Philosophy (BA)

As a student in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff you will be taught by leading researchers in Philosophy.

There are two related aspects of the BA Philosophy degree at Cardiff that mark it out among Russell Group universities. One is that there is a strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics among the modules on offer. Although we do cover the full range of contemporary philosophical concerns, we are unusual in providing so much opportunity in these areas.

The other is that our research and teaching is spread equally across both the ‘analytic’ and ‘Continental’ styles of Western philosophy. For historical reasons, most philosophy courses in the UK are almost entirely analytic. Some are almost entirely Continental. Only a very few are evenly balanced across the two approaches, allowing students to develop a full understanding of both with the possibility of an informed choice to specialise in one approach or the other.

Your scheduled contact hours will be supplemented by the opportunity for individual meetings with academic staff, by supportive academic progress meetings with your personal tutor and by the opportunity to attend research seminars and careers activities.

The School prides itself on nurturing a friendly, personalised and supportive environment for its students, with staff spending a great deal of time at various points in the semester in individual one-to-one meetings with students.

Distinctive features

The distinctive features of the course include:

  • a strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics
  • equal attention to ‘analytic’ and ‘Continental’ styles of Western philosophy.

Studying Philosophy at Cardiff has turned a general interest into a real passion. Lecturers are passionate about their work, communicate their expertise clearly, and respond to your interest with great enthusiasm.

Maria Corrado, Philosophy student

Key facts

UCAS CodeV500
Next intakeSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Studying in WelshUp to 33% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information
Typical places availableThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically has 350 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School of English, Communication and Philosophy typically receives 1450 applications.
Typical A level offerABB (General Studies is not accepted).
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core, plus AB grades at A-level
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34 points including 6,5,5 in Higher Level subjects.
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Specific admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be found online. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course
Admissions tutor(s)

This full-time course lasts for three years with two semesters per year. There are 120 credits a year. Most modules are worth 20 credits.

Year one

In year one 60 credits come from core modules and you will then have a wide choice of optional modules.

The three core (compulsory) modules provide a comprehensive grounding in philosophy, while not repeating what some students will already have studied. 

Year two

Year two is designed to build on the foundation of year one through more focused modules that provide a more solid grounding in particular areas. There are no compulsory modules.

You are encouraged to follow the interests you developed in year one, but also consider what you would like to take in the following year.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Philosophy of Contemporary PoliticsSE436320 credits
MetaphysicsSE436420 credits
Philosophy of MindSE431320 credits
EpistemologySE439820 credits
Credoau'r CymrySE440020 credits
Modern Moral PhilosophySE437320 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth WleidyddolSE439520 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 credits
Philosophy of LanguageSE435820 credits
French ExistentialismSE436920 credits
Ancient PhilosophySE440520 credits

Year three

Year three is our research-led year, where the modules reflect the current research activities of the staff who teach them, building on the themes studied in year two.


You will read and think about the very same texts that the module leader is currently thinking and writing about.

There is also the opportunity for independent research in the dissertation module.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Module titleModule codeCredits
The Problem of ConsciousnessSE437920 credits
Dissertation in PhilosophySE438520 credits
MetaethicsSE436720 credits
Moral PsychologySE437220 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangSE439420 credits
Philosophy of ScienceSE431220 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) SpringSE625260 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruSE439620 credits
Feminist PhilosophySE438620 credits
FairnessSE440320 credits
Philosophy of Time TravelSE440420 credits
Philosophy and Modern ArtSE440220 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.

You will be taught both by lecture and seminar. Lectures provide an overview of the key concepts and frameworks for a topic, equipping you to carry out independent research for the seminars and to develop your own ideas.

Seminars provide an opportunity for you to explore the ideas outlined in the lectures. Seminars usually consist of about 15 students and the seminar leader (a member of the teaching team). Seminars may take various formats, including plenary group discussion, small-group work and student-led presentations.

How will I be supported?

Your scheduled contact hours will be supplemented by the opportunity for individual meetings with academic staff, by supportive academic progress meetings with your personal tutor and by the opportunity to attend research seminars and careers activities.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Feedback

We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance.

Coursework will be marked by your module tutor and your tutor will give you written feedback on your work. You will also have a feedback class after each assessment. Students will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the May/June examination period and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor as part of the monitored student self-assessment scheme.

How will I be assessed?

A range of assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios and creative assignments.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.

The optional final-year dissertation provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’, which will allow you to:

  • grasp complex issues with confidence
  • ask the right questions of complex texts
  • have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options and analyse these critically
  • identify and apply relevant data
  • propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence
  • communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech
  • work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights
  • work as part of a team, developing a collaborative approach to problem-solving
  • use IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate
  • take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development.

SCHOOL OF ENGLISH, COMMUNICATION AND PHILOSOPHY

In 2013/14, 91% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating.

Philosophy graduates have excellent analytic and communication skills that fit them for a full range of professions and further training. Their cultural expertise and intellectual abilities are valued in the public and private sector, and in contexts as varied as the classroom, the law courts or the media.

Jobs

  • Intelligence Officer
  • Commercial Associate
  • PR trainee

UK and EU students 2016/17

EU students entering in 2016/17 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2017/18 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our Funding and fees section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU 2016/17

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes. Please check with us for full clarification.

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£14,500None

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

You will not need any specific equipment.


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.