Mathematics and Philosophy BA (Joint Hons)

Key information


What are numbers? Do they exist? How can we know about them if they are not to be found in the familiar world of space and time that we inhabit? These are just some of the philosophical questions raised by the study of Mathematics.

The relationship between philosophy and mathematics runs both ways: mathematics has helped formalise the study of logical argument that lies at the base of all good philosophy. So, it is no surprise that some of the greatest philosophers (eg Descartes, Leibniz, Frege, and Russell) have been mathematicians too.

By the end of this programme, you will be able to understand complex and demanding texts, reason intelligently and imaginatively about ethical, metaphysical, and epistemological issues, and have a grasp of the advantages and problems of a wide range of metaphysical and ethical views. In addition, you will have mastered a wide range of mathematical disciplines, and have extended your numerical, logical, and quantitative skills.

Programme in detail

This programme allows you to study mathematics and philosophy in equal amounts over three years. In philosophy, you will learn how to understand complex and demanding texts, and to recognise good and bad arguments.

The philosophy component of the degree course includes modules in logic and the formal study of reasoning, in which you will learn how to assess arguments and construct proofs.

In mathematics, the core first-year modules introduce fundamental ideas, and are designed to bridge the gap between previous study and university. In subsequent years, you will generally take four modules in mathematics each year, choosing either to specialise or to continue to study a broad range of topics.
Please note: not all mathematics modules are listed and you will be required to take mathematics modules in each year.

Year in Industry 

This programme is available with a Year in Industry. Year Three is spent on a paid placement within an organisation in industry, broadly defined. You will be supported by the School of the Arts and the Department throughout, and your reflexive written account of the experience will contribute towards your final degree result. If you wish to study this programme with a Year in Industry please put the option code YI in the Further Choices section of your UCAS application form.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

94 Year One undergraduates in 2018

Graduate prospects

89% are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17)

Why this subject?

Be challenged intellectually

You will be taught by internationally recognised philosophers with research expertise that spans most of philosophy’s breadth and history. Our enthusiastic teaching reflects this research excellence, and is further demonstrated in our very high National Student Survey (NSS) scores. In all sessions, you will be encouraged to share your perspective with your fellow students and tutors.

Develop the vital skills employers look for

Philosophy is all about being able to weigh up arguments, to communicate your own opinion persuasively, and to respond thoughtfully to objections. Employers value philosophy because any graduate-level job will require the employee to be able to sift through a large mass of information to find the relevant parts, weigh up the arguments for and against a particular view or course of action, and present advice in a clear and compelling manner. You will be offered the chance to gain invaluable experience through our work experience and study-abroad opportunities. Besides taking our dedicated work experience module, many of our students are involved in activities within the University or work locally with the support of our award-winning careers service.

Experience the full breadth of our academics' expertise

Members of the Department are actively researching and publishing in a variety of fields with national and international reputations. This research activity underpins all our taught courses, and students benefit from the expertise and enthusiasm of staff for their subject. We are proud of the breadth of our research, which includes aesthetics and art theory, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, environmental philosophy, philosophy of logic, ethics, philosophy of the future, philosophy of religion, political philosophy, Indian philosophy and history of philosophy.

Be part of a city with a reputation for philosophical thought

Philosophy comes alive in Liverpool and we have a tradition of active engagement with the wider life of our city. You will be able to be involved with a vibrant and varied set of activities – sporting, cultural, intellectual, social, spiritual – in a dynamic and enterprising city.