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Philosophy (BA)

Entry year


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

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Course overview

How should we live our lives? What should we believe? How should we set about trying to answer these questions? How are we even able to think about them? Philosophy investigates these profound issues and addresses today’s great global questions.

As the world’s oldest academic discipline, Philosophy has developed an impressive range of concepts and techniques for addressing complicated problems. In our degree, we equip you to analyse and construct complex chains of reasoning for yourself, developing and refining your thinking skills to consider the great philosophical puzzles past and present.

We pride ourselves on nurturing a friendly, personalised and supportive environment, placing a strong emphasis on individual one-to-one meetings at key points in each semester.   In addition, every member of our academic staff is available for two hours every week in term time for you to drop in and chat about your modules or about philosophy more generally.

Looking outwards to our wider community, we explore the great issues of our time in our weekly research seminar series and our regular public philosophy events in the city centre, produced in association with the Royal Institute of Philosophy. We warmly encourage our undergraduate students to participate in these events throughout the year.

 

Distinctive features

We offer the opportunity to examine fundamental philosophical questions from both the analytic and continental traditions, through assessing arguments put forward by philosophers across the ages.

Examining some of the most influential writings in Western literature, we cover moral philosophy; political philosophy; the nature of mind and language; the fundamental nature of reality; and the nature of knowledge and belief.

While advantageous, previous study of the subject is not anticipated.

UCAS codeV500
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
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.

Entry requirements

ABB-BBB. You will not need to achieve these from any specific subjects but please note that General Studies and Critical Thinking will not be accepted. 

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

DDM to include Humanities and Social Science subjects.

Award of the IB Diploma with 665 in 3 HL subjects.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of English, Communication & Philosophy admissions criteria pages.

GCSE

Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£9,000None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding 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 (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
£17,700None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding 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.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

You will not need any specific equipment.

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

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.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

You study 120 credits each year of your degree.

In Year One, you take 120 credits of core modules in Philosophy, covering a range of key topics.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Mind, Thought and RealitySE410120 credits
Moral and Political PhilosophySE410320 credits
Four Great Works in PhilosophySE410420 credits
Critical ThinkingSE410720 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Darllen AthroniaethSE410520 credits
Y Da, Drwg a'r GwleidyddolSE410620 credits
Debates in the History of PhilosophySE410820 credits
Philosophy Through Fiction and FilmSE411020 credits
Moeseg CymhwysolSE411120 credits

Year two

You choose 120 credits from a selection of modules, allowing you to focus on your own areas of interest.

Year Two is designed to build on the foundation of Year One through more focused modules that provide an in-depth grounding in the main areas of Philosophy.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Philosophy of ScienceSE431220 credits
MetaphysicsSE436420 credits
French ExistentialismSE436920 credits
Modern Moral PhilosophySE437320 credits
Contemporary Ethical TheorySE438820 credits
EpistemologySE439820 credits
Credoau'r CymrySE440020 credits
Ancient PhilosophySE440520 credits
Philosophy of FeminismSE441820 credits
Philosophy of PsychologySE442120 credits
Damcaniaethu a Dadfeilio’r Gymdeithas GyfalafolSE442320 credits
AestheticsSE442420 credits
ENCAP Employability ModuleSE625520 credits

Year three

You choose 120 credits from a selection of modules.

Year Three focuses on the research specialisms of our Staff, enabling you to get a feel for how original research is carried out in Philosophy.

You can also take the opportunity for independent research in the dissertation module if you wish.

Module titleModule codeCredits
MetaethicsSE436720 credits
Moral PsychologySE437220 credits
The Problem of ConsciousnessSE437920 credits
Dissertation in PhilosophySE438520 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangSE439420 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruSE439620 credits
Cognition and TechnologySE441020 credits
Animal MindsSE441120 credits
The Social ImaginationSE441220 credits
Modern German PhilosophySE441320 credits
Athroniaeth CrefyddSE441720 credits
Belief & IrrationalitySE441920 credits
Desires, Emotions and HappinessSE442020 credits
Ethics of KnowingSE442220 credits
Beauty & EthicsSE442520 credits
Moral ResponsibilitySE442620 credits
International Study Abroad (60 credits) AutumnSE625160 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.

Learning and assessment

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.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

20%

Guided independent study

80%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

21%

Guided independent study

79%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

18%

Guided independent study

82%

Placements

0%

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.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

45%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

55%

Year 2

Written exams

37%

Practical exams

3%

Coursework

60%

Year 3

Written exams

25%

Practical exams

11%

Coursework

64%

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.

Careers

Career prospects

Our graduates progress into a wide range of careers using the skills gained throughout their degrees. Some choose to pursue professions making direct use of their discipline expertise, while others enter the public or private sectors, from teaching to graduate-track management.

95% of the School’s 2016/17 graduates reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey).

Taking the Class of 2017 as our most recent example, graduates from the School have gone on to roles in teaching, marketing, publishing, public relations, the civil service, the military, banking and insurance, and the charity sector,in first posts including Trainee Teacher, Marketing Assistant, Account Executive, Digital Editor and Editorial Assistant.

During your degree you can take full advantage of the wide-range of opportunities provided by the Careers Service.

Philosophy graduates acquire 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

Studying in Welsh

Up to 33% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

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Spring 2020

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