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Philosophy (BA)

  • Subject area: Philosophy
  • UCAS code: V500
  • Next intake: September 2025
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Mode: Full time

Entry year

Why study this course


Follow your interests

Choose from modules from across a range of philosophical traditions, trace connections to other disciplines, and engage with new areas of philosophical research.


Think for yourself

Critically and creatively engage with difficult problems in an independent and open-minded way.


Shape the future

Apply philosophical research to develop policies or strategies aimed at solving real-world social problems.


Study at the frontiers of inquiry

Analyse contemporary research with staff who are leading researchers in their field.


Communicate effectively

Develop skills and experience in shaping and presenting your ideas and arguments, and in reaching agreement on difficult questions.

How should you live your life and relate to others? How should we organise society? Who and what should you believe? What is the nature of beauty? How do your mind, brain, body and environment shape your thoughts and feelings?  How should characteristics like gender and race be taken into account in theoretical inquiry and social decision-making?

Our BA Philosophy degree investigates important and complex issues like these and enables you to address today’s great global challenges. Our priority lies in developing your skills as a philosopher in your own right: you’ll be doing philosophy, not merely learning about philosophy. We’ll support you to engage critically and creatively with difficult problems in an open-minded and collaborative way, including on sensitive and controversial topics.

During your studies, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with cutting-edge research and work with your lecturers to develop insights into complex new areas of study. Our expertise covers a broad range of philosophical topics and traditions. You’ll develop a solid grounding in central areas of philosophy, such as ethics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind, but also study areas such as aesthetics, feminist philosophy, and phenomenology.

Many of our modules directly address contemporary problems facing society, providing you with a clear link between philosophical theory and practice. This is emphasised in the final year of the programme, where you’ll take part in a project to apply your own philosophical knowledge and ideas to develop policies or strategies aimed at solving a real-world ethical or social problem.

You’ll graduate with a range of professional skills, including collaboration, effective communication and critical thinking. You will also have developed a deeper appreciation of the ethical and social challenges that face contemporary society and industry and have both the ideas and the confidence required to solve them. From here, you’ll be ideally placed to progress into a range of exciting careers.

Subject area: Philosophy

Entry requirements

We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:

These grades apply to applications received before 30 June 2024. Grades required for Clearing applicants can vary and may be higher or lower. Get in touch to discuss your options.

A level


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

Our grade range covers our standard offer and contextual offer. We carefully consider the circumstances in which you've been studying (your contextual data) upon application.

  • Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.
  • Where there is no grade range advertised and/or where there are selection processes in place (like an interview) you may receive additional points in the selection process or be guaranteed interview/consideration.

Learn about eligible courses and how contextual data is applied.

International Baccalaureate

34-32 overall or 666-665 in 3 HL subjects. 

Baccalaureate Wales

From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

You must have or be working towards:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade C/4 or an equivalent (such as A-levels). If you require a Student visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.

We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.


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.


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

PTE Academic

At least 69 overall with a minimum of 59 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.

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Other qualifications from inside the UK


DDD-DDM in a BTEC Extended Diploma in Humanities and Social Science subjects.

T level

Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.

Qualifications from outside the UK

See our qualification equivalences guide

Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.

Tuition fees for 2025 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2025/26 academic year.

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in the second and subsequent years of a course as permitted by law or Welsh Government policy. Where applicable we will notify you of any change in tuition fee by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which the fee will increase.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2025/26 academic year.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2025/26 academic year.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

You will not need any specific equipment.


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

Living costs

We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Course structure

This is a three-year full-time degree, with 120 credits of study in each year.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2025/2026 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2025.

Year one

The modules in year 1 introduce you to the key areas of philosophy that feature throughout the degree. You’ll consider classic texts and current debates about morality, justice, knowledge, and belief. You’ll study the nature of communication and the relationships between minds and bodies.

You’ll explore philosophical questions through fiction and films as well as written texts and will reflect on the limitations of human reason. You’ll learn how to write to academic and professional standards, and you will practice and develop the skills that are essential to the degree.

Year two

In year 2, you choose at least 2 modules from moral, political, and feminist philosophy, and choose at least two modules from philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of language, and epistemology. This prepares you for modules in the final year that often combine these areas of philosophy. You can explore other areas of philosophy through optional modules.

These modules provide opportunities to further practice the key skills of communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, to become more independent in your studies, and to improve your ability to reflect on your own work in order to reach your potential.

Year three

In your final year, you’ll be immersed in the research culture of philosophy and gain a deeper understanding of how current philosophical research can impact the world.

In the core module Philosophy in Practice, you’ll discover the valuable contribution that philosophical skills and philosophical knowledge can make in a range of professional organisations and roles. In this module you will engage with philosophical research currently undertaken at Cardiff University to generate workable policy recommendations in response to a contemporary concrete real-world problem.

You'll choose 5 optional modules that enable you to develop your own ideas about the latest research in our areas of expertise. These modules often integrate different areas of philosophy studied earlier in the degree, and frequently focus on problems of contemporary societal concern.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Dissertation in PhilosophySE438520 credits
Cyfiawnder Byd-eangSE439420 credits
Hanes Athroniaeth yr 20fed Ganrif yng NghymruSE439620 credits
Belief & IrrationalitySE441920 credits
Ethics of KnowingSE442220 credits
Beauty & EthicsSE442520 credits
Moral ResponsibilitySE442620 credits
A Sense of the PossibleSE442720 credits
Paradoxes of DemocracySE443220 credits
Meaning Through SilenceSE443320 credits
Aesthetic InjusticeSE443420 credits
Sociality OnlineSE443520 credits
Reasons and RelationshipsSE443820 credits
The Politics of Language DiversitySE443920 credits
Disruptive EmotionsSE444020 credits
Speech Acts OnlineSE444120 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

Throughout the degree, our aim is to support you to become an independent, creative, and critical thinker.

First year teaching provides carefully structured support through lectures and seminar discussions to help you develop key skills and gain confidence. By the final year you’ll learn through guided independent reading and smaller interactive workshops and seminars, discussing new research with internationally recognised academics who are currently working in that area. You’ll have access to all course materials through our electronic learning environment.

In this supportive environment you’ll develop your abilities to closely analyse texts and arguments, collaboratively work through problems, construct your own arguments, and present your ideas clearly to others.   

How will I be supported?

Your main sources of support in philosophy are your module leaders and your Personal Tutor. Your module leaders have drop-in sessions during teaching weeks that you can attend if you have any questions about course materials or assessments.

Personal Tutors can advise you on academic matters, including study skills, careers, and your academic progress, as well as on pastoral matters. You’ll be invited to meet with your Personal Tutor regularly throughout your degree, and they are available for extra meetings as needed. Welsh-speaking students can request a Welsh-speaking personal tutor.

The Writing Development Centre provides specialist support for academic writing across the programme. You can access online materials, workshops and one-to-one meetings about any aspect of academic writing to support you with your assessments.

Our Undergraduate Team provides academic and student support and is there is to help you with information and guidance if you have any queries. Beyond the school, the university offers a range of support services and events to help you plan your career, manage your emotional, mental and physical health, support you with financial issues, and provide assistance for students with disabilities. These services are located at the university's Centre for Student Life. Libraries, study spaces and other resource centres will all be available to you.


You’ll regularly receive feedback on your progress. Oral feedback in lectures, workshops and seminars will help you assess your understanding of the course material and your critical responses to it. You’ll receive formative comments on essay ideas, and detailed feedback on all marked coursework. If you undertake the Dissertation module, you’ll receive regular feedback on your project from your supervisor.

How will I be assessed?

Your assessments are designed to cumulatively develop key skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking and reflection. These assessments include critical analyses of texts, essays, group discussion assessments, and reflective assessment of your own skills. In the final year, you will take part in a large collaborative project that involves writing and presenting for a professional audience. Optional modules can offer a wider variety of assessments, including writing for a public audience, or commenting on an artwork or a media piece.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this programme describe what you’ll achieve by the end of your programme at Cardiff University and identify the knowledge and skills that you’ll develop. They will also help you to understand what is expected of you.

On successful completion of your Programme you’ll be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:

  • Critically evaluate some of the central theories and arguments, and their applications, in moral, social, or political philosophy.
  • Critically evaluate some of the central theories and arguments, and their applications, in epistemology, philosophy of language, or philosophy of mind.
  • Critically analyse theories and arguments from contemporary philosophical work, including intersections of different areas of philosophy or interdisciplinary research.
  • Apply philosophical research by drafting policy or strategy documents, or action recommendations, in response to a real-world ethical or social problem of contemporary societal concern.

Intellectual Skills:

  • Explain complex and specialised philosophical claims and arguments.
  • Construct arguments that support claims in response to philosophical questions.
  • Apply standard techniques of philosophical analysis to critically evaluate philosophical claims and arguments.

Professional Practical Skills:

  • Communicate complex information and arguments in different formats appropriate to different purposes.
  • Contribute in a collaborative manner to discussions and team projects.
  • Articulate and evaluate your own philosophical and professional skills.

Transferable/Key Skills:

  • Respond to problems creatively, critically and independently.
  • Implement task instructions and manage workload effectively to meet deadlines.
  • Deliver and act on constructive feedback.


Career prospects

Graduates from our Philosophy (BA) degree possess a range of transferable skills and areas of knowledge that are sought after by many employers.

These include the ability to independently analyse complex problems and identify workable and innovative solutions, to work effectively with others on large projects, to communicate effectively with different audiences, and to use reflection and feedback to further develop your skills. You’ll also acquire a broad knowledge base enabling you to understand and respond to a range of contemporary ethical or social problems. During your degree, you will have gained experience of professional research, policy and strategy roles by working on a large collaborative policy project. This project showcases to employers how your philosophical skills and your philosophical knowledge can be of enormous value in the workplace.

University services and schemes are also available to you, providing additional ways to increase your professional skills and confidence. The Cardiff Award provides a framework through which to develop your employability further, and Student Futures is on hand to provide career advice and support in gaining placements specific to your degree. You can also take advantage of programmes like Languages For All and Welsh For All to improve your language skills, while support from the Enterprise and Start Up team to bring your ideas to life.

Due to the depth and breadth of their skills and knowledge, our graduates can be found in a variety of sectors, including the civil service, local government, charitable organisations, small businesses, consultancy firms, and schools and colleges. They work in journalism, law, teaching, finance, marketing, human resources, public relations, and many other professions.

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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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.