UoA 32 Philosophy

With a GPA of 2.85 and a UK ranking of 21st, our philosophy research spans investigations into ethics and political philosophy, the history of philosophy and the philosophy of art and sport, as well as the philosophy of mind and moral psychology. Our research has helped influence protocols and policies regarding the ethical consequences of constructing DNA databanks, and brought original research and critical thinking into the secondary school classroom. A distinctive feature of this unit is that 70% of our research has been deemed ‘outstanding’ for its impact in terms of its reach and significance.

Quality level 4 3 2 1 UC
Overall 20.0% 49.0% 27.0% 4.0% 0.0%
Outputs 9.7% 54.8% 29.0% 6.5% 0.0%
Impact 70.0% 30.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Environment 0.0% 50.0% 50.0% 0.0% 0.0%
About the REF

A strategic change of focus for Cardiff Philosophy in recent years has led to the development of a balanced and high quality research unit with considerable vibrancy and energy.

Clusters of expertise have been developed in two core areas: moral and political philosophy; and philosophy of mind, including the philosophy of psychology.

Within moral and political philosophy, we have expanded our concentration of expertise on Nietzsche. Work in applied ethics has continued in the area of health and been extended to include the ethics of sport and of biobanking and nutrigenomics.

Research in philosophy of mind and psychology has grown to include interdisciplinary publications on the nature of perception and critical analysis of the conceptual framework underpinning the science of consciousness.
New staff appointments have reinforced and refreshed a core long-term defining characteristic of Cardiff Philosophy: expertise across both the analytic and continental traditions. There are now 10 full time members of academic staff.

We are home to the Centre for Applied Ethics and, during the REF period, provided leadership to the research programme of the ESRC Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen, 2007-12).

Philosophy is one of the four principal areas of distinctive strength in the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Programme, of which we are a member.

Case studies

Influencing debate in genetics research

Defining a new bioethics that promises real world solutions to real world problems.


Centre for Applied Ethics (CAE)Founded to research and promote applied ethics, with a focus on ethical issues in the biomedical sciences, the environment, international relations and the professions.
ESRC Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGen)CESAGen's main objective was to investigate the economic and social factors that shape natural knowledge in genomics and other life sciences, with the ethics of genomics research and treatment one of the main foci.

Overall ranking

Pos. Institution GPA
1 University of Oxford 3.31
2 University of Birmingham 3.30
3 King's College London 3.23

18 University of East Anglia 2.88
19 University of Manchester 2.86
19 University of Southampton 2.86
21 Cardiff University 2.85
22 University of Durham 2.82
23 Kingston University 2.81
24 University of Nottingham 2.80

Table continues to 40