What is reality? How can we know it - and how do we know what we know? Can we trust what scientists say more than others, and is science ever truly objective?
A degree in Philosophy and History and Philosophy of Science addresses important questions about how we see and understand the world around us. As well as fundamental questions about knowledge, language, reality and moral and political life, you'll learn about the ways in scientific theories and methods have developed over the years and the roles that science, technology and medicine play in society.
Core modules will introduce you to key approaches, thinkers and methods in each subject, as you learn to construct effective arguments and think about the nature of scientific evidence and ideas. You'll then be able to expand your knowledge through a wide range of optional modules on topics like philosophy of biology, science and religion, metaphysics and aesthetics. You'll engage with questions that have shaped the modern world.
Leeds has great facilities for students of philosophy, theology and religious studies. The world class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections - valuable assets for your independent research. Our other library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.
In your first year you'll study core modules that introduce you to the history, methods and central questions across philosophy and history and philosophy of science, such as How to Think Clearly and Argue Well and How Science Works. You'll also be able to choose from optional modules in either subject or discovery modules from across the university.
With this grounding you'll be in a good position to take advantage of the choice on offer over the next two years. In your second year you'll choose from core modules exploring topics such as the philosophy of theory and evidence, the history of psychiatry, or the role of science in social change. Beyond this you'll be able to pursue your interests in optional modules such as moral and political philosophy, logic or the philosophy of mind or religion.
You'll continue to benefit from this choice in your final year, but you'll also focus on a specialist topic of your choice when you undertake your independent research project. It will allow you to showcase the skills and knowledge that you've developed throughout the course of your degree.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Follow the links to the Programme Catalogue for more example optional modules.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A degree in Philosophy and History and Philosophy of Science will equip you with in-depth subject knowledge on a wide range of topics. It will also give you transferable skills that are very attractive to employers.
You'll have strong research skills and be able to think critically about complex information from a range of sources. You'll be able to construct effective arguments and present and defend your views clearly, whether verbally or in writing. You'll also be able to work in a team or independently and have good organisational skills.
Graduates have gone on to succeed in a wide range of career paths as a result, including management, charity work, the civil service, politics, journalism, the media and education. Many also pursue postgraduate study.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
All University of Leeds students can apply to spend a year studying abroad. It's a great way to gain an insight into another culture, as well as gaining valuable experience that will look great on your CV.
The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science also has exclusive exchange links with universities in Denmark, France and Spain - language classes are available before you go to prepare you for the experience.
Read more about Study abroad in Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
You'll also have additional opportunities to gain work experience during the degree. For example, you can apply for our Philosophy Students into Schools module which allows you to spend time planning and delivering lessons, or you can get involved in the ongoing development of the Leeds Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.