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UCAS Code: Combined Honours only – see combinations tab|Duration: 3 years|Full Time|Hope Park|UCAS Campus Code: L46
International students can apply|Study Abroad opportunities
Entry Requirements


Philosophy and Ethics explores the big questions of life and morality: on what basis do we judge things good or evil? It challenges you to examine your assumptions, opinions and worldview. Do we need to believe in God for life to have meaning – or have the arguments for the existence of God broken down? What does it mean to be human? Do we have free will, or is our life completely determined?

Through close attention to the primary texts of philosophers such as Plato, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant and Nietzsche, our Philosophy and Ethics degree will help you learn to analyse and evaluate arguments, and to compose and communicate your own ideas in a reasoned way. You will have a grounding in the foundational questions of philosophy. As you progress, you will look in depth at philosophy of religion, political philosophy, applied ethics and issues of human personhood, artificial intelligence and animality.

The degree is taught by a core team of critical academics who are passionate about teaching and are internationally recognised researchers and writers. This degree will equip you with the intellectual skills and perspectives needed to face the ethical and ideological challenges of the contemporary world.


Teaching on this degree is structured into lectures, where all students are taught together, seminars of smaller groups of around 15-20 students, and tutorials which typically have no more than 10 students. You will also utilise online resources such as the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle, and you also have the opportunity to have a one-to-one meeting with your tutor each week.

For the Philosophy & Ethics part of your Combined Honours degree, in your first year of study there are approximately 6 teaching hours each week, which reduces to approximately 5 teaching hours each week in your second and third years. On top of teaching hours, you are also expected to spend a number of hours studying independently each week, as well as studying in groups to prepare for any group assessments you may have.


During your three years of study, you will have a number of assessments, including portfolios, essays, group presentations and written exams. In your final year, you will complete a dissertation on a research topic of your choice.

You will receive your feedback via the University’s Virtual Online Learning Environment (Moodle), and you are also welcome to discuss the feedback with your tutors.


Your first year of study builds the foundation of your philosophy and ethics knowledge. You will study normative ethics and metaethics, including utilitarianism, virtue ethics, animal ethics, and the meaning of moral statements. You also look at free will and determinism, as well as the philosophy of knowledge (epistemology) such as empiricism, rationality, transcendental idealism, and phenomenology.

Another key topic you will explore is existentialism and the meaning of life, using the works of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre as a basis for discussions.


In your second year, you build on your knowledge and study a number of new topics, including the philosophy of religion, exploring themes such as the existence of God, religious language, and the problem of evil. You also look at political philosophy, with a focus on democracy and its critics, and applied ethics topics such as capital punishment, abortion and euthanasia. 


Your final year is an in-depth look at some of the key philosophical themes. You will study Descartes, Locke and Hume to explore the theories of personal identity, as well as looking at the ethical implications of bias and personhood. You will also look at contemporary debates in the philosophy of mind such as materialism, artificial intelligence, and the mind/brain relationship. Other lecture topics include the relationship between faith and reason in postmodern thought, and key thinkers in continental philosophy, including Derrida, Levinas, Kristeva, and Irigaray.

In your seminars, you will look at God after the death of God, and the limits of personhood in relation to human, animal and machine.


UCAS Tariff Points120-112. UCAS Tariff points must come from a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent). Additional points can be made up from a range of alternative qualifications
Access to HE120 - 112 Tariff Points
Irish Leaving Certificate120 - 112 Tariff Points from Higher Level qualifications only
Welsh BaccalaureateThis qualification can only be accepted in conjunction with other relevant qualifications
Subject RequirementsNo specific subject requirements


Specific Country RequirementsSelect your country
IELTS6.0 overall (with reading and writing at 6.0) and no individual score lower than 5.5


A degree in Philosophy and Ethics is excellent preparation for teaching the subject at A level, and equips you with the intellectual skills and perspectives needed for facing the ethical and ideological challenges of the contemporary world.

As a Philosophy graduate you, will have developed excellent skills in critical thinking, which are highly prized by employers. You will be competent in textual analysis, report writing and have high-level oral communication skills.

This prepares you for a range of careers including law, media, public administration, social and community work. Many graduates enter the teaching profession and you will also be well positioned to pursue postgraduate studies in philosophy and related humanity subjects.



The Service and Leadership Award is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.

Study Abroad

As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.


The tuition fees for 2018/19 are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.

If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.

The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.


On top of tuition fees, you will also need approximately £200 to purchase key textbooks that will be used throughout your studies.

You will also need to consider the cost of your accommodation each year whilst you study at university. Visit our accommodation webpages for further details about our Halls of Residence.


We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.


The International tuition fees for 2018/19 are £11,400 for full-time undergraduate courses.

Visit our International fees page for more information.

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Department of Theology, Philosophy and Religion
  • 100% of students were satisfied overall with their course (NSS2017)
  • You are taught by staff who are dedicated researchers at the leading edge of their field, producing books and articles
  • 100% of research impact is at an internationally recognised level (REF2014)

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