About the course

Philosophy explores and challenges the assumptions that frame the way we think, act and see the world around us.

Here at Hertfordshire, you won’t just be learning about philosophers and understanding their theories, you’ll be doing rigorous and creative thinking of your own. Our internationally regarded academics will help you learn to address the arguments of others, to understand and 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.

On this course no prior knowledge of philosophy is assumed, although students with Religious Studies A-level may be familiar with topics such as ethics, mind, knowledge and reality. In your first year you’ll explore new dimensions to these topics and consider questions about the meaning of life. You’ll also study social and political philosophy, the central concern of which is the best way of organising society. A first-year module on the philosophy of film and literature takes you beyond the mainstream. Studying fiction and films such as Back to the Future allows you to address the assumption that anything is possible in fiction and consider to what extent that is true.

In your second year you’ll be able to delve deeper into areas such as philosophy of art and philosophy of mind. A module on virtues, vices and ethics focuses on specific virtues, such as forgiveness, hope or love, from both a secular and religious point of view and examines what it means to live a good life. 

In your final year you can pursue your own research interests through a dissertation. Recent topics have included the ethical issues of playing video games, the nature of the imagination, environmental philosophy and the obligations of the state, and a proposed solution to the paradox of the liar. You’ll also build on previous specialisms to explore in more depth philosophers such as Nietzsche or Wittgenstein, feminist or political philosophy, contemporary moral philosophy, or the philosophy of psychology.

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

You can also study Philosophy in combination with another subject:

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 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 a work placement or a year studying abroad.

Teaching methods

Our philosophy students benefit from being part of a lively and active academic community. You’ll learn from formal courses and extra-curricular seminars, while our small group teaching helps you to find your feet in the academic environment. There are plenty of opportunities to discuss critical 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 participate and become part of a professional philosophy community.

We host the Francis Bacon annual lecture series, funded by the Royal Institute of Philosophy, 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
    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
    Metaphysics 15 Credits Optional
    Philosophies of Religion 15 Credits Optional
    Virtues, Vices and Ethics 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
    Part time
    • £1155 per 15 credits for the 2019/2020 academic year

    International Students

    Full time
    • £12350 for the 2019/2020 academic year
    Part time
    • £1540 per 15 credits 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
    • Part Time, 6 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 (Part 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 (Part 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 (Part 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