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BA (Hons) Philosophy

Consider fundamental questions about our own nature, and that of the world we live in

Year of entry: 2025/26
Show year of entry: 2024

UCAS code

V500

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB/A*BB/A*AC (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2025 (semester dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£23,700 per year

Undergraduate Open Days

Book your place for our Open Days on 22 and 23 June and 6 and 7 September.

Book your place

in the UK for research in Philosophy

according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).

Philosophy is an engaging yet demanding activity that will challenge your thinking, giving you a greater understanding of your own nature and that of the world around you. You will need genuine intellectual curiosity and a willingness to carefully weigh up different points of view.

We will give you the tools to think seriously and independently about major philosophical questions. Studying original texts from great minds both past and present, you will learn to form, develop and defend your own answers.

You will develop valuable skills in reasoning, analysis, creative problem-solving and communication. You'll graduate ready for a wide range of careers.

Course content

Taught by world-leading experts and with the opportunity to gain a solid grounding in the latest research, Philosophy at York enables you to become an independent scholar, growing and developing intellectually.

You have a wide range of options to choose from, reflecting the expertise of a large and diverse department. We offer modules in all the central areas of philosophy and you can tailor your degree to reflect your own areas of interest. The modules on offer may change from year to year. In each year you can also take ‘elective’ modules offered by other departments. 

Study abroad

 There are other opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:

We also offer this course as a 3+1 programme.

Placements

There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.

Year 1

In your first year, you'll gain a firm grounding in philosophy, learning how to study, think and write philosophically, and developing your skills in reasoning and argument.

We'll introduce you to some of the central areas of philosophy and challenge you to form your own opinions about the bigger questions. You'll explore ethics, be introduced to the language of logic, and question the fundamental nature of reality. You'll consider questions about the nature of knowledge, how we get it, and whether we can be sure that we have it! You will have the opportunity to explore philosophical ideas via engagement with classic texts from the history of philosophy, as well as through contemporary discussions.

In Beginning Philosophical Research, you will start developing as an independent researcher. As well as learning how to present your research in a traditional essay form, you will also learn how to present your research as a concise and engaging academic poster

Core modules

Option modules

You will study one option module. Examples can be found below. Some option module combinations may not be possible. The options available to you will confirmed after you begin your course.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 2

In your second year you will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of optional modules, allowing you to pursue topics that interest you most in philosophy. In your core 'Philosophy and Society' module you will reflect on how philosophy is influenced by, and can influence, society. You will also develop your skills in communicating philosophy to non-philosophers by working in a team to produce a podcast on a philosophical topic.

Core modules

Option modules

You will study five option modules. Examples can be found below. Some option module combinations may not be possible. Students must take at least one module from Band A, and at least one module from Band B. The options available to you will be confirmed after you begin your course.

Band A

Band B

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 3

In your final year, you have the opportunity to propose your own philosophical project, working one-to-one with a supervisor to produce an in depth piece of independent research. The remaining choices of modules reflect many of the research strengths of the Department of Philosophy.

Core modules

Option modules

You will study either four or five option modules. Examples can be found below. Some option module combinations may not be possible. The options available to you will be confirmed after you begin your course.

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Understand and explain key problems, issues, and debates across a wide range of areas of philosophy and its history—including some at the forefront of contemporary work—and communicate complex and difficult ideas in clear, precise, and accessible terms in a variety of formats.
  • Develop and articulate ranges of alternative solutions to problems and issues in an open-minded and imaginative way, and establish ways of making progress in answering questions even where it is unclear in the first instance how to proceed or what the standards for a good answer to the question might be.
  • Develop and articulate systematic, logical arguments for and against the alternative solutions considered in relation to a particular problem, subjecting key concepts and principles to critical scrutiny and presenting the best case that can be made for each proposal.
  • Make a measured judgement about what is the best view on a particular problem and present a sustained line of argument in defence of this judgement based on careful consideration of what can be said for and against the proposed solutions.
  • Work effectively and productively as a thinker and learner, individually and in collaboration with others - planning and scheduling, seeking help where appropriate, initiating and pursuing projects, and working collaboratively with others in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.
  • Amend and develop practice as a thinker and learner in the light of critical reflection, advice, and feedback - identify strengths and weaknesses, and develop strategies for making improvements in performance.
  • Demonstrate informed sensitivity to cultural and historical context in interpreting and responding to the work and ideas of others.
  • Critically engage with social, political, cultural, ethical, and value issues to contribute to the solution of key contemporary problems by applying philosophical methods and insights.
The quality of the teaching and the variety of the modules available is fantastic. Philosophy as a degree covers so many topics so it's brilliant that York offers so many of them, normally with lecturers who are currently doing research in those areas. Teaching is always of a high standard and challenging - in a good way!
Josephine, Philosophy graduate

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £23,700

The fees above are for students starting their course in the 2024/25 academic year. Fees for 2025/26 will be confirmed later in the year.

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Additional costs

This course gives a great deal of flexibility in terms of the modules you can choose to study. You may choose to buy your own copies of texts for some modules, although course books will be available from the library, and online reading packs are available for most modules. 

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2025/26 throughout the year.

We offer £1000 Academic Excellence and Widening Participation Bursaries. See our funding page for further details.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Without exception the modules I took throughout my degree were interesting and challenging, encouraging me to think differently about the problems we were presented with. Philosophy has had a huge impact on my perception of myself and the world and has influenced the way I think through and approach decisions.
Cecily, Philosophy graduate

Choose elective modules across a wide range of languages

As part of your degree, you can choose to take a credit-bearing module in a variety of languages - from Medieval Latin to Japanese, to Arabic or Chinese.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

Gold-standard education

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

Why we’re gold-rated

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

We’ll encourage you to be an active participant, taking part in discussions with academics and fellow students. You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures, intensive small group sessions and practical workshops.

You’ll be assigned a personal supervisor to guide you through your course and support your academic journey.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures5-6 hours per week
Seminars4 hours per week

These figures are representative of a typical week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks or revision.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during semesters. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Philosophy. Most of your teaching will take place at various locations across Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed in a number of different ways, depending on your course and the modules you study. Forms of assessment include:

  • Essays
  • Closed exams
  • Presentations
  • Podcasts

Whenever you complete an assessment, you will receive feedback on its good and bad points, and guidance on how you can improve further.

You'll also receive feedback on assignments which don't count towards your final grade, helping you to understand your strengths and identify areas for improvement.

 

Extend your experience

Our student-run Philosophy Society is a vibrant and social way to extend your interest in philosophy.

11th in the UK

for Philosophy, according to the Complete University Guide, 2023.

Careers and skills

Philosophy graduates are equipped to enter a variety of jobs from health service management to banking, from tourism to government. Some continue in academic study and research, or take professional or vocational training to prepare for careers in, for example, education or law.

Career opportunities

Our graduates have gone on to succeed in a wide range of careers, including:

  • central and local government
  • charities
  • education
  • finance and management
  • HR
  • IT
  • Media

Transferable skills

  • analytical and critical thinking
  • creative problem-solving
  • grasping complex ideas
  • research
  • communication and presentation
  • constructing and defending a coherent argument
Through reflection and study of decisions, and the application of philosophical tools, we can improve the quality of decisions that institutions take.
Harry Evans, Philosophy Alumni
Senior Strategy Advisor, NHS

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels

AAB/A*BB/A*AC

Access to Higher Education Diploma 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2
European Baccalaureate 80% overall
International Baccalaureate 35 points
T levels We will consider a range of T Level qualifications for entry. Please visit our dedicated T Levels page for a full list of accepted T Levels.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Scottish Highers - AABBB

Advanced Highers - not required for entry

We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
International foundation programme Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
Core Maths If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
MOOCs If you successfully complete our online course Logic: the language of truth do let us know, as you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about MOOCs.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, with a minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
KITE 459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Next steps

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Department of Philosophy

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