philosophy

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

English and Philosophy

UndergraduateBA (Hons)

Year of entry:
UCAS code: QV35

What you'll study

This course explores two of the most indispensable and vibrant academic disciplines – combined into one integrated degree.

First year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Compulsory modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • Introduction to Philosophy

    You will be introduced to some of the key issues of philosophy, covering central theories and arguments in the fields of moral, political and social philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind. You'll also reflect critically on the foundations of philosophy and receive training in clear, concise and accurate expression and in the analysis, construction and evaluation of philosophical arguments.

  • Literature Lab

    In this practical module, you'll acquire essential skills for the study of literature, as well as general academic skills. In a relaxed workshop environment, you'll practise close reading of poetry, fiction and drama for example. You'll also develop your skills in essay writing, presenting, academic research and referencing.

  • Reading Fiction

    This module explores the techniques, conventions and developments of the novel from the 18th century to the present day. You'll engage with relevant social, historical and political contexts and focus particularly on authors ranging from Austen to Ondaatje.

  • The Philosophy of Contemporary Thought and Culture

    This module introduces and explores philosophical questions and influences in their cultural setting; for example, in music, photography, art, film, digital media and entertainment, politics and contemporary commentary.

Optional modules

Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).

  • Travels in Text and Time

    Time-travelling across three centuries of English literature, this module introduces you to key English writers and works, from Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale, and the late medieval play, Everyman, to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Breaking down barriers between Medieval and Renaissance literature, it groups texts according to theme and explores how these themes develop in plays and poems written centuries apart.

  • God, Evil and the Meaning of Life

    Examine claims about the existence of God and the nature of religious faith. You'll consider whether religious statements are meaningful, whether the fact of pain and suffering counts strongly, or even conclusively, against the existence of God. Debates concerning whether religious beliefs are merely a projection of human desires and whether the idea of life having a purpose stands and falls with a belief in God will also be explored.

  • Philosophy, History and Ideology

    Learn how to analyse the structure of contemporary political ideologies and assess the historical interrelations between key philosophical concepts and their political implications.

Second year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Compulsory modules

Core and compulsory modules are fundamental to achieving the learning outcomes for your course and must be studied.

  • 20th Century Philosophy

    You will be introduced to some of the key philosophical movements in the recent history of philosophy, and examine the thought of important philosophical figures from different traditions, to understand the motivation for positions in contemporary philosophical debates.

  • British and American Modernism

    'Make it new' - Ezra Pound.

    Explore a diverse, fascinating and radical period in English and American Literature, considering authors on both sides of the Atlantic who were committed to revolutionary change. Featured writers include T S Eliot, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, D H Lawrence, F Scott Fitzgerald, Katherine Mansfield and Hilda Doolittle.

  • Paths of Research

    Discover the full range of research techniques and skills used in the academic study of politics. This module introduces everything you'll need for conducting research in your own area of interest within the field of politics, from statistical analysis to using texts.

  • Philosophical Research Methods

    This is both a conceptual and practical module. It combines reflection on key questions, theories and arguments with different conceptions of practising philosophy. There's guidance and training in the investigation, formulation and presentation of a proposal ahead of researching and writing a paper.

Optional modules

Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).

  • Moral Philosophy

    Some of the central theories and arguments in the fields of metaethics, normative ethics, and applied ethics are explored and evaluated. You study key issues such as the nature of morality, moral truth and moral epistemology, and you're encouraged to reflect critically on the foundations of morality.

  • Visionaries and Rebels: Romantic Poets from Blake to Tennyson

    You will study Romanticism, a movement which gave birth to some of the greatest poetry in the English language. You'll be introduced to the different genres of Romantic poetry while learning about the political and philosophical background from which the poetry emerged.

  • Contemporary Epistemology

    This module examines the nature of knowledge and claims to knowledge. The sort of questions that interest us include: What is knowledge? What is the difference between opinion or belief and knowledge? When are we justified in claiming to know something? What are the sources of knowledge? Is epistemology reducible to psychology or another science? Does knowing something depend on one’s viewpoint?

  • Mind, Brain and Behaviour

    The relation between the mental and the physical is a long-standing philosophical issue with much contemporary relevance and interest. You'll explore the origins of the modern form of this problem in the Cartesian turn in philosophy as well as Descartes’ own attempted solution, psycho-physical dualism.

  • Ancient Greek Philosophy

    You will learn how to analyse philosophical theories and arguments contained in texts of classical philosophy and explore their relevance to contemporary philosophical debates.

  • Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama

    This module returns Shakespeare to the vibrant theatrical milieu of late 16th and early 17th-century London, where we encounter him as one among a number of inventive and influential playwrights of the time. It introduces groundbreaking plays of exceptional emotional reach and imaginative daring, written in a range of popular genres during a golden age of English theatre.

  • Sentiment and Scandal: Literature of the Long 18th Century

    Explore sentiment and satire, sensibility and scandal in a module which focuses upon the diversity, innovations and influence of 18th-century poetry, drama and fiction.

  • Voyage Out: Travel, Empire and Cultural Encounters

    You'll examine cultural encounters between travellers and the cultures they visit through a study of the literature of travel, including fictional accounts and visual representations, including such as art and film.

Final year

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

The course consists of 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits, meaning you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more (e.g. 40 credits). In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120.

Optional modules

Optional modules let you tailor the course to your interests. Please note, the availability of optional modules can vary each trimester. And some modules may require prior study (taking an earlier module, for example).

  • Combined Dissertation

    You will make an original contribution to research by designing, carrying out and writing up a project on a topic you choose, supported by your dissertation supervisor.

  • Philosophy of Law

    You will learn how to critically explore themes on contemporary philosophy of law from different theoretical perspectives, including positivism, natural law, feminist jurisprudence, law and economics.

  • Animal Ethics: Philosophy, Politics and Law

    Examine and critique ethical perspectives on human use of, and interaction with, nonhuman animals. This module introduces you to a range of philosophical perspectives and the implications of these perspectives for applied animal ethics cases and for relevant political and legal contexts.

  • Contemporary Aesthetics

    This module considers issues of art and beauty. Some say beauty is an act in the world. Others link beauty to pleasure in perceiving the world. Hume and Kant have subtle theories of this sort that need exploration. What is art? Is it to be analysed aesthetically or institutionally? Many interesting issues about particular arts, such as music and literature, are also considered.

  • Wittgenstein on Language, Mind, and Reality

    Explore Wittgenstein’s so-called ‘early’ and ‘late’ work on the nature of language and meaning and their relation to reality and his views on the nature of philosophy. You'll examine the Tractatus Logico-philosophicus and the ‘picture theory of the proposition’, the idea that the job of language is to describe actual and possible states of affairs, and the posthumous Philosophical Investigations. In this work, language is seen as multi-faceted, consisting of overlapping ‘language games’, and it is stated that 'to imagine a language means to imagine a form of life'.

  • Authorship and Identity in Renaissance Literature

    You will study how English writers from the Renaissance period (1579 to 1645), both male and female, canonical and more obscure, deliberately fashion themselves as ‘authors’, in relation to previous writers and works from both Classical and Early Modern European literary traditions. The module will introduce you to important techniques such as imitation and translation, and will provide an overview of significant European writers and sources. It will then focus on the following English authors: Edmund Spenser, Samuel Daniel, Lady Mary Sidney Herbert, Aemilia Lanyer, Lady Mary Wroth, Elizabeth Carey, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, and John Milton.

  • Gothic

    You will analyse the Gothic, from the conception of the genre in the 18th century to its manifestation in contemporary literature and film, focusing on the genre's convergence with contemporaneous social and cultural preoccupations.

  • Speaking Pictures: Literature and the Visual Arts

    You will explore the relationship between literature and the visual arts from the Renaissance to the present. You'll examine a wide range of literary texts alongside paintings, works of art criticism and theoretical writings.

  • Crime Fiction: Reading the Body, Reading the Signs

    To explore this wide-ranging and unique genre, you will first investigate the two main crime fiction traditions, classical (Poe, Doyle and Christie) and hardboiled (Ellroy). Next, your seminar group will analyse four novels chosen from among the many subgenres that have developed more recently, such as the forensic detective novel, black hardboiled crime, true crime and many others.

  • Short Dissertation

    This module enables you to undertake independent research on a question of your choice. Working with an academic across your final semester, you will write a 6,000-word dissertation.

  • Gender, Science and Knowledge

    This module provides a critical overview of the different ways of theorising the relationship between gender, science, and knowledge. It explores the concepts of objectivity, rationality and nature within scientific thinking by focusing on the gendered nature of knowledge, as well as providing opportunities to reflect critically on the idea that that science is a cultural product, which is nonetheless factual.

  • Contemporary Political Philosophy

    How should we reason about justice, equality, liberty and democracy? You will explore ways of thinking about these topics through critical readings of leading contemporary political philosophers.

  • The Politics and Philosophy of the Environment

    How should we think about the environment? And how should we act towards to it? You'll study environmental attitudes, the politics and ideology of environmentalism, its ethics and philosophy, pressure groups and political parties, and the principles of environmental policy.

  • Writing the Revolution: Sex, Religion and Politics in the Literature of 17th-century England

    You will explore the literature of the mid-17th century in the context of the century's revolutionary turns and counter-turns: civil war, regicide, the establishment of a republic, favouring puritanism, and the Restoration of the monarchy. Among the writers studied will be John Milton, Andrew Marvell and the Restoration playwrights, George Etherege and Aphra Behn.

  • Secrets and Lies: Victorian Decadence and Degeneration 1860-1901

    Explore the development of new forms of writing which focus on the darker alternative or hidden aspects of Victorian society, such as the new woman, the homosexual man, the foreigner, and the poor, in the context of degeneration theory.

  • Key Philosophical Thinkers

    This module introduces you to the writings of a key philosopher in the history of ideas, as well as relevant reading. The central themes in the work of this thinker will be critically considered and evaluated with reference to contemporary debates.

  • Confucian Philosophy

    The module focuses on the Analects of Confucius and provides an opportunity to examine the teachings of Confucius on, for example, education, society, politics and governance, conduct and ethics, or the ideal life. It also introduces the word-thought-life procedure, in which we reflect on the application of Confucian thought in relation to one’s own situation.

  • The Philosophy of Photography

    Explore the theories of the nature of photography and photographic images, centred on the contested idea that photographs have a special relation to reality. You will independently research photographic images found in various contexts. These include photo-journalism, camera phones, social media, forensic evidence, art galleries, museums, advertising and fashion photography.

“The library was definitely the most impressive feature on campus and by far the best University library I have seen.”

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“I really liked how diverse the modules were because it meant that I could choose particular topics that interested me.”

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"I am thriving in Hull. I find the course amazing, I find the University amazing".

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More about this course

This innovative degree combines two of the most fundamental – and most vibrant – academic subjects. You'll study English language and literature, from the classics to emerging digital media platforms. And you'll develop an understanding of philosophy’s central thinkers and ideas.

  • You study with active researchers who work at the cutting edge of their fields. They'll encourage you to apply your knowledge to explore the biggest issues of the day.
  • Our Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing attracts internationally renowned visiting authors, as well as new talent.
  • Be part of the University's literary and creative scene, contributing to Hull's legacy as UK City of Culture.
  • 96% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduating (UK domicile full-time first degree leavers; Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey for the academic year 2016/17, published by HESA 2018).

This is an integrated degree taught by international experts who have worked together for many years. You'll gain key skills that employers value – such as the ability to analyse complex information and present clear, coherent conclusions in writing, presentations and discussions.

Teaching and learning

Throughout your degree, you’re expected to study for 1,200 hours per year. That’s based on 200 hours per 20 credit module. And it includes scheduled hours, time spent on placement and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

Scheduled hours typically include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and supervised laboratory and studio sessions. The types of scheduled lessons you’ll have depend on the course you study.

Placement hours typically include time spent on a work placement, studying abroad, or field trips.

Independent study is the time outside your scheduled timetable, where you’ll be expected to study independently. This typically involves coursework, assignments, reading, preparing presentations and exam revision.

Assessment
Written
Practical
Coursework

First year

27%

3%

70%

Second year

46%

5%

49%

Final year

46%

5%

49%


Written assessment typically includes exams and multiple choice tests.

Practical is an assessment of your skills and competencies. This could include presentations, school experience, work experience or laboratory work.

Coursework typically includes essays, written assignments, dissertations, research projects or producing a portfolio of your work.

Our teaching staff

Where you'll study

The location below may not be the exact location of all modules on your timetable. The buildings you'll be taught in can vary each year and depend on the modules you study.

Click to view on Google Maps
Hull Campus

Click to view directions on Google Maps

Study English in the city described as the most poetic in England, where Philip Larkin wrote most of his best work.

Superb facilities include the Brynmor Jones Library which is open 24/7 and boasts cutting edge technology and more than a million books.

Studying philosophy at Hull, means doing philosophy. It’s been taught here since we first opened our doors in 1927.

Debate the issues of the day, from cutting-edge genetics to artificial intelligence, while developing valuable skills in analytical and critical thinking.

Entry requirements

2019 Tariff points: 112 points. Points can be from any qualifications on the UCAS tariff, but must include at least 80 points from

  • A levels
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma, Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • CACHE Diploma or Extended Diploma
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Scottish Highers
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma
  • or a combination of appropriate Level 3 qualifications 

UCAS has changed the way that qualifications earn points under the Tariff system. Please click here to work out your estimated points and to find out more about how the University of Hull considers qualifications.

Alternative qualifications 

  • IB Diploma: 28 points.
  • Access to HE Diploma: pass with minimum of 45 credits at merit.

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations shown above. Please contact the University’s Admissions Service for individual guidance.

International students

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

Fees and funding

  • Home/EU: £9,250 per year*
  • International: £14,000 per year

*The amount you pay may increase each year, in line with inflation - but capped to the Retail Price Index (RPI).

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course, and UK students can take out a maintenance loan of up to £8,700 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

More information on fees can be found in the Money section of the website.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 

Future prospects

BA English and Philosophy graduates don't typically have a single, predominant career path, but careers in journalism and teaching are popular. Students on this programme write a blog and have the opportunity to develop hands-on teaching skills to give CV-boosting experiences in these areas.

Other graduates have gone on to successful careers in media production, publishing, public relations, marketing, law, politics, the Civil Service, business and the charity sector. Others have chosen to continue their studies as postgraduates.

The University also provides comprehensive help from our dedicated Careers Advice Centre which offers competitive internships, mock interviews and CV workshops. The centre is open to all students and its services remain available to graduates throughout their career.