philosophy

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

Philosophy

UndergraduateBA (Hons)

Year of entry:
UCAS code: V500

What you'll study

Teaching on this programme takes a variety of forms, from large group lectures to small tutorials and in-depth one-on-one supervision. You'll attend seminars on the close analysis of a single reading and large fortnightly debates on topical issues, and there'll be personal feedback and assessment review sessions plus residential problem-solving and team-building group exercises.

The role of assessment is not just to test but to further develop your philosophical skills and abilities. You will engage in individual and group assessment activities delivered orally as well as in written form and through a multitude of formats such as essays, exams, presentations, poster presentations, debates and dissertations.

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.

  • Reason, Logic and Argument

    You will be introduced to the main concepts and principles of formal and informal reasoning. As well as giving you an introduction to elementary logic, the module provides opportunities to gain competence and confidence applying appropriate techniques for the analysis and evaluation of arguments and cultivates disciplinary skills and understanding.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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, 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.

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).

  • Theorising Gender

    You'll examine differing ways of theorising gender relations, looking at the basis of masculinity and femininity and how these notions are involved in the production of gendered subjectivities. Drawing on feminist sources, alongside contemporary writings on masculinity, critiques from gay and lesbian studies, and recent work on transgendering and transsexuality, recognition is given to the diversity of gendered constructions, the relationship of gender and sexuality, and the intersections of gender with other social divisions.

  • History of Political Thought

    You will learn about the thought and historical context of a selection of the most important philosophers and political theorists to have written about collective power, human nature, freedom, justice, rights, community and the state, including Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Mill, Rousseau, Hegel, Green and Marx.

  • 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.

  • Terrorism, War and Ethics

    Explore the history, evolution and political and legislative impact of terrorism, as well as ethical arguments around it. You'll uncover the history of terrorism and learn about violent political groups from the 19th century to the present day.

  • 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.

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.

Choose one from:

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

  • Philosophy Dissertation

    The dissertation provides you with the opportunity to undertake your own sustained independent research project on a philosophical topic of your choice (max. 10,000 words). This allows you to examine in more depth a question or issue you may have touched upon in another module, or to explore a new question or issue not covered elsewhere in the syllabus.

  • Philosophy Short Dissertation

    This module provides you with the opportunity to undertake your own independent research project on a philosophical topic of your choice (max. 5,000 words). This allows you to examine in more depth, a question or issue you may have touched upon in another module, or to explore a new question or issue not covered elsewhere in the syllabus.

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).

  • 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”.

  • 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.

  • 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 has been taught at Hull since the University first opened its doors in 1927. We're consistently rated one of the UK's best programmes for student satisfaction, thanks to the expertise of our teaching staff and our focus on developing each individual student. Studying philosophy at Hull means doing philosophy, engaging with current issues and emerging philosophical challenges and, in doing so, building and employing the skills and disciplinary methods that only a training in philosophy can provide. Philosophy students at Hull will have the opportunity to take part in a continuing series of fortnightly debates in which the students join with Philosophy staff and colleagues from other areas such as Law, Medicine, Psychology, History, Film Studies and others to engage with external speakers and eminent visiting experts in order to examine the problems of the day from philosophical and other perspectives.

Philosophy gives you key skills and attributes to face a challenging and ever-changing world. You'll grapple with fundamental questions about the nature of reality, consciousness and what it is to be human. You'll debate the big issues of the day, from cutting-edge genetics to artificial intelligence, and you'll be encouraged from the very start to apply your burgeoning skills and knowledge to contemporary real-world problems. If you do not have the qualifications to enter the degree directly, we offer a foundation year to prepare you for degree-level study.

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

57%

43%

Second year

27%

8%

65%

Final year

20%

4%

76%


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

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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.

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

Philosophy, as it's taught at Hull, gives you the skills that employers look for – including analytical thinking, critical debating skills, intellectual integrity and problem solving. 

Our graduates go on to successful careers in teaching, lecturing, media production, publishing, print and broadcast journalism, law, politics, Civil Service, public relations, business and the charity sector. Others choose to continue their studies as postgraduates. 

The University also provides comprehensive help from its dedicated Careers Advice Centre. The centre offers competitive internships, mock interviews and CV workshops. It's open to all students and its services remain open to graduates whenever they're required throughout your career.