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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: 2023/24

UCAS code

V500

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time

Typical offer

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

Start date

September 2023(semester dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£21,950 per year

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Find out more about life at York, online and on campus.

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in the UK for research in Philosophy

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

for 'Overall Satisfaction' in Philosophy

out of the Russell Group universities included in the latest National Student Survey (2022).

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.

Personalised careers support

Get a head start in your career with personalised support from the University's Careers and Placements team.

Gender equality

We hold an Athena SWAN bronze award for our commitment to gender equality.

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

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.

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'll have the opportunity to cover philosophy from ancient Greece, to the 17th and 18th centuries, 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. 

Core modules

Option modules

You will also study one option module. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

You can also choose to study a foreign language or a module from another department. 

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information please get in touch.

Academic integrity module

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

Year 2

Core modules

  • Public Philosophy

Option modules

You will also study five option modules. In previous years, options have covered topics such as:

Theoretical Philosophy

Value in Philosophy

History of Philosophy

Other choices for modules 

You may take an elective module offered by another department, or a Languages For All module.

You may take History of Political Thought or Contemporary Political Philosophy.

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.

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information, please get in touch.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

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 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.
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

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £21,950

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 2023/24 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.

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

Teaching and assessment

Your skills and knowledge will be developed through a range of teaching methods.

Teaching and assessment methods

Extend your experience

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

Top 100 Ranking

Our Philosophy department is among the top 100 departments in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022

Careers and skills

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.

Careers opportunities and transferable skills

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.

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.
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. 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', 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 and Indicator) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Duolingo 110 overall, with a minimum of 100 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT B2 Communicator High Pass with a minimum score of 33/50 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've not 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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