Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language. A philosophy degree may cover the complexity of humanity, as well as raising common philosophical questions. Philosophy is the perfect choice for any student who would like to develop their questioning, critical thinking and discussion, rational argument, and research skills.
Highlighted courses and degrees in Philosophy
Philosophy as an academic discipline covers a wide range of concepts and areas. A degree in philosophy will include taking modules in the major branches, such as metaphysics, ethics and logic. You will study some famous philosophers like Aristotle, Plato and Descartes. You may also get the chance to integrate theology in your studies.
Your degree will mainly be taught in the mode lectures and seminars. You may have the opportunity to participate in philosophical discussions and debates.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This will allow you the chance to further explore a chosen area of philosophy. Common specialisations include:
If your degree requires you to write a dissertation, this will give you the opportunity to research a favoured area of philosophy to a greater depth.
The award you gain at the end of your degree course will depend on where you choose to study. Some philosophy degrees will award you a bachelor of science, and others a bachelor of the arts. This can be influenced by the content of your course. Check with your institution to see what accreditation they award for their philosophy degrees.
An undergraduate degree in philosophy will usually take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years when studied full-time.
Once you have successfully completed your undergraduate degree, you can either seek employment in your chosen field, or further your studies. Continuation of studies can be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.
The entry requirements of a philosophy degree will depend on where you choose to study. They can vary from institution to institution. Some universities may require you to sit an entrance exam, and others may rely on your previous exam results. Some universities might prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others may consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their philosophy programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed, and can therefore vary greatly at each university. Make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
Due to broad range of areas covered, philosophy graduates will find career options available in many different fields. Throughout your degree, you will develop invaluable and transferable skills. These may include written and oral communication, logical and critical thinking, and rational argument presentation.
Popular destinations for graduates of philosophy include law school, marketing, business management, or writing and editing. You may also find work in the public or private sector of government and non-governmental organisations, due to your knowledge of humanities and ethics. It is also possible for you to pursue a career in teaching.
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