Undergraduate Available in Clearing

BA Philosophy

Go beyond the textbooks. Gain the critical, analytical and intellectual skills that make employers sit up and take notice.

Key information

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Course length

3 years

Typical offer


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Start date

Course overview

Studying philosophy at Hull means doing philosophy: engaging with current issues and emerging philosophical challenges. That will help you to build and use the skills and methods that only a training in philosophy can provide.

You'll grapple with fundamental questions about the nature of reality, consciousness and what it is to be human. You'll debate the issues of the day, from cutting-edge genetics to artificial intelligence that will equip you to shape your own future and the world around you.

And you can get involved with Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), where our philosophy students hand down their enthusiasm and wisdom from one year group to the next.

Learn more about your course in our subject sessions

On-demand session



Six reasons to study Philosophy at Hull

  1. 5th in the UK for overall student satisfaction*
  2. Debate the big issues and challenge assumptions
  3. Carry out your own independent research project
  4. 100% graduate employability rating†
  5. Fortnightly debates with students and staff
  6. Philosophy has been taught at Hull since 1927

What you'll study

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.

First year modules

  • Compulsory

    Creation, Persistence and Destruction: Problems in Metaphysics

    Metaphysical questions apply to everything you can think of: natural objects, living organisms, human beings, human artefacts, imaginary objects, abstract entities, timeless universals, and supernatural phenomena. You'll consider up-to-date versions of classical metaphysical problems by analysing interesting contemporary arguments and identifying a breadth of examples of that are relevant to the world around us. Sensitively exploring different perspectives and sharing ideas will help us notice how fundamental metaphysical perspectives are often the basis of deep disagreements in ethics, aesthetics, and religious belief, particularly when the metaphysics of the mind, body and self are in question.

    From Fossils to Sustainability: The Philosophy of Science and Social Values

    Examine whether, and how, science is different from other modes of investigating and thinking about the world. You'll study relevant contemporary controversies (e.g. the relation between science and religion, and creationism, as well as other alternative world views), the exclusionary nature of many of its technological fruits, and the contingency of the Western model of science.

    Ideas that Shaped the World (Philosophical Texts I)

    Philosophical ideas are at the heart of everyday life, and often in surprising ways. Examine how philosophical theories, from ancient through medieval texts, and through the enlightenment to the current day, have not just shaped and influenced the world we live in. but radically challenged prevailing ways of thinking and the corresponding ways of life. 

    Knowing Now: Problems in Epistemology

    This module examines one of the central issues in philosophy – what it is to know something. We will distinguish knowledge from mere opinion and critically evaluate common views about where knowledge comes from, what it is based on and how it is justified. We will give particular focus to the ways in which knowledge, and claims to knowledge, are culturally shaped and informed, and so how traditions, perspectives and social structures influence our views about knowledge. 

    Reason, Logic and Argument

    In this module you will begin to formally develop a key set of philosophical skills – competence in logical reasoning and the ability to distinguish good from bad arguments. Week by week you'll work through case-studies, applying logical and argumentative theory and reasoning towards well-thought through responses and conclusions. 

    The Examined Life: Introduction to Philosophy

    You'll explore traditional topics in philosophy through contemporary authors and everyday perspectives. For instance, you'll examine what constitutes ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sex and explore the nature and limitations of notions of consent; critique the Aristotelian concept of friendship in the era of vicarious, internet friendships and social media; and analyse Cartesian scepticism through the prism of ‘race’. 

Second year modules

  • Compulsory

    Being Human: Minds, Bodies and Machines

    Explore “What is it to be human?” and examine what it is to be minded or to have a mind; what the relation of the mind is to the body; what being embodied means; and what the place of mindedness is in a natural world apparently devoid of its attributes. 

    Doing Philosophy: Research Methods and Applications

    Continue to develop the logic, reasoning and argument skills you were introduced to in year one. You'll also engage in other key research skills such as developing a research proposal, completing literature reviews and ethics processes, negotiating a thesis, and identifying your own research sources. You'll learn how to apply these skills through the examination of case studies and, supported by the University Careers Service, to highlight and articulate the value of your philosophical skills in CVs and in mock interviews.

    History of Political Thought

    You'll learn about the thoughts and historical context of some of the world's most important philosophers and political theorists Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Marx (among others).

    Questioning Rights and Wrongs: Thinking About Ethics

    Examine 21st century ethics through a range of case studies from topical issues concerning race relations, gender inclusivity, the environment and animal rights, immigration and nationalism, postcolonial reparations, and disability issues. You'll become increasingly familiar and fluent with this wider range of philosophical insights and gain the skills to understand, articulate and promote dialogue between the often-competing views on the issues we encounter.

    The Philosophical Revolutionaries (Philosophical Texts II)

    Building on the ‘Ideas that Shaped the World’ module from year one, you'll examine more demanding excerpts from four texts drawn from a wide range of philosophical traditions and cultures and with a particular focus on theories that revolutionised our way of life.

    Theorising Gender

    Examine theories of gender relations, looking at masculinity and femininity, the relationship of gender and sexuality and the intersections of gender with other social divisions. 

Final year modules

  • Compulsory

    Philosophy Research Project

    Work one-on-one with one of your lecturers, who will use their expertise in their field of philosophical research to guide you and mentor you in planning, researching and writing your own extended project or dissertation. This module allows you to focus in depth on, and to articulate the philosophical issues and questions that you find most exciting and engaging, and to demonstrate how you have developed as a philosopher.

    Challenging Perspectives (Philosophical Texts III)

    Explore advanced philosophical excerpts from three texts drawn from a wide range of philosophical traditions and cultures and with a particular focus on philosophers who are challenging dominant views. You'll engage in-depth with a key section of the advanced texts and critically examine their continuing impact and influence.

    Faking News: Difference, Disagreement and Dialectic

    Explore so-called deep disagreements and their nature and roots, and assess the prospects and limitations of their resolution through reasoned argument and debate. You'll review current examples such as climate change denial, conspiracy theories, and clashes of culturally traditional and modern values, and consider strategies for the conciliation of such disputes.

    Our Digital Age: Philosophical Perspectives on Humanity, Technology and Nature

    Examine what it is to be ‘human’ in an ever-more technological age. As humans we have traditionally distinguished ourselves from other animals while, at the same time, sharing much of our bodily circumstances and natural environment with them. In recent decades bodily, neurological and pharmaceutical enhancements, and in particular the increasingly virtual nature of our existence and interactions, have stretched our traditional concepts of ‘humanity’. You'll apply and develop your philosophical skills in critically examining the many challenges and opportunities that arise from these issues.

  • Optional

    Gender, Science and Knowledge

    This is an overview of the ways of theorising the relationship between gender, science, and knowledge. It explores the concepts of objectivity, rationality and nature. 

    State, Democracy and Globalization: Issues in Contemporary Political Philosophy

    Explore major issues in public policy and possible solutions informed by political and moral understanding. You'll examine topics such as the import of identity and diversity factors such as disability, education, ethnicity, race, age, gender expression and gender identity, language, religion, sexual orientation and socio-economic status on issues of public policy and philosophically assessing the contributions of those factors.

    States of Violence: Power, Protest and Terror

    Critically examine the relationships between violence, the modern state and its people. You will be introduced to theories of power and legitimacy and how these relate to protest, civil disobedience and terrorism.  Explore a range of issues, from the role of disobedient and violent actions against democratic states through to a critical review of state responses, including theories of radicalisation and de-radicalisation and the ethics of counterterrorism strategies.    

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

How you'll study

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.

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Coursework

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

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Practical

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

  • Coursework

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

Overall workload

If you’re enrolled on a full-time programme of study, you’ll be expected to complete about 40 hours of academic work each week.

How you’ll learn

Indicative assessment proportions

  • Practical

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

  • Coursework

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

Ellie Palmer Philosophy

The lecturers were incredible and treated me with such respect and friendliness.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A level grades N/A

  • BTEC grades N/A

  • Points required N/A

Work out your estimated points

Don't meet our requirements?

We offer a Foundation Year to boost your skills and knowledge – it’s a great way to make your way into higher education.

Switch to the foundation year

At Hull, you’re a name not a number. During Clearing, we look at all of your qualifications and experience, not just your academic grades. We may be able to offer you a place whatever your situation.

Some courses still do have requirements such as previous study in your subject area, or specific GCSE grades. Others have additional requirements such as an interview or a satisfactory DBS check.

Please call us now on 01482 466100 or complete our online form to find out if we have a course that’s suitable for you.

If you require a 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. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

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.

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Take a tour of the facilities

Our Philosophy students benefit from 24/7 access to the Brynmor Jones Library which boasts more than a million books. 

Fees and funding


£9,250 per year*


£15,400 per year

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

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan of up to £9,706 to cover living costs.

Substantial discounts are available for International students.  

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

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. 

An affordable city for students

From bills, to meals, to pints – you’ll find that your money goes a lot further in Hull.

Your future prospects

  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Civil service
  • Public relations

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.

Open Day at University of Hull

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Clearing is open. This is your opportunity to get a place at uni if you don’t have one already – for whatever reason. It’s your chance to get the degree you need and the future you want.

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This. Is. Hull.

A place where we stand up to kings, do deals with the world and take a wrecking ball to the slave trade. A place where culture stands out and the phone boxes are a different colour. A place where we're free-thinking, independent and proud of it.

*National Student Survey (NSS) 2022, HEIs only

†Number of students in work or further study 15 months after graduating: UK domicile full-time first degree leavers, Graduate Outcomes survey for the academic year 2018/19, published by HESA July 2021.