God. Morality. Mind. Reality. Art. If you want to spend three years engaging with some of the biggest and hardest questions with which humanity has ever grappled then Philosophy BA (Hons) is the degree for you.
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.
Choosing this subject as a Single Honours
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.
Your first year will be spent developing your foundational knowledge through a series of compulsory modules, through which you will also acquire the skills base to read and write about philosophy, and to undertake critical analysis. Years 2 and 3 allow you to tailor your studies to your own interest through a free choice of modules.
Choosing this subject as a Major
Philosophy infiltrates many areas of the arts and humanities. Taking another subject as a Minor adds an extra dimension to your studies.
Students taking this subject as their Major will take 75% of their modules in the Philosophy, and the remaining 25% in their other subject. Students on the Major pathway have the opportunity to complete a 10,000 word dissertation on a philosophical topic of their choice in Year Three.
Choosing this subject as a Joint
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.
Philosophy presents a theoretical contrast to practical or vocational subjects, and gives you the opportunity to look deeper into the presuppositions of a theoretical subject. You will take half of your modules in Philosophy, and the other half in your other subject.
Choosing this subject as a Minor
Philosophy – with its inquiries into every subject around us – complements many other subject areas.
You take two Philosophy modules each year, one in each semester. In every year you may select the most appropriate modules from a wide choice, dealing with philosophical questions (such as theory of knowledge or philosophy of language), or discussing particular philosophers or philosophical movements, such as existentialism or Indian philosophy (Reading and Writing Philosophy and the Dissertation module not available).
Department Key Facts
Number of first year students
94 Year One undergraduates in 2018
UK league tables
Ranked 7th for Philosophy in the Guardian University Guide 2017
92% are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17)
National Student Survey
• 95% of our students find their programme 'intellectually stimulating’ (National Student Survey 2016)
• 100% of students said staff are good at explaining things (National Student Survey 2016)
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. From Year Two, we offer students 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 ancient philosophy, environmental philosophy, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of the future, philosophy of literature, and Indian 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 get involved in many activities.