BA (Hons) Philosophy, Religion and Ethics
Typical offer:Entry requirements
Fees: See belowFull details
UCAS code: V5V8
Institute code: H36
Study abroad option
Work placement optionFind out more
UCAS points A Level BTEC IB requirement 112 - 120 BBC - BBB DMM - DDM 112 - 120 points
GCSE: Grade 4/C in English Language and 4/D Mathematics
Access Course Tariff: An overall merit profile in 45 credits at Level 3.
All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.
If you do not have the required IELTS or equivalent for direct entry on to your degree programme, our Pre-sessional English and International Foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.
For more details on the University of Hertfordshire's entry requirements, please visit our Undergraduate Entry Requirements page.
Find out more about International Entry Requirements.
The University of Hertfordshire is committed to welcoming students with a wide range of qualifications and levels of experience. The entry requirements listed on the course pages provide a guide to the minimum level of qualifications needed to study each course. However, we have a flexible approach to admissions and each application will be considered on an individual basis.
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Why choose this course?
- Your Philosophy lecturers are all active researchers
- Host of the annual Sir Francis Bacon lecture series
- Home of the British Wittgenstein Society
By choosing Philosophy, Religion and Ethics at Hertfordshire, you’ll gain an appreciation of the lively exchange between philosophy and the ideas, beliefs and practices of some of the major world religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism. Our interdisciplinary approach takes you beyond the Western cannon and introduces you to multiple ways of thinking about the big questions: what do we know? How should we engage with others and the world around us? What gives life meaning?
With training in Religious Studies, you’ll discover how religious and spiritual traditions have influenced the modern world, while learning about the diversity, dynamism, and philosophical depth that each of these traditions has to offer. Your courses will help you to understand role of religion in the most pressing issues facing us today, such as climate change and the environment, gender, sexuality, and social justice.
You’ll be taught by internationally regarded academics, who’ll help you understand the complexity and dynamism of the relationship between reason, faith and the social contexts that shape both. All our lecturers are active researchers, so you’ll share the excitement of doing original work in a supportive and highly-rated academic community.
What's the course about?
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.
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 open-minded environment. Students learn to listen to one another and to learn from the diversity of their experiences. Understanding how people live their different faiths fosters empathy, tolerance and a better ability to navigate a globalised world.
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.
Work placement/study abroad option: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the option to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about but will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too.
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.
Your main campus is de Havilland
You’ll share this campus with students from business, law, sport, education, and humanities subjects. The student housing is close to our Sports Village which includes a gym, swimming pool and climbing wall. You can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner in our on-campus restaurant or bar (in the newly built Enterprise Hub) on days you don’t feel like cooking. You can also use the common room to play pool, video games or just to hang out with friends. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.
What will I study?
Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6. These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study. Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.
Module Credits Compulsory/optional Reason and Persuasion 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 The Meaning of Life 15 Credits Compulsory Ethics 15 Credits Compulsory Philosophy of Fiction 15 Credits Compulsory Sci-fi, Philosophy, and Religion 15 Credits Compulsory
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 Metaphysics 15 Credits Optional Logic and Philosophy 15 Credits Optional Employability Skills 15 Credits Optional Philosophy of Love and Sex 15 Credits Optional Self, Action, and Ethics 15 Credits Optional
Module Credits Compulsory/optional Year Abroad 0 Credits Compulsory The Humanities Placement Year 0 Credits Compulsory Placement with Study Abroad 0 Credits Compulsory
An opportunity for an amazing experience, which will help make you stand out from the crowd. With more and more companies working internationally, experience of living in another country can make a great impression on future employers.
This course offers you the opportunity to enhance your study and CV with a sandwich year abroad. The University has partnerships with over 150 universities around the world, including the USA, Canada, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and closer to home in Europe.
If you study abroad between your second and third year of study, you’ll pay no tuition fee to the partner university and no tuition fee to us either. We’ll ask you to make your decision in your second year, so there is plenty of time to think about it.
Find out more about Study abroad opportunities
Please note Erasmus+ funding is only available until May 2023. For students starting their course in September 2022 and wishing to study abroad in 2023-24 or 2024-25, please refer to the Turing Scheme.
Graduate with invaluable work experience alongside your degree and stand out from the crowd.
This course offers you the opportunity to enhance your study and CV with a work placement sandwich year. It’s a chance to explore career possibilities, make valuable contacts and gain sought after professional skills.
Our dedicated Careers and Employment team are here to help guide you through the process.
If you take up a work placement between your second and third year of study, at the University of Hertfordshire you’ll pay no tuition fee for this year. We’ll ask you to make your decision in your second year, so there is plenty of time to think about it.
What if I need support?
You’ll get a personal tutor to guide you through your course, all the way to graduation.
You might also want or need extra support during your time with us. Rest assured, no matter what you study, we’ve got you covered. For help with study skills, including referencing, essay writing and presentations, you’ll have access to our academic support services. You can attend workshops, 1-to-1 sessions, and online tutorials. Both our LRCs (Learning Resources Centres) run drop-in study skills sessions. And the best thing is, it’s all free.
'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.'
Check out our student blogs
Kailan - Week at a glance
Weekly schedule blog post
At the beginning of my week, I make a to-do list of all the things that I need to do on top of my studies. After that, I begin with an hour each day at the state-of-the-art gym and swimming pool on the de Havilland campus where my classes are. I then get showered; have breakfast, pack my bag, and walk to my classes. I’m a visual learner, so I focus on just listening to the lecturer, and engaging with the content as much as possible; especially if I am in a seminar. I re-watch the lectures and seminars on Canvas (our online learning portal), as I learn best from visual/audio resources.
I love that at the University, you get the choice to study in a way that suits you. There is absolutely no pressure in sticking to certain means, and you can (to a reasonable degree), build a studying pattern that suits you. I usually have between eight and 13 hours of classes a week (depending on the semester), and I study Politics, International Relations, and Philosophy.
For me, the lectures and seminars are my best resource; and the information and concepts usually make complete sense to me. I struggle to read for long periods of time, so thanks to the academic English resources available for students; I was able to learn ways to read in a way that suits my style of learning. This allowed me to look into the recommended reading, and explore the extra resources given to me; while not overloading myself with information that Is ultimately unimportant (relatively speaking).
In my course (which is a joint honours), coursework makes up around 40-50% of the classification in the first year. Exams obviously make up the rest. What I was surprised to find out upon enrolling, is that once you get into a rhythm with coursework, and make template documents (which include things like an empty bibliography and a title), they are relatively straight forward. I feel that the overwhelming feeling that comes from coursework and exams, comes when you don’t feel like you have access to the resources that teach you how to write assignments efficiently - the University makes these resources available to you; you just have to reach out for them. If you have a professional and academically beautiful document; you will be more inclined to write in a similarly professional way.
Fundamentally, though, assignments and exams are super easy and fun, as long as you’re prepared (in my case having a template document, and understanding how to reference was the key), as-well-as interested in the topic that you’re studying. If you love the topic and know how to build an essay; you’ll blast through your assignments!
Going back to my typical week… There are lots to do on both campuses; especially in the first semester; with freshers fairs and endless other things going on too. Wednesday’s and Friday’s I usually go out to the Forum (the club on campus) with my flatmates. As long as you study hard, and understand the content in your own way; you will be able to afford to go out as much as you want!
The bottom line is: Work hard and play hard; prepare in advance for your assignments, and that way they’ll be super easy, and study a subject that you are passionate about!
Kailan - Things you should know
Things you need to know before studying PiR at UH
Before you choose the study at the University of Hertfordshire, you need to ask yourself a few questions. What do you want out of University? If the answer is more than a degree, then Herts is the place for you. If you want to make international friends and expand your network, Herts is the place for you. If you want to have access to State of the art resources and world-class staff, then the University of Hertfordshire is for you.
So you’ve checked all of the boxes, and you’re considering Herts. That’s great! You’re planning to study Politics and International Relations; that’s great! What should you know before making your decision? Let me tell you…
- The staff are amazing and go a million steps past what is required of them to help your experience and understanding of the content. HOWEVER, they can only do that if you reach out and discuss your issue or query with them. They’re extremely attentive, but the UH staff are not trained in telepathy, unfortunately (maybe in another decade or so).
- You can, and should, make a study plan that suits you. The school (in my personal opinion), trains you to study in a very specific and rigid way. If that works for you; then great; proceed as you are. If you struggle to learn from the ‘traditional means’, and hate the idea of reading every word in a 15-page article in order to find one piece of information to support your argument; don’t. The staff and the department can recognise that different students learn differently. That is why there are resources made available to you to find a system that allows University to be straight forward for you. Tip: Check out the Academic English hub on campus, and discuss this with them.
- You have the option to study a language, as-well-as study abroad for free! Studying a language as an elective (an extra module) is free; and you have the choice from multiple languages, at multiples levels; even if you’ve never spoken a word before.
- If you wish to study abroad; there are lots of resources available to you; you can find a placement abroad within Politics and IR, and the staff will help you learn how to apply; do well in interviews, and the study abroad office can give you more specific advice on planning your trip etc.
- University is a place for ideas; if you have an idea that you think is against the norm; the staff will ALWAYS welcome it. There are no stupid questions; if you’re thinking it, others probably will be too, and it will open up the discussion anyway!
- Take advantage of any research opportunities presented to you by the department; they are announcing them because they really believe that it is a lucrative opportunity for students; don’t assume that it’s not for you - explore ALL opportunities.
Fundamentally though, have fun; University is not all about the degree; in many ways, the network that you build and the life that you develop during your time at UH is much more important than having a first on your transcript. The beauty of the system is that you can have both, as long as you reach out first!
Kailan - Why I love PIR
What I love most about my course
I love the department. The staff go a million steps past just teaching you the assigned content. They support your ideas and interests; your professional growth, and are constantly checking to ensure that each and every student understands in a thorough, academically holistic way; the concerned content. Each and every staff member in the department is a mentor and extremely patient and attentive to a student’s pace.
You can approach professors about anything; from personal issues affecting your workflow (and asking for them to help you one to one to understand the content during their office hours) to asking them for advice concerning your professional aspirations (such as internships). I have contacted members of staff for references to internships and scholarship applications; of which they’re more than happy to help out with.
The way that the department frames your University journey during induction is important; it started with one of the subjects heads explaining to us that this is beginning of our professional lives; and that in our course, we are not students who are hierarchically lectured to by teachers; we are colleagues, who are exploring the academic discipline that we mutually take interest in.
Starting the course by showing students that this is a professional journey, and NOT a commodity, really sets the tone for the course. I feel is allows students to feel more comfortable with reaching out for help; because asking for help is a logistical thing, rather than something to be embarrassed about.
When I say that the staff go the extra mile; I am not kidding. It’s not just the outstanding attentiveness and resources put into your experience that they finetune, they also are mentors. I have asked for career advice concerning internships, and was offered mock interviews, and given advice on typical questions given in interviews within the Political field; of which the interviewer asked!
When I got accepted into a scholarship to delegate at the General Assembly, the staff members helped me out with resources on how to succeed in this venture. The staff members have offered me contacts for research and professional opportunities.
If you have any questions, or any interest, or anything you wish to clarify about anything at all; all you have to do is ask. IF you don’t ask, you don’t get. IF you do ask, you are met with mentorship and invaluable advice that will inevitably solve your issue, or help you to excel.
Study at Herts!
Meet Jenny Vu who gained valuable transferable skills for her future career. She is currently a Teaching Assistant at a secondary school.Read more stories Find out more about this course
|Current job role||Teaching Assistant|
|Year of graduation||2018|
|Course of study||BA(Hons) History and Philosophy with Study Abroad Year|
University life and experience
Throughout her degree, Jenny learnt a considerable amount of transferable skills and world knowledge to enable to her succeed in her career as a Teaching Assistant. She says that the most useful skills she learnt are how to analyse and correct grammar which have proved invaluable when teaching her students.
Jenny initially chose the University of Hertfordshire as it ‘was close to home but still relatively far enough to move out and learn to live independently.’ She explains how her independence grew as she used her degree to explore the World by taking the opportunity to study abroad for a year. She says, ‘My standout memory from my time at the University was studying abroad for a year. It was probably the best year of my life.’
Jenny’s study abroad year sparked her passion for travel and in the future, she plans to teach in Asia. However, she says, if she does return to the UK, she would like to teach and promote higher education to young students to inspire future generations and showcase their potential.
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Further information - includes assessment method
Course fact sheets BA (Hons) Philosophy Download Programme specifications BA (Hons) Philosophy Download Additional information
Sandwich placement or study abroad year
Applications open to international and EU students
- Full Time, 3 Years
- Sandwich, 4 Years
- University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
How to apply?
International/EU applicants without pre-settled status in the UK
Apply through our international/EU application portal
Home and EU applicants with pre-settled/settled status in the UK
Apply using the links below:
Start Date End Date Link 23/09/2023 31/05/2024 Apply online (Full Time) 23/09/2023 31/05/2024 Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich) 23/09/2023 31/05/2024 Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
Start Date End Date Link 23/09/2024 31/05/2025 Apply online (Full Time) 23/09/2024 31/05/2025 Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich) 23/09/2024 31/05/2025 Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
Fees and funding
- £9250 for the 2023/2024 academic year
- £14750 for the 2023/2024 academic year
- £14750 for the 2023/2024 academic year
*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.