Undergraduate

Philosophy

Hull Philosophy student, Clara Wisenfeld-Paine, smiling with an open book while browsing the bookshelves of the library.
Hull Philosophy student, Mayla Singh, smiling to the camera while working on a laptop in the Brynmor Jones Library.
Philosophy students Ellie Palmer & Ben John Campion in the Brynmor Jones Library
Student reading among the book-filled shelves of the Brynmor Jones Library, with the sun shining behind them.
Sharpen your analytical thinking and critical debating skills, while developing intellectual integrity and a creative approach to problem solving.
Experience the thrill of debating topics such as free will, justice, the environment, AI, gender, and political power.
Join our Peer-Assisted Student Success (PASS) scheme where you’ll mentor other year groups and gain experience in leading discussions.
Open up a range of careers in teaching, business, finance, publishing, journalism, law, politics, the Civil Service, public relations, the charity sector...
Hull Philosophy student, Clara Wisenfeld-Paine, smiling with an open book while browsing the bookshelves of the library.
Hull Philosophy student, Mayla Singh, smiling to the camera while working on a laptop in the Brynmor Jones Library.
Philosophy students Ellie Palmer & Ben John Campion in the Brynmor Jones Library
Student reading among the book-filled shelves of the Brynmor Jones Library, with the sun shining behind them.

Code

Duration

Mode

Learn philosophy by doing philosophy. Debate the issues of the day, such as AI, gender, and the environment in addition to fundamental questions of reality, consciousness, and ethics.

Gain important critical, analytical and intellectual skills to enhance your future career and develop you as a thinker. And learn to articulate your own ideas and argue your philosophical point of view. 

Plus, you'll get experience in mentoring other year groups alongside your own studies, thanks to the internationally accredited Peer-Assisted Student Success (PASS) scheme.

  • 5th in the UK

    for Student Experience 1

  • 100%

    of students in work or further study 15 months after graduating 2

  • Boost your CV

    by joining our PASS scheme

  • Debate big issues

    with staff, students and speakers

  • 90+ years

    of teaching Philosophy, since 1928

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Course overview
Module options

About this course

In Philosophy, we encourage you to question everything. To critique fundamental ideas, using reasoned argument, logical thinking, and creative imagination. We’re looking for people who enjoy digging beneath the surface of an issue. Challenging assumptions. Examining philosophical principles. We ask you to think for yourself, to be willing to change your mind, and to seek to change the minds of others.

You'll discuss foundational texts in the history of ideas, and important contemporary issues. You’ll explore ethics, consciousness, free will, reality, truth and justice. As well as AI, gender, political power, image technology, science, and the environment. And you’ll experience the intellectual excitement of engaging in philosophical debate.

You’ll also have the opportunity to join our Peer-Assisted Student Success (PASS) scheme. We’ll train you to lead small group discussions, so you can hand down your wisdom to other year groups. That way, you’ll gain experience in mentoring and leadership on top of your degree. Exactly the kind of skills you need for a fulfilling life and a rewarding career.

Scheduled study hours and how you’re assessed

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 and independent study. How this time’s divided among each of these varies each year and depends on the course and modules you study.

You’ll be assessed by coursework rather than exams. This will include, for example, a mix of essays, a research project, presentations, formative group work, and portfolios.

In your final year, you receive one-to-one supervision in preparation for your personal research project - a dissertation on a philosophical issue that interests you.

Choose your modules

Each year, you’ll study modules worth a certain number of credits, and you need 120 credits per year. Most modules are 20 credits – so you’ll study six modules each year. Some longer modules, such as a dissertation, are worth more. In these cases, you’ll study fewer modules - but the number of credits will always add up to 120. Some modules are compulsory, some are optional, so you can build a course that’s right for you.

Preparing for Learning in Higher Education

This module is designed to give you the best possible start to your university studies, making sure you have all the essential skills you need to succeed. Through lectures and workshops we will teach you how to write in an academic style, how to find quality sources, how to reference work, culminating in writing up a mini-research project.

Core20 credits

Introduction to Study in the Humanities

This module equips you with a suite of analytical and theoretical tools to support you as you progress along your academic journey. You'll develop an interdisciplinary understanding of approaches to study in the humanities by working with a variety of resources, including novels, films and aspects of the visual arts.

Core20 credits

Research in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Education

This module will equip you with the necessary skills to conduct and analyse research in a specific interest, supported by academics within your subject. You'll navigate through the research process, from identifying an area of interest to presenting their findings to your peers.

Core20 credits

Group Challenge (Humanities)

Formulate and execute a group led enquiry into texts, cultural artifacts, film, music or dance. You'll explore their topics in groups at supervised workshops and develop questions on the cultural object relates to the living world of human experience, as well as developing your own methods to answer these questions.

Compulsory20 credits

Foundation in Data Analysis

Develop a strong foundation in data collection and analysis. This module will introduce you to qualitative and quantitative data and how to analyse it; the collection of primary and secondary data; the production of high quality graphics; and report writing.

Compulsory20 credits

Academic Writing Skills

Developing confidence in expression, oral as well as written, is a key feature of this module, which also aims to familiarise you with submission and assessment procedures in the context of Higher Education. This is a clear building block onto your degree programme and places you at a distinct advantage when you move into the following year.

Compulsory20 credits

Students who pass the foundation year can continue with the BA Philosophy course and the foundation year has been designed to prepare you for entry on to the degree. You'll study the following modules.

6 Modules

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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. 

Compulsory20 credits

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. 

Compulsory20 credits

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. 

Compulsory20 credits

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’. 

Compulsory20 credits
6 Modules

Minds, Brains, and Machines

What is it to be minded? What is it to be a person? You'll consider the relation of the mind to the body, explore what being conscious or embodied means and examine the place of mindedness in a natural world apparently devoid of its attributes.

Compulsory20 credits

History of Political Thought

The history of political thought provides us with experiences of a wealth of perspectives on issues that still occupy central places in human life: the role of power in our collective relationships; the duties of the citizen and the obligations of the state; what it means to be free or equal or oppressed. This module explores some of the most influential and challenging positions from ancient Greek times to the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The module explores the feminist thinkers and others who were and are viewed as radicals, as well as more moderate figures, whose influences remain today.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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. 

Compulsory20 credits

Environments and Philosophy

The key questions of environmental philosophy are questions about the future—of the world and the lives of the people of the future. You'll use your philosophical skills to examine environmental case studies and consider how the concepts, problems and ideas for ways of living, have a bearing on your plans for your own future as well as the world at large. You will be introduced to practical research skills, including learning how to prepare a research proposal, identify appropriate research resources, construct an annotated bibliography, and a research ethics approval form.

Compulsory20 credits
6 Modules

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.

Compulsory40 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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.

Compulsory20 credits

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. 

Optional20 credits

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.

Optional20 credits

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.    

Optional20 credits
7 Modules

Playlist

Dr Stephen Burwood

Course Overview 2 mins

Clara Wisenfeld Paine

Student story 1 min

Life on campus

University Life 2 mins

Teaching facilities

University Life 1 min

Entry requirements

What do I need?

When it comes to applying to university, you'll need a certain number of UCAS points. Different qualifications and grades are worth a different amount of points. For this course, you'll need…

We consider experience and qualifications from the UK and worldwide which may not exactly match the combinations above.

But it's not just about the grades - we'll look at your whole application. We want to know what makes you tick, and about your previous experience, so make sure that you complete your personal statement.

Have questions? Our admissions team will be happy to help.

What do I need?

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.

See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by the University of Hull.

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 & funding

How much is it?

Additional costs you may have to pay

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme. 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:

  • Books (you can borrow books on your reading lists from the library, but you may buy your own)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (incl. travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (incl. travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want 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, food and more.

How do I pay for it?

How much is it?

Additional costs you may have to pay

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme. 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:

  • Books (you can borrow books on your reading lists from the library, but you may buy your own)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (incl. travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (incl. travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want 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, food and more.

How do I pay for it?

Take a look at our facilities

Brynmor Jones Library

Our 7-storey library is home to 1 million+ books, extensive digital resources drawn from libraries and archives across the world, and stunning panoramic views of the city from the 7th floor.

Reading Room

You’ll find the Reading Room on the first floor of our library. It offers a comfortable space and a quiet environment to study – away from the hustle and bustle of the campus.

Rare Books

Our collection includes a variety of titles published between 1473 and 2002. Texts are in 18 languages. Places of publication range from Amsterdam to Zwickau, covering 26 countries on 5 continents.

Study Rooms

You'll find over 1,000 work spaces in our library. From boardroom-style meeting venues with big-screen PCs, to informal group-study areas and interactive whiteboards.

See more in our virtual tour

Look around

Look around

Look around

Look around

Brynmor Jones Library Observation Deck
Brynmor Jones Library Reading Room
Brynmor Jones Library Rare Books Room
Brynmor Jones Library Group Study Room
Statue of ancient Greek philosopher, Plato. He sits in a chair, hand under his chin, in an expression of deep thinking.

Future prospects

The way we teach philosophy at Hull will sharpen your analytical thinking and argumentative skills. You’ll also develop intellectual integrity and a creative approach to problem solving, both traits that employers value highly.

Our graduates progress into many different sectors. They go on to careers in business and finance, teaching, media production, publishing and journalism, politics, the Civil Service, public relations, and the charity sector, as well as higher degrees in philosophy and other subjects.

University of Hull Open Day

Your next steps

Like what you’ve seen? Then it’s time to apply.

The standard way to apply for this course is through UCAS. This will give you the chance to showcase your skill, qualities and passion for the subject, as well as providing your academic qualifications.

Not ready to apply?

Visit our next Open Day, and see all that Hull has to offer for yourself. Talk to our lecturers about your subject, find out what university is really like from our current students, and take a tour of our beautiful campus and amazing facilities.

  1. The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.
  2. (Philosophy) UK domicile full-time first degree leavers; Higher Education Graduate Outcomes statistics, for the academic year 2020/21, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency June 2023.

 

All modules presented on this course page are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

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