About the course

Studying Philosophy, Religion and Ethics at Hertfordshire will enable you to explore the connections and contradictions between thought and faith in the world today.

You may have taken Religious Studies at A-level or be fascinated by how religious belief is a driving force behind social and political events in today’s globalised world.

This degree course offers you the opportunity to explore the beliefs that guide people’s lives using the logical and critical skills gained through philosophical inquiry.

You’ll be taught by internationally regarded academics, who will help you understand how the practices of religion and philosophy have influenced – and been influenced by – the modern world. You’ll learn to address the arguments and beliefs of others and to engage with them, so that you can arrive at your own conclusions and create your own original work.

All our lecturers are active researchers, so you’ll share the excitement of doing original work in a supportive and highly-rated academic community. Our Philosophy team is in the top 15 in the Guardian League Table 2019 and rates as one of the 100 best Philosophy departments worldwide in the 2017 QS rankings.

In your first year you’ll take philosophy modules exploring ethics, mind, knowledge and reality alongside an introduction to four of the major world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. This will be given a modern context through a module on religion and the contemporary world.

Seminars in your first year will explore how to investigate and discuss different beliefs and ideas and to develop your critical thinking, all within a respectful and empathetic environment.

In your second year you’ll study the philosophies of religion, and explore virtues, vices and ethics. Focusing on specific virtues such as forgiveness, hope or love from both a secular and religious point of view, you’ll examine what it means to live a good life.

Alongside options in your final year to explore religion and popular culture, as well as feminist and political philosophy, your dissertation will allow you to develop your particular interests, perhaps encompassing an exploration of some aspect of your own religious belief system.

Fact sheets 2019 Course fact sheet 1 BA (Hons) Philosophy
Programme specifications 2019 Programme specification 1 BA (Hons) Philosophy

Why choose this course?

We give you:

  • An exceptional academic team, conducting internationally renowned research
  • A flexible programme of study, allowing you to concentrate on areas you find especially interesting
  • The opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic about which you are passionate
  • CV-building potential through extra-curricular activities

I certainly developed professionalism and employability through studying Philosophy, primarily through the methods of rational and logical problem solving. I acquired a skill that is useful in whatever field one works in. However, it is enterprise that I most notably improved on while at Herts. I had never really considered starting a businesses or working for myself, but while studying Philosophy (particularly my Masters by Research and my undergraduate dissertation) I realised I was learning self-management and combining this with my new proficiency at problem solving sent me down a new path. Since leaving Herts I have set up multiple small business which are growing healthily. This individuality has really helped me find out what I want to do in life.

Rob Baggs

BA(Hons) Philosophy 2010-2013, MA(Res) in Philosophy 2013-2015

Course details

What job can I get?

Studying philosophy teaches you to ask penetrating questions and identify flawed arguments – skills highly valued in a number of professions, including law. It also enables you to develop many other transferable skills sought by employers, such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving, and the ability to communicate ideas in a structured, productive way.

Our graduates have an excellent record of securing roles in a range of industries including teaching, the media, publishing and information management. For those interested in teaching, all Humanities graduates are guaranteed an interview with our School of Education. Many graduates go on to higher levels of study, engaging in research in their chosen fields.

All Humanities students have the option to gain valuable career experience through work placement or a year studying abroad.

Teaching methods

Our students benefit from being part of a lively and active academic community. You’ll learn through formal courses and extracurricular seminars, while our small group teaching helps you to find your feet in the academic environment. There are plenty of opportunities to discuss philosophical, religious and ethical issues with staff and fellow students, including an optional residential weekend each year.

You’ll have the opportunity to get involved in activities that will complement your studies and enhance your CV. These include our Philosophy Society, run by students, which hosts fortnightly research seminars led by distinguished external philosophers. All students are welcome to attend and become part of a professional philosophy community.

We host the Francis Bacon annual lecture series, funded by the Royal Institute of Philosophy and which focuses on showing the relevance of philosophy beyond the academic world. We are also the home of the British Wittgenstein Society, reflecting our academics’ research interests.

Study Abroad

Taking a year’s study abroad is an excellent opportunity to broaden your understanding of the world. Living in another country offers fresh perspectives and helps create global citizens. Recently our philosophy students have studied in the USA, Canada, Japan and South Korea, enhancing their learning, building their confidence and gaining a greater appreciation of other cultures and societies.

Find out more about our Study abroad opportunities.

Structure

  • Level 4
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Reason and Persuasion 15 Credits Compulsory
    Philosophy of Film and Literature 15 Credits Compulsory
    Introduction to World Religions 15 Credits Compulsory
    Religion and the Contemporary World 15 Credits Compulsory
    Social and Political Philosophy 15 Credits Compulsory
    Mind, Knowledge and Reality 15 Credits Compulsory
    Ethics 15 Credits Compulsory
    The Meaning of Life 15 Credits Compulsory
  • Level 5
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Graduate Skills 0 Credits Compulsory
    Philosophies of Religion 15 Credits Compulsory
    Virtues, Vices and Ethics 15 Credits Compulsory
    Themes in Plato's Republic 15 Credits Optional
    The Right and The Good 15 Credits Optional
    Philosophy of Mind 15 Credits Optional
    Knowledge and Discovery 15 Credits Optional
    Philosophy of Art 15 Credits Optional
    Logic and Philosophy 15 Credits Optional
  • Level 6
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Aristotle P 15 Credits Optional
    Nietzsche, Genealogy and Morality 15 Credits Optional
    Philosophy of Language 15 Credits Optional
    Philosophy of Psychology 15 Credits Optional
  • Fees & funding

    Fees 2019

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £9250 for the 2019/2020 academic year

    International Students

    Full time
    • £12350 for the 2019/2020 academic year

    Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

    *Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

    View detailed information about tuition fees

    Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet

    Other financial support

    Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

    Living costs / accommodation

    The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

    View detailed information about our accommodation

    Entry requirements

    UCAS points A Level BTEC IB requirement
    104 BCC DMM 104 points

    How to apply

    Course length
    • Full Time, 3 Years
    • Sandwich, 4 Years
    Locations
    • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

    2019

    Start DateEnd DateLink
    23/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time)
    23/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    23/09/201931/05/2020Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

    2020

    Start DateEnd DateLink
    23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time)
    23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    23/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

    2021

    Start DateEnd DateLink
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time)
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    23/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    Optional Sandwich Placement or Study Abroad year
    We welcome applications from international and EU students