Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

Philosophy and Religion

UndergraduateBA (Hons)

Year of entry:
UCAS code: VV56

What you'll study

Teaching ranges from large group lectures to small tutorials and intensive one-on-one supervision. You'll also attend seminars and large debates on topical issues, and there are personal feedback and assessment review sessions plus residential problem-solving and team-building group exercises.

Students engage in individual and group assessment activities, delivered orally as well as in written form and through formats such as essays, exams, presentations, debates and dissertations.

First year

* Modules are subject to availability

Core modules

  • 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.

  • Visualising the Other

    This module will introduce you to the concept and idea of the "other". You will be exploring how difference is socially constructed, how they play out on a visual level, and how visual material is used to include some and exclude others.

  • Science and Society

    This module offers you an introduction to the history and philosophy of science, examining the nature of scientific knowledge and practice, set in its historical and social context, and in relation to some relevant contemporary controversies (e.g. the relation between naturalism and religion — particularly creationism — as well as other alternative world views) and asks whether, and how, science is different from other modes of investigating and thinking about the world.

  • 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.

  • God, Evil and the Meaning of Life

    You will 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, 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.

  • Philosophy, History and Ideology

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

  • Apocalypse and Utopia

    Narratives of the end of the world are omnipresent in popular culture. You will study the relevance of apocalyptic and utopian narratives and how they are used to elicit hope or instill fear in politics, urban planning, technology research, or warfare. You will also be introduced to key technical skills important for today's digital society.

Second year

* Modules are subject to availability

Core modules

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Visual and Material Cultures

    Explore how the visual (e.g. popular media, music) and material (e.g. fashion, food) expresses norms and produces culture. You will become a "visual researcher" yourself and create a piece of visual research.

Optional modules

  • 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.

  • Religion at Work

  • 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.

  • Philosophical Research Methods

    This is both a conceptual and practical module. It combines reflection on key questions, theories and arguments, and 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.

Final year

* Modules are subject to availability

Core modules

  • Combined Dissertation

Optional modules

  • Philosophy of Law

    You will learn how to critically explore themes on contemporary philosophy of law from different theoretical perspectives (positivist, 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 about 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? Also considered are many interesting issues about particular arts, such as music and literature.

  • Wittgenstein on Language, Mind, and Reality

    Explore Wittgenstein’s so-called ‘early’ and ‘late’ work on the nature of language and meaning, 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 which language is seen as multi-faceted, consisting of overlapping ‘language games’, and in which “to imagine a language means to imagine a form of life”.

  • Cosmopolitan Citizenship

  • 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 relation 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 and provides opportunities to reflect critically on the idea that that science is a cultural product, which is nonetheless not fictional.

  • 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.

  • Sacred Spaces-Sacred Media: Exploring Religion Online

    Religion is studies as a communication system that influences and is greatly influenced by various communication technologies. You will research online environments such as social media platforms or video games, exploring them as new "sacred spaces".

  • 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 and social media, forensic evidence, art galleries and museums, advertising, and fashion photography.

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

Clara Wisenfeld Paine Watch Video

More about this course

Philosophy and religion are distinct academic disciplines but are almost uniquely complementary. Both grapple with fundamental questions about the meaning of life. Students must be willing to scrutinise their most closely held beliefs and, where the arguments and evidence require, have the integrity to amend, adapt or even change them. This programme, then, has the potential to be genuinely, thrillingly life changing. It is grounded on the principle that to study these disciplines is to engage actively in them, to work alongside publishing scholars as they break new ground in their respective fields.

Our BA Philosophy and Religion is taught by experts who've worked together over many years – and who approach the degree not (as is often the case elsewhere) as two halves bolted together but as an integrated programme of study. You are expected not just to absorb knowledge but also to develop key skills, valued by employers, such as analytical thinking, debating, presenting and creative problem solving. The school runs regular events such as fortnightly debates on the big issues of the day, featuring teaching staff and guest speakers as well as students. There are also role-playing games in which you model how you would respond to international crises and, for those who are considering a career in teaching, exercises and activities intended to give them valuable experience in curriculum design, classroom leadership and lesson planning.

Teaching and Learning

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Final year




First year




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Final year




Our teaching staff

Where you'll study

Hull Campus

Click to view directions on Google Maps


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.

Hone your intellectual arguments with fellow students, academic staff and invited experts in our fortnightly debates.

Our research expertise covering a wide variety of areas - from Plato to Nietzsche - shapes your teaching.

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.

At a glance

For this course, you'll need...

112 UCAS points

Points can be made up of a variety of qualifications. Calculate your points here.

We welcome a range of qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not be listed.

Many of our courses offer a Foundation Year for applicants without the qualifications for direct entry on to the degree.

If you have any questions about our entry requirements or the tariff, please contact admissions or call 01482 466100.

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.

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.


Future Prospects

Students who take Philosophy and Religion often do so with the aim of becoming teachers. The programme features built-in assessment tasks and classroom events designed to develop skills central to teaching, including planning and presenting material to an academic audience.

We're also developing in-class, hands-on opportunities for you to gain real experience in teaching: something that will be crucial if you're looking to apply for a PGCE or other teaching qualification after graduation.

These same skills, particularly the ability to present to a group, to work in teams, to debate and to prepare presentations for the communication of ideas, are key skills valued by employers whichever path you follow.

Other career destinations for our graduates include media production, publishing, law, politics, the Civil Service, business and the charity sector. You can also choose to go on to further study.

The University provides comprehensive help through our dedicated Careers Advice Centre. The centre offers competitive internships, mock interviews with trained advisers and CV workshops. All services will remain open to you whenever they're required throughout your career.