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Page last updated 5 July 2021
This course will help you to realise your full potential both as an innovative and self-reflective thinker and as an active citizen able to make a positive contribution to communities, workplaces and society.
Why study philosophy?
By examining life's fundamental questions, philosophy helps to shape the way we think about the world.
What are the ethical, political and social questions we need to ask ourselves? What can we know? And how can we change the world using our knowledge?
Exploring questions such as these hones and develops your thinking skills, and provides a strong springboard into many professions.
Why study at UWE Bristol?
BA(Hons) Philosophy is a diverse and distinctive degree that will give you the broad grounding you need for your own philosophical work, and the inspiration to tackle life's big issues for yourself.
Studying in a close-knit group of students and lecturers, you'll engage with the history of philosophy, from its beginnings in ancient Greece to the great minds of 19th, 20th and 21st century continental philosophers.
You'll learn how to analyse complex issues from different perspectives, present logical, reasoned arguments, and communicate concepts and opinions with clarity and precision.
Benefit from a diverse range of work-based learning opportunities from teaching philosophy in schools, to organising your own philosophy conference.
Apply your knowledge and expertise on a work placement. Where possible, we offer opportunities to study abroad in Europe.
With options for final year specialisms, you'll develop the skills and knowledge that will equip you well for your career and life in general.
UWE Bristol is a member of the British Philosophical Association, meaning you'll benefit from a range of up-to-date resources, information and guidance during your study.
Where can it take me?
Our philosophy graduates are in demand across journalism, law, banking, the creative industries and all kinds of business management.
You could work in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or specialise in teaching, research, counselling or healthcare, among many other areas.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
You will study:
- Critical Thinking
- Theories of Knowledge
- Ancient Philosophy
- Problems of the Self
- The Death of God and the Meaning of Life.
Study exchange (if applicable)
If you choose the study exchange option, you'll spend the first and/or second semester of year two studying at another university.
See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.
You will study:
- Philosophical Methods*
- Self and Society.*
Plus, six optional modules from:
- Hellenistic Philosophy
- Early Modern Philosophy
- Feminist Philosophy
- Marxist Philosophies
- Theoretical Ethics
- Applied Ethics
- Philosophical Approaches to Art
- Philosophy of Contemporary Art
- 19th Century German Philosophy
*After successful completion of Self and Society and Philosophical Methods, students will also receive the professional accreditation 'ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management'.
Placement year (if applicable)
If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after year two.
Depending on which you choose, you'll either complete a placement learning or learning and development module.
See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.
You will study:
- Philosophy Project and Placement Module.
Plus, six optional modules from:
- Ethics of Technology
- Philosophy of Nature and Science
- Soul, Mind, Nature
- Advanced Philosophical Texts
- Contemporary Philosophical Issues
- Phenomenology: The Philosophy of Experience
- Social Pathology and the Paradoxes of Modernity in the Frankfurt School
- Power, Desire and Agency; Debates in 20th Century French Philosophy
- Europe and Decolonisation
- Philosophy as a Way of Life
- Thought in Action: Film and Philosophy
- Social Sciences Placement Year.
This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.
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
A diverse course of study, from pre-socratic to contemporary philosophy, covering questions from how we can have knowledge of the external world to how we should live our lives and adapt to technological change.
You'll get a solid foundation in the central issues of philosophy and develop your own unique path of study based on your interests and strengths.
Attend lectures, seminars and workshops, and work on projects on your own and in groups.
Join our close-knit study community, develop as an independent learner, and be taught, mentored and encouraged by our enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff.
Our teaching team is proactive in organising local public engagement events to bring our research to a non-specialist audience and engaging in dialogue with the public. We recently partnered with Watershed to hold a well-engaged film screening and discussion seriest, Thought in Action.
Passionate about philosophy and working at the forefront of the subject, many of our lecturers are internationally-renowned academics/researchers and bring contemporary philosophical issues into their teaching.
Partake in the practice of philosophy itself, and develop your own philosophical knowledge.
Our staff are there to support and guide you. You'll get regular feedback on your work and we'll ask you for regular feedback on your modules.
Join a staff-student committee, where you'll get to influence discussions that affect your learning experience.
Our Student Adviser Service can help with everything from ensuring you're enrolled on the correct modules, to paying fees.
Our teaching ethos is informal supportive and welcoming.
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
Percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities, each year:
|Year||Scheduled learning and teaching study||Independent study||Placement study||% check|
Experience teaching philosophy yourself through a project we run with local schools.
Join our thriving, student-run Philosophy Society to hear from speakers from other universities, and take part in topical debates and activities. Find out more at UWE Bristol Philosophy Society.
Learn from experts
Where possible, we will organise live briefs held by external professionals.
Expand your knowledge and learn from practitioners at the lectures and conferences we organise where possible. You'll find plenty going on at the University, and at local art centres and other venues.
We'll assess you using a mix of essay coursework, formal exams, oral presentations and independent project work.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
Percentage of time you'll spend on different assessment methods, each year:
|Year||Written exam assessment||Coursework assessment||Practical exam assessment||% check|
Students who undertake work experience, or a study exchange overseas, tend to graduate with better degrees and with improved employability skills, making you a sought after graduate.
We also offer volunteering and other work-based experiences, to deepen your knowledge and skills.
You'll get help to find a placement and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.
Grow your personal and professional network and develop specialist subject knowledge by spending a semester or academic year at one of our partner universities abroad.
Increase your confidence, intercultural communication skills and boost your employability.
The teaching team actively encourages its students to where possible, get involved in international opportunities and every year several Philosophy students go to Venice to attend the Summer School of Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy.
Explore our study abroad pages to find out more.
Learn in modern, well-equipped facilities to support your study of philosophy including our dedicated subject library.
You'll also have 24 hour access to our main university library, which has spaces for silent and group study, and rooms you can book.
You'll have use of books, trade press, academic journals, and industry databases both on and off campus.
Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.
Careers / Further study
Philosophy students at UWE Bristol graduate with the critical thinking, argumentation and communication skills that employers value highly.
You could go into a diverse range of sectors, including teaching, academic research, law, finance, the creative industries, healthcare, social work, not-for-profit organisations (NGOs) or the civil service.
Many students also progress to postgraduate study in philosophy, law and other subjects.
Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.
Where possible, we can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.
Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.
Part Time Course
Full-time; sandwich course
Indicative Additional Costs
Supplementary fee information
Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.
You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the four year course and then transfer to the three year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.
Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.
Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.
- Tariff points: 112
- GCSE: Grade C/4 or above in English Language or Literature and Mathematics, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy as alternatives to GCSEs.
- English Language Requirement: International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*). *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit http://uwe.ac.uk/englishlanguagerequirements
- A-level subjects: No specific subjects required.
- EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
- Access: No specific subjects required.
- Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
- Irish Highers: no specific subjects required.
If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be eligible for BA(Hons) Philosophy (with Foundation Year).
For country specific entry requirements please find your country on the Country Information pages. If you are an international student and do not meet the academic requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.
If you are applying to study at UWE Bristol and require additional support to meet our English language requirements, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.