3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)
AAB or ABB + EPQ (full entry requirements)
September 2019 (term dates)
£9,250 per year (2019/20)
£17,120 per year (2019/20)
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.
Along the way you will develop valuable skills in reasoning, analysis, creative problem-solving and communication, equipping you for a wide range of careers.
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
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment, 96% of the Department's research activity was rated as 'internationally recognised'.
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.
There are a number of Study Abroad options for Philosophy students at York, in Europe, North America and further afield. Some of the many opportunities are described here:
Once you're at York, you can apply to spend a year in Beijing on our '3+1' programme. After two years at York you'll study at Peking University (PKU) for one year, before returning home for your final year. PKU is one of China's top educational institutions. Teaching is in English, so you won't need to be fluent in Chinese before you go.
We hope to expand this scheme to include other overseas universities, though entry may be competitive. Contact us for further details.
In first year we will ensure that you gain a firm grounding in philosophy by teaching you how to study, think and write philosophically and develop your skills in reasoning and argument. We will 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'll have the opportunity to cover philosophy from ancient Greece, to the 17th and 18th century, to the contemporary. In your First Year Project you'll research the ideas of a major philosopher who has shaped historical or current debates. You'll develop critical and presentation skills, and pursue your own independent research.
Our current first year modules include:
You can also choose to study a foreign language or a module from another department instead of some of these modules.
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.
This module covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.
This module will:
In the second year you'll take 120 credits, and you'll choose from a range of Key Ideas modules, and option modules.
Key Ideas modules (20 credits)
These modules look in more depth at topics in theoretical, value, and the history of philosophy. You'll take at least one module from each topic list. You can take up to five modules from Key Ideas in total.
Value in Philosophy
History of Philosophy
Option modules (10 credits each)
You'll take two option modules - one option module in Term 3, and another in a term of your choice. Current options include the following, among others:
Other choices for modules
You may take 20 credits in an elective module offered by another department, or a Languages For All module.
Modules may change from year to year, but all will help you to develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills that you'll use in more specialised investigations in your third year.
In the third year you'll study 120 credits. You can specialise further, choosing from a wide range of modules based in our latest research, enabling you to tailor your degree to your particular interests. Modules will vary from year to year. Our current 20-credit modules include the following, among others:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
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.
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
There are chances to study abroad, from a year exchange to summer schools overseas.
The student-run Philosophy Society is a vibrant and social way to extend your interest in philosophy.
The fees and funding figures below are for 2019 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year.
This course gives a great deal of flexibility in terms of the modules you may choose to study, because of this and the fact that available modules change each year, we are only able to give you an estimate of additional costs that must be met. Course books will be available from the library, and online reading packs are available for most modules. If you choose reading group modules you may need your own copy of the book, each typically costing between £10 - £20. It is unlikely that you would take more than two or three such modules in any year.
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.
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.
We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and 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.
There is a culture of openness that really characterises the department. No matter how experienced my lecturers were, I always felt as though my thoughts really mattered. This to me was the single most important aspect of my academic studies - it has given me the ability to not only have an opinion, but feel confident in expressing my opinions.Furhaad, Philosophy graduate
“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”
The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018
Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.
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.
Studying Philosophy is different from many other degrees; you need to be an active participant in your own learning, asking questions and evaluating your own responses and those of others. You will take part in discussions with your peers and academic staff and develop your knowledge and skills through:
Every member of staff has a 'Feedback and Advice Time' every week, and students are actively encouraged to use this opportunity for one-to-one contact and informal discussion.
As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Lectures and seminars||168 hours||180 hours||132 hours|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.
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.
Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1,200 hours a year learning.
You will be based in the Department of Philosophy on Campus West. Most of your teaching will take place at various locations across Campus West including the Spring Lane Building, Vanbrugh and Alcuin colleges.
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 campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
You will be assessed by a combination of essays and examinations. The balance of assessment depends upon the modules you choose but we aim to have a fairly equal balance in the first and second year, with third year modules mostly assessed by essay. The Year 1 module Beginning Philosophy is partly assessed by an online test and the first year project involves an informal presentation.
We give feedback on your ideas in class, and provide written feedback on all your submitted work.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.
Philosophy develops skills that are in great demand by employers and graduates have a lot of choice when it comes to which career path they follow.
Previous Philosophy graduates have gone on to a range of careers including in:
Studying Philosophy develops skills highly sought after by employers including:
Philosophy is an incredibly versatile degree - helping you to develop skills such as problem solving, analysis, creativity, writing skills. Add to this typical degree skills of conducting, research, working to deadlines and condensing information; you’re basically a force to be reckoned with. You are capable of doing pretty much anything from finance, marketing to law or politics.Hannah, Philosophy and Politics
Read more from Hannah.
AAB or equivalent (A*BB, A*AC) or
ABB or equivalent and pass in EPQ (extended project qualification). There is no restriction on the topic for your EPQ.
We will accept General Studies or Critical Thinking, but not both.
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher|
|BTEC||BTEC National Extended Diploma: DDD|
|Cambridge Pre-U||D3 D3 M2|
|International Baccalaureate||35 points|
|Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers||AAAAB at Higher level|
If you achieve a pass at EPQ, you will be eligible for a reduced offer, one grade below our typical offer.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
IELTS: 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
PTE Academic: 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
Cambridge Advanced English (CAE): grade A
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grade C
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first language): grade C
For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.
To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).
Get in touch if you have any questions
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