Philosophy BA (Hons)

Key information


God. Morality. Mind. Reality. Art. If you want to spend three years engaging with some of the most challenging and profound questions with which humanity has ever grappled, then Philosophy is the subject for you.

Our staff and students have created an environment where critical, independent thinking flourishes, in a city that has a long tradition of welcoming radical thinkers and philosophers. Our friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere makes the exchange of ideas enjoyable, as well as intellectually stimulating.

Programme in detail

As philosophers we ask many different questions. What am I? How should I live? What will humans be like in the future? How does language work? How can we take care of our planet?

Our expert staff will help you develop your own answers to these great questions through a combination of lectures on the answers given by great philosophers of the past and present, and seminars aimed at facilitating interaction between student and student, and student and teacher.

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.

Year One will be spent developing your foundational knowledge through a series of required modules, through which you will also acquire the skills to read and write about philosophy, and to undertake critical analysis. Years Two and Three allow you to tailor your studies to your own interest through a free choice of modules.

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.

Study as part of joint-honours at 50:50 Choosing this subject as a combined degree

Philosophy goes well with every subject, for the simple reason that it touches on every subject, inquiring into its nature, methods, and boundaries. Also, some aspects of philosophy – e.g. the theory of knowledge – are relevant to every subject.

You will take half of your modules in Philosophy, and the other half in your other subject. Popular subjects to take with Philosophy include Politics, English Literature, Law, English and Business Studies.

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.