One of the world's oldest academic subjects, philosophy asks vital questions about the world and how we understand it. Is there such a thing as evil? Are we ever truly free to act? How do we know what we know - if we can ever know anything at all?
This fascinating and challenging degree will allow you to think clearly, construct arguments and defend them while giving you the chance to explore ideas and approaches across the full range of philosophy.
Core modules will introduce you to key concepts and issues such as morality, knowledge and the self, logic, philosophy of the mind, the nature of reality and political philosophy. But a wide range of optional modules will allow you to build on this foundation to explore areas as diverse as philosophy of religion, ethics, the history and philosophy of science, aesthetics or feminist philosophy. It's a great opportunity to gain valuable skills and question what you know and how you think.
Leeds has great facilities for students of philosophy. 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.
Core modules in your first year will introduce you to some of the key issues, thinkers and approaches in philosophy, such as the nature of the self, knowledge, morality, political philosophy and constructing effective arguments. Then you'll be able to choose from optional modules in Philosophy or take discovery modules from across the University.
With these essentials under your belt, you'll be able to make the most of the choice on offer over the next two years to shape a degree that suits your interests. You'll be able to choose from an impressive range of optional modules in areas such as the philosophy of mind, politics, religion, language, metaphysics, history and philosophy of science, moral philosophy, ethics, feminism and the philosophy of art.
Throughout the degree, you'll develop your skills of argument, critical thinking, research, interpretation and analysis. In your third and final year you'll be able to demonstrate these abilities, when you undertake an independent research project on a topic of your choice.
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 and the full course structure.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A degree in philosophy will equip you with a variety of transferable skills that are highly attractive to employers across a number of sectors.
You'll be an excellent communicator, confident working independently or within a team. You'll have strong research skills and be able to interpret and analyse complex information from different sources. Crucially, you'll be able to construct and defend clear and effective arguments, both verbally and in writing.
Graduates have pursued diverse careers as a result. Recently they have had success in fields such as management, politics, the civil service, journalism, the media, education and the charity sector. Many others have progressed to 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.