philosophical Reflections on History.

Current History options examine topics such as American historical cinema, or gender, madness and conflict. Philosophy options available to current students include History of Scepticism, The Philosophy of Terrorism and Counterterrorism, and Post-Kantian Social and Political Philosophy: Hegel and Marx.

You may complete an optional dissertation in your third year in a topic of your choice related to either subject.

How will I learn?

Teaching is delivered through lectures, seminars and tutorials, web forums, podcasts, workshops, presentations, film analysis, group work and field trips. Our use of surprising and inspiring sources is a feature of all our teaching. For core modules there are usually two lectures and one hour-long seminar per week, and for optional modules one lecture per week plus weekly seminars. Seminar groups are small (normally under 16), providing a valuable opportunity for you to work closely with your lecturers and to learn from other students. Modules focus on important themes in political, religious, cultural or social history and many explore topics far removed from the usual A level syllabus.

Contact hours

For core modules in first year there are usually two lectures and an hour-long seminar per week, and for optional modules one lecture per week plus weekly or fortnightly seminars.

How will I be assessed?

You will receive regular feedback throughout your course on developmental assignments and assessed essays, and will sit end-of-year exams. During your third year study is heavily weighted towards seminar teaching and includes an individually supervised 9,000-word dissertation. We consider feedback on written work to be an essential part of our teaching. Throughout the year you will have the opportunity to attend feedback tutorials following the submission of your essays.

Study abroad

All students have the opportunity to apply for an intercalated year abroad at one of our partner universities. The Study Abroad Team based 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.

A level:

  • AAA to include History


  • 38 with at least a 6 in Higher Level History


We welcome applications from students taking BTECs alongside one or two A levels, including A level History. Our typical BTEC offers are as follows:

  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate plus 2 A levels: D* plus AA including History
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma plus 1 A level: D*D* plus A in History

Additional requirements:

You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.

International Students

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

Contextual data and differential offers

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

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).

Find out more about standard offers and conditions for the IFP.

Taking a gap year

Applications for deferred entry welcomed.


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.

Year One

Making of the Modern World

We live in the here and now. But what got us here? This module studies the string of major social, political, and cultural developments that established our modern world. Radical (and not so radical) ideas from the Enlightenment, the industrial revolution’s structural transformations of how we work, build and buy things, and the struggles and stumbles of imperialism, capitalism and globalisation have gone far to set terms of life in the twenty-first century. The module will also help you develop your critical voice as a historian while asking comparative questions about historical difference across the world.

Logic 1: Introduction to Symbolic Logic

This module teaches you formal logic, covering both propositional and first-order logic. You will learn about a system of natural deduction and understand how to demonstrate that it is both sound and complete. You will learn how to express and understand claims using formal techniques, including multiple quantifiers. Key concepts you will consider are logical validity, truth functionality and formal proof quantification.

Plato and Descartes

What would you do if you had a magic ring that made you invisible? Be an invisible superhero or use your power for ill? Why exactly should we be just and good? In the first half of this module you will study Plato's Republic, a classic work examining questions like these. You will learn about the answers Plato proposed and, by evaluating Plato’s answers, deepen your understanding of the questions and the problems they raise.

Suppose an evil demon causes your experiences now to be radically misleading about the real world. There is no computer, no cup of coffee on the desk, even though it appears there are. In his Meditations on First Philosophy, which you will study in the second half of the module, Descartes uses such exercises to argue that we can find truths about the world independently of the senses, simply through reasoning and reflection.

Year Two

Individual, Polis and Society: Philosophical Reflections in History

In studying closely a range 18th- and early-19th-century texts, you will address philosophical questions relating to the construction of identity, political realism and idealism, and the emerging concept of society. You will combine this with reflections on the changing styles of painting, architecture and fashion of the period. In learning how, as historians, we approach major writings of the period, you will interrogate the importance of historical context in critical readings of such sources, and develop your appreciation and understanding of how different lines of argument interact.

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 Three

  • Pathway 1 (25% History, 75% Philosophy)
  • Pathway 2 (75% History, 25% Philosophy)
  • Pathway 3 (50% History, 50% Philosophy)

Examples of optional modules/options for current students:

Tuition fees

Find out more about fees and funding.

Additional course costs

There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement or study abroad will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.

Warwick Undergraduate Global Excellence Scholarship 2021

We believe there should be no barrier to talent. That's why we are committed to offering a scholarship that makes it easier for gifted, ambitious international learners to pursue their academic interests at one of the UK's most prestigious universities. This new scheme will offer international fee-paying students 250 tuition fee discounts ranging from full fees to awards of £13,000 to £2,000 for the full duration of your Undergraduate degree course.

Find out more about the Warwick Undergraduate Global Excellence Scholarship 2021

Your career

Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including:

  • Admiral Group
  • Advent
  • Amnesty International
  • BBC
  • Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Civil Service
  • Deloitte
  • ESI Media
  • Ipsos Mori
  • KPMG
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • M&S
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Penguin Random House
  • Sky
  • Teach First
  • UBS

They have pursued roles such as:

  • Archivists and curators
  • Arts officers
  • Producers and directors
  • Actuaries, economists and statisticians
  • Barristers and judges
  • Business sales executives
  • Chartered and certified accountants
  • Conservation professionals
  • Financial account managers
  • Historians
  • Journalists, newspaper and periodical editors
  • Public relations professionals
  • Researchers
  • Solicitors

Helping you find the right career

Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant to support you. They offer impartial advice and guidance, together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:

  • A Career to suit you
  • Discovering Careers in the Creative Industries
  • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
  • The Historian’s Toolkit – Career planning for first years
  • History – CV review session

Find out more about careers support at Warwick.

"So many different areas of study"

"There's so many different areas of study on offer in the modules that I'm able to expand my interests beyond anything I was taught at school, meaning that my interest in history will hopefully keep growing throughout the three years of the course."


BA History

"The cutting edge of research"

“The Warwick history staff are academically brilliant and absolutely lovely. Teaching wise, it is not uncommon to be reading a book and seeing your lecturer’s name as a reference. You can really tell you are learning from top academics in their field and that what you are learning is the cutting edge of research.”


BA History graduate

"Intertwine philosophy with your everyday life"

“If I could sum up the Philosophy course at Warwick in one word it would be ... modern. I found that, unlike some institutions that tend to focus only on the typical Plato and Aristotle type modules, Warwick gives you the opportunity to intertwine philosophy with your everyday life.

One of my favourite modules was ‘Philosophy through Film’ which involved investigating whether films could actually do philosophy. Although we didn’t get to swap lectures for film screenings, we had fun movie nights, thoughtful debates and eventually created our own short films which is less daunting than it sounds.

Our lecturers encourage us to genuinely investigate the aspects of philosophy that interests us so that we are constantly interested in what we study and keen to contribute our own ideas.”


BA Philosophy

"Get involved with the Philosophy society"

"It's easy to get involved with the Philosophy Society, which always welcomes new members. At the start of term they hosted a Skype Q&A session with philosopher Peter Singer, which was really well-done, and they often host revision sessions to help with exams.

Outside of the society, the philosophy common room is the place to get to know other philosophy students from every year, and talk to anyone about philosophy in general. I'm also a Philosophy Ambassador, which means I help out on offer holder days and introduce people to the department.

I also enjoy going to the gym regularly at university. People tend to think that philosophers and philosophy students sit and only focus on training their minds, but we go to the gym and participate in sports just as much as anyone else. Even Plato was a wrestler!"


BA Philosophy

About the information on this page

This information is applicable for 2021 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.