BA(Hons) in Philosophy
Bristol, United Kingdom
3 - 4 years
Full time, Part time
GBP 15,250 / per year *
Earliest start date
* home students per year: £9250 | international students per year: £15250
Study a future-facing, interdisciplinary philosophy degree, where you'll focus on applying theory to practice. Your teaching will be centred around core themes, comprising Health, Society and Public Ethics; Technology, Environment and Sustainability; and Human Flourishing and Creative Practice.
Why study for a philosophy degree?
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? How can we change the world using our knowledge?
Exploring questions such as these develop your creativity, rationality and critical thinking skills, enabling you to think carefully about theoretical problems. You'll learn to apply this knowledge to practical situations in the real world, from artificial intelligence to human creativity.
Why study at UWE Bristol?
Study a visionary, future-facing philosophy course that tackles today's key global contemporary issues, such as the impact of new technologies on wellbeing and the environment.
Our philosophy course offers an inclusive opportunity for learners from a broad range of backgrounds to demonstrate their abilities in a variety of ways, from blog journals to public speaking exams.
Through collaborative, interdisciplinary learning that applies theory to practice, you'll gain real-world experience, underpinned by traditional philosophical theories and approaches.
You'll learn how to analyse complex issues from different perspectives, present logical, reasoned arguments, and communicate concepts and opinions with clarity and precision.
UWE Bristol is a member of the British Philosophical Association, meaning you'll benefit from up-to-date resources, information and guidance. We're also a branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, a charity for the public understanding of philosophy, which supports our public engagement events.
Where can a philosophy degree take me?
Studying BA(Hons) Philosophy will transform you into an innovative thinker who's able to bring new perspectives to many professions. Our graduates are in demand across journalism, law, banking, the creative industries and business management.
You could also work in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or specialise in teaching, research, counselling, healthcare or social work, offering you broad career opportunities.
By the end of our philosophy course, you'll be equipped with the critical thinking, argumentation and communication skills that employers value highly. You'll develop fundamental transferable skills crucial for future employability, such as open-mindedness, entrepreneurship, empathy, and teamwork.
You'll learn to think carefully about theoretical problems, form coherent arguments and articulate your solutions. You'll develop a deep, critical knowledge of key contemporary issues in philosophy, such as mental health, environmental crisis and digital innovation. Plus, you'll analyse important facets of the human experience, such as race, gender and sexuality.
UWE Bristol is a branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and is a member of the British Philosophical Association, ensuring our teaching contains the latest developments in the field. You'll also benefit from our industry connections, offering you professional opportunities such as attending public engagement events.
As a graduate with a philosophy degree, you could find employment in a diverse range of sectors. These include education and 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 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.
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
You will study:
- Ancient Philosophy - introduces you to the most significant authors, texts, and issues of Ancient Greek Philosophy, from its origin to Aristotle, stressing the unitary character of its metaphysical, ethical, and political breakthroughs.
- Existentialism and Questions of Human Nature - aims to ground you in the importance of understanding the human in the 18th and 19th centuries and the influence of these debates on 20th-century existentialism and its consideration of moral agency and freedom.
- Philosophical Methods: Introduction - provides an introduction to the key skills required for the assessment and construction of philosophical arguments, and therefore provides a set of core skills you will build on throughout the course. The module also gives you a critical introduction to various philosophical theories of knowledge.
- Understanding our Global and Social Environment - prepares you for the global social/political, technological, and environmental themes that you will encounter throughout the course.
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.
You will study:
- Philosophical Methods - introduces you to the processes and methods used to produce knowledge and disseminate research in philosophy, in particular to non-academic audiences.
- Self and Society - brings together philosophical theories and skills with practice, enabling you to reflect on and apply the skills and experience that you gain throughout this philosophy degree.
Plus, six optional modules from:
- Critiques of Reason and Society: Post-Kantian Philosophy - examines the innovative creation of a variety of different philosophical systems and schools that developed in response to Kant's philosophy and explores their contemporary relevance.
- Decolonising Moral Thought - offers a decolonial critique of European moral thought and works towards a new decolonised approach to morality.
- Early Modern Philosophy - introduces you to the philosophical developments and theories of the 17th and 18th centuries in Great Britain and continental Europe, which provide the historical and conceptual background to current philosophical debates.
- Existence and Reality - consider metaphysics as the most general, most universal and the most abstract of the sciences. Exploring ontology as the first philosophy and the relation of concepts to reality.
- Gender, Sexuality, Feminism - covers debates in feminist philosophy, focusing on issues about gender, gendered justice (including economic, political and epistemic injustice and bias) and emancipation.
- Hellenistic and Neo-Platonist Philosophy - covers the development of philosophy after Aristotle until the closing of the Academy in 529 CE, focusing on the different conceptions of human flourishing developed at the time.
- Philosophy and Ethics of Innovation - shows how digital innovation is transforming the socio-technical environments that we call society and studies the conditions under which this innovation can be managed in a trustworthy and responsible way.
- Philosophy of Art and Creative Practice - explores the nature and significance of artistic practice and aesthetic experience engaging with a range of art forms such as literature, music, film and visual art.
- Philosophy of Ecology - explores the claim that our dominant conception of nature is, in part, responsible for the global environmental emergency. Alternative conceptions of life and nature are, therefore, explored as a basis for establishing a sustainable future.
- Understanding Capitalism - explores philosophical concepts for understanding the historical origins and nature of capitalism, up to the present day.
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 a learning and development module.
You will study:
- Philosophy Project and Placement - builds on the knowledge you've acquired across the course and allows you to demonstrate a systematic understanding of key aspects of philosophy, including the acquisition of coherent and detailed understanding which is informed by knowledge at the forefront of philosophy. You will also demonstrate critical skills in the development of your own arguments and positions.
Plus, six optional modules from:
- Ethics of Technology - discusses fundamental philosophical, ethical, political, and social problems arising from current and future developments in technology, particularly, but not exclusively, in the field of robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- Europe and Decolonisation - critically explores the idea and construction of Europe by focusing on Western and non-Western postcolonial and decolonial critiques of the European intellectual and political paradigm.
- Global Philosophical Issues - contains material pertaining to global issues of philosophical significance, such as climate change and will typically deploy non-European source material.
- Phenomenology: The Philosophy of Experience - provides an opportunity to conduct specialist studies in the field of one of the most important areas in contemporary philosophy: phenomenology.
- Philosophy of Mental Health and Psychiatry - addresses the underlying concepts, paradigms and ethical assumptions in mental health, its treatment, mental health policy, and the representation and public perception of mental illness.
- Philosophy of Science, Nature and Sustainability - explores different approaches in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of nature, and investigates their implications for technologies of the future and sustainability.
- Philosophy, Art, Literature - considers the interactive relationship between philosophy and a range of art forms, such as literature, poetry, performance, and music.
- Post-Humanism - investigates post-humanist philosophies arising from the current juxtaposition of accelerating technological development (artificial intelligence, robotics, human enhancement, digital surveillance, automation etc.) and social/political/economic/environmental crisis.
- Social Pathology and Paradoxes of Modernity: The Frankfurt School - provides an opportunity to conduct specialist studies in the field of Frankfurt School Critical Theory.
- Thought in Action: Film and Philosophy - explores the relationship between film and philosophy and allows students to engage the public in order to further disseminate their philosophical reflections on the film.
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.
Scholarships and Funding
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.