lecturer talking to student


Philosophy (with Foundation Year)

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Health and Social Sciences
Four years full-time; part-time
Full-time; part-time
Study abroad:
Programme leader:
Dr Katrina Mitcheson and Dr Dagmar Wilhelm
Key fact:
UWE Philosophy was ranked 4th in the Guardian University Guide 2016.

Page last updated 13 September 2017


Why study BA(Hons) Philosophy?

Whatever you choose to do in the future, a degree in philosophy will help transform the way you view the world and develop the transferable skills needed to succeed in a wide variety of interesting and rewarding careers. Through an examination of life's fundamental questions, philosophy encourages independent, creative thinking and a methodical approach to problem solving. Employers value the ability of philosophy graduates to analyse complex issues from different perspectives, present logical, reasoned arguments and communicate concepts and opinions with clarity and precision.

Why study our course?

BA(Hons) Philosophy at UWE Bristol is diverse and distinctive. You will explore the ethical, political and social questions that shape our lives, asking what it is possible to know and forming opinions on how best to change the world in light of what we know of it. Studying in an enthusiastic, close-knit group of students and lecturers, you will engage with the entire history of the subject, from its beginnings in ancient Greece to the great minds of nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century European philosophers. This breadth gives you a substantial foundation for your own philosophical work and the inspiration to tackle life's big issues for yourself.

Real-world experience

In Year two you will benefit from work-integrated learning opportunities which will be invaluable in your future career or the option to study abroad. These work based opportunities include delivering philosophy classes in schools, organising a conference, volunteering on sustainability projects and mentoring local children.

With options for final year specialisms that include collaborations with other disciplines such as law, sociology, criminology, politics and robotics (in the areas of artificial intelligence and the ethical issues surrounding the use of technology), you will develop a unique set of transferable skills that equip you for life and work.

Where it can take you

Philosophy graduates from UWE Bristol are in demand across a very wide variety of professions including journalism, law, banking, the creative industries and all kinds of business management. There are career opportunities within non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the chance to specialise in teaching, research, counselling or healthcare, among many other areas.

Philosophy is part of the Department of Health and Social Sciences.



Philosophy at UWE offers a distinctive and diverse course of study, from pre-socratic to groundbreaking contemporary philosophy, and everything interesting and topical in between. The course provides a solid foundation in the central issues of philosophy and students are encouraged to create a unique path of study depending on their interests and strengths.

Foundation year (Year zero)

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Academic Skills for Social Sciences
  • Exploring the Social World and the Problems of Crime
  • From Plato to Nato
  • People and Social Science.

You will study the Foundation year alongside students from our other Social Science courses, and so you may be able to transfer to a course in one of these areas at the end of the Foundation year.

The normal expectation is that you must pass all Year zero modules before progressing to Year one.

Year one

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Theories of Knowledge
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Problems of the Self
  • The Death of God and the Meaning of Life.

Year two

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Metaphysics
  • Developing Self and Society
  • Nature and Use of Research.

In addition, you will study up to four optional modules from the list below (according to credit requirements):

  • Hellenistic Philosophy
  • Early Modern Philosophy
  • Feminist Philosophy
  • Marxist Philosophies
  • Theoretical Ethics
  • Applied Ethics
  • Philosophy of Art I
  • Philosophy of Art II
  • Nineteenth Century German Philosophy.

You will have the opportunity to take a placement year or an international exchange.

Final year

You will study the following compulsory modules.

  • Social Sciences Project and Placement module.

In addition, you will study up to five optional modules from the list below (according to credit requirements):

  • Ethics of Technology
  • Philosophy of Nature
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Advanced Philosophical Texts
  • Film and Philosophy
  • Contemporary Continental Philosophy I
  • Contemporary Continental Philosophy II
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • Theories of Justice
  • Ethical Issues in Politics.

Please note that these are indicative optional module lists.

This structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery, the same modules will be studied. However, the structure will differ.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Our aim is to develop students as independent learners. You will experience lectures, seminars, workshops, and independent project work.

Philosophy staff are accessible and always eager to meet with students. Students receive regular feedback on their work and are asked to provide regular feedback on their modules. They also have the opportunity to join a staff-student committee in which they can raise any issues arising from the course.

The University provides specialist Student Adviser service to help with everything from ensuring that you are enrolled on the correct modules, to paying fees. There is also a Student Counselling Service.

Find out more about our academic staff, their teaching expertise and research interests.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check


Assessment usually takes the form of a mixture of essay coursework and formal examinations. Some modules are assessed using oral presentations or independent project work.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check



Our partnerships with international universities through the Erasmus scheme offer the chance to study abroad for all or part of your second year, adding a global perspective to your degree that employers will find extremely valuable. Students have previously spent time in Finland, Poland, Slovenia, France, Germany, and Spain. You will also have the opportunity to take part in work placements and other work experience in your second and third years. In addition to this, students have in the past independently set up a number of extremely important local projects, which have included teaching philosophy in local schools.

Study facilities

UWE Bristol offers first-class facilities to support your study of philosophy including a dedicated subject library.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Student Initiatives

There is a thriving, student-run Philosophy Society that hosts many activities and features regular topical debates and invited guest speakers. You can find out more at UWE Bristol Philosophy Society on Facebook.

Students have during their degree set up a project that involves teaching Philosophy in local schools. They regularly invite speakers from other universities to the Philosophy Society, and have initiated a 'World Philosophy Day' where they invite lecturers from UWE to present their work to the students.

Learn from Experts

The BA(Hons) Philosophy course at UWE Bristol allows you to become part of a close-knit study group taught, mentored and encouraged by enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff who are passionate about philosophy and who work at the forefront of their subject.

Many are current writers who have their own research projects and bring the most contemporary philosophical issues into their teaching, ensuring that as students you will be partaking in the practice of philosophy itself, and will yourselves be actively working towards the development of philosophical knowledge.

The Philosophy course regularly organises lectures and conferences at local art centres and other venues in the city as well as a series of conferences and visiting speakers to UWE Bristol.

Discover what Philosophy at UWE Bristol has to offer in terms of teaching quality, staff expertise and your student experience.


Careers / Further study

Philosophy students at UWE Bristol graduate with the critical thinking, argumentation and communication skills that today's employers value across an increasingly diverse range of sectors from teaching and academic research, law, finance and the creative industries, to healthcare, social work, not-for-profit organisations and the civil service. Many students also progress to postgraduate study in philosophy, law and many other subjects.

Regardless of whether you plan on continuing your education with graduate or professional studies, philosophy not only provides skills that will be in demand by employers, it also enriches your life and can transform your view of the world.

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Useful links

Guardian - the rise in stock of Philosophy graduates

New York Times - in a new generation of students, many opt for the life examined


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year450

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

For information about funding for undergraduate courses see our funding pages.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 48
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of one A-Level.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; no specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

Students who expect to achieve a higher tariff score may also be interested in our BA(Hons) Philosophy course.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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