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School of Social Sciences

Philosophy lecture
BA Philosophy
Develop the knowledge and analytical skills to examine today's biggest questions.

BA Philosophy

Year of entry: 2018

Overview

Degree awarded
BA (Hons)
Duration
3 years
Typical A-level offer
ABB. (please see entry requirements for full details)
Typical International Baccalaureate offer

6,5,5 at Higher level, 33 points overall.  Applicants offering Mathematics or Maths Methods at standard or higher level must achieve a minimum of grade 5.

 Applicants not holding GCSE English Language or equivalent must achieve grade 5 in standard or higher level English. 

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants

In 2017 there were approximately 381 applications for 40 places for this degree.

How to apply
Apply through UCAS .

Course overview

  • 97% of students on our BA Philosophy are satisfied with their course (National Student Survey 2016)
  • Are you interested in questions about the nature of reality, knowledge, morality and religion?
  • Would you like to develop your skills related to analytical thinking, reasoned argument and systematic expression of ideas?
  • Are you looking for a flexible course that equips you for further study or the job market?
  • Would you like a chance to study abroad for a semester?
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Kitty tells us why she chose to study Philosophy

Open days

  • Find out more and register for an Open Day

Post-offer visits

If you are made an offer we will email you an invitation to visit us late January, February or early March. These afternoons are organised by the School of Social Sciences and include a tour, a talk, refreshments and a chance to talk to students, lecturers and recruitment staff.

If you are visiting Manchester and would like to visit our admissions office please make an appointment in advance. (Call +44 (0)161 275 4470/1473 or email socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk )

Fees

Tuition fees for home/EU students commencing their studies in September 2018 will be announced once confirmed by the UK government. As a guide, the 2017 tuition fees were £9,250 per annum for home/EU students, and are expected to increase slightly for 2018 entry. Tuition fees for international students will be £18,000 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate finance pages.

Scholarships/sponsorships

Scholarships and bursaries are available to eligible Home/EU students, including the Manchester Bursary . This bursary is in addition to the government package of maintenance grants.

Contact details

Academic department
School of Social Sciences
Contact name
Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 4470
Facsimile
+44 (0)161 275 4751
Email
Website
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/socialsciences
Academic department overview

Compare this course

Entry requirements

A-level

  • ABB
  • We do not accept two A/S Levels grades in place of one A Level.
  • Applicants must be studying at least one of the following A-level subjects: Accounting; Economics; Finance; Business Studies; Development Studies; Government and Politics; Economic and Social History; Mathematics; Anthropology; Sociology; Philosophy; Religious Studies; English Language; English Literature; Geography; Psychology; Classical Civilisation; History; Archaeology; Communication Studies; Environmental Studies; World Development; Biology; Chemistry; Physics; Modern Languages.
  • General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted for entry.

Unit grade information

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit grade information which, like all other available information, will inform the consideration of applications.  Unit grades will not normally form part of offer conditions, except for Mathematics programmes.

GCSE

Minimum grade B in English Language and Mathematics. In the newly reformed GCSEs in England you will require a grade 6 in English Language and Mathematics.

International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher level, 33 points overall.  Applicants offering Mathematics or Maths Methods at standard or higher level must achieve a minimum of grade 5.

 Applicants not holding GCSE English Language or equivalent must achieve grade 5 in standard or higher level English. 

Irish Leaving Certificate

H1, H1, H2, H2.

Scottish requirements

AAABB in Scottish Highers.  Applicants taking a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers should contact  socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk    Applicants not taking English Language or Mathematics at Higher level must achieve grade C in English Language and Grade B in mathematics at SCQF Level 5.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is accepted as equivalent to an A-level on a grade-for-grade basis.

European Baccalaureate

Applicants studying the European Baccalaureate are expected to achieve 77% overall and no lower than 80% in English.

Other international entry requirements

The University of Manchester has a rich academic heritage and is one of the world's leading research-intensive universities. It also has a long history of welcoming international students and seeks to continue this tradition by admitting excellent students from across the world.

Our country specific entry requirements and requirements for foundation years can be found on our International Entry Requirements page . If you cannot find your country or have any questions about our entry requirements then please contact socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk

Pearson BTEC qualifications

The School accepts Pearson BTEC qualifications for entry as long as it is in a relevant subject and taken alongside A-levels.

National Extended Diploma - accepted with grades MMM, alongside an A-level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

National Diploma - accepted with grades MP, alongside two A-levels at grades AB in different subject areas to the diploma.

Foundation Diploma - accepted with grade M, alongside two A-levels at grades AB in different subject areas to the diploma.

Subsidiary Diploma - accepted with grade D, alongside two A-levels at grade AB in different subject areas to the diploma.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

The School accepts OCR Cambridge Technicals (CTEC) Level 3 qualifications for entry as long as it is in a relevant subject and are offered along with A levels.

Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma- accepted with grades MMM, alongside an A level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Technical Diploma - accepted with grades MM, alongside an A level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Foundation Diploma - accepted with grades MM, alongside an A level at grade A in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate - accepted with grades M, alongside two A levels at grades AB in different subject areas.

Access to HE Diploma

  • Typical applicant - A mature student returning to education after a number of years.
  • Typical offer - Pass Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits (36 Distinctions/9 Merits).
  • Minimum grade B in English Language and grade B in Mathematics.

Contact: Tom McCunnie tom.mccunnie@manchester.ac.uk

Cambridge Pre-U

Applicants are expected to achieve D3, M1, M1 in the Cambridge Pre-U. Applicants can either take three Pre-U qualifications or study them in conjunction with A-level subjects.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. Although the Extended Project will not be included in the conditions of your offer, we strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement and at interview. A number of our academic Schools may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you have followed a non-standard educational route (eg home educated) we will consider your application against the standard entry criteria for the course to which you apply.

You must also provide a reference which should be written by somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education.

Non-standard educational routes

Return-to-learn students are those who have had a substantial period away from any formal learning. Often such learners have pursued careers or raised a family. The University understands that students come from many different backgrounds, with varying qualifications, careers and skills, but they often bring to their studies a high degree of motivation and experience.

The University recognises that standard selection measures and procedures may not enable these learners to demonstrate fully their suitability for their chosen course. Where appropriate, admissions officers will seek and consider alternative evidence in order to give such learners equivalent consideration. Where they deem this alternative evidence meets entry criteria fully the learner will not be required to meet the standard academic entry requirements.

English language

All applicants are expected to have a minimum of grade C in GCSE English Language or equivalent.

For international students equivalent qualifications would be:

  • IELTS of 6.5 overall with no lower than 6 in any component.
  • TOEFL (IBT) 92 overall with minimum of 21 in listening and speaking, 22 in reading and 23 in speaking.
  • iGCSE English (First Language) grade C
  • iGCSE English (Second Language) grade B

If you have other English language qualifications and want to enquire about whether you meet our English language requirements then please contact socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS .

Advice to applicants

Potential candidates are expected to demonstrate why they have chosen this particular degree in their personal statement and express why the course interests them.

Applicants submitting mitigating circumstances

If you are submitting information about mitigating circumstances that have affected, or are likely to affect, your academic performance, you should include this in the referee's report.

We cannot usually take into account information that is supplied after an adverse decision has been made on an application by the admitting school.

(Examples of mitigating circumstances include family illness, problems with school facilities or an unusual curriculum followed by your school of college.)

How your application is considered

Applications are considered on the basis of an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic reference and personal statement.

Interview requirements

We do not interview.

Returning to education

We welcome applications from anyone who is returning to education.

Contact: Tom McCunnie tom.mccunnie@manchester.ac.uk

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

Applicants classed as international students who are studying Foundation Year Programmes, will be considered on the basis they have completed their High School education in full.

Deferrals

Applications for deferred entry are considered equally to other applications up to the point of confirmation. Deferred entry is granted on the discretion of admissions staff, and is normally granted for one year only.

NB Some English Language test results, such as IELTS of TOEFL, are only valid from two years from the test date.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

We consider applicants who are resitting.

Contact: socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you can apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.

In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may refer back to previous applications or registrations at the University.

If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should include additional evidence of your suitability for the course.

If you are applying through clearing you will need to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing places will be subject to availability.

Course details

Course description

  • 97% of students on our BA Philosophy are satisfied with their course (National Student Survey 2016) 
  • Are you interested in questions about the nature of reality, knowledge, morality and religion?
  • Would you like to develop your skills related to analytical thinking, reasoned argument and systematic expression of ideas?
  • Are you looking for a flexible course that equips you for further study or the job market?
  • Would you like a chance to study abroad for a semester?

As a student on the BA (Hons) Philosophy degree, you'll learn how to develop and justify your own answers to some of the most fundamental and important questions that human beings can ask. Can I know that I'm not trapped inside The Matrix? What makes something the morally right thing to do? Do we have free will? Does God exist? Is the human mind just a lump of grey matter?

While we'll explain to you some of the existing answers to these questions, and the reasons why one might think those answers are correct, our focus is on learning how to critically assess these arguments and to develop and argue for your own answers.

You will develop extremely useful skills during your study: how to present an effective and rigorous argument, how to develop criticisms of other people's arguments and views, how to explain difficult material clearly and concisely, and how to deal with the fact that on most of the important questions in life (and indeed some of the less important ones), reasonable people can believe radically different things.

These skills are hugely valuable in any career as well as in everyday life, whether you're trying to decide what you should do, having an argument with a friend, or simply reading a newspaper.

Aims

  • To deliver structured yet flexible programmes of study, informed by current research, in which students critically evaluate, and think through for themselves, philosophical arguments and problems.
  • To provide students with a curriculum within which they study texts and questions central to the analytical tradition in philosophy, and, if students wish, texts and questions from outside that tradition; to develop, in partnership with students, students' subject-specific knowledge, cognitive, intellectual and transferable skills, and thereby prepare students for further academic study and employment.
  • To employ an appropriate variety of teaching and assessment methods to meet Philosophy's aims and the programmes' respective learning outcomes.
  • To use learning resources effectively and efficiently to meet Philosophy's aims and the programmes' respective learning outcomes.
  • To provide students with an effective induction programme, and academic and pastoral support, in order to enhance their progress and academic development.

Special features

  • There are 14 permanent members of the academic teaching staff and around 100 single honours philosophy student across all three years.
  • All permanent members of philosophy teaching staff are internationally recognised researchers publishing their work in journals and books and giving talks around the world.

Our students

Philosophy students in figures (2014):

  • Students on the course came from 6 countries
  • Their ages ranged from 17 - 32
  • The male / female ratio was 55 : 45

Meet our students

Teaching and learning

Most course units feature formal lectures supported by smaller tutorials or seminars, in which you will be able to explore the contents of lectures and recommended reading in greater depth.

Tutorials and seminars are also key elements in improving your written and oral communication skills through group discussions, essay-writing and presentations.

Students are assigned an Academic Advisor, an academic member of staff who takes a friendly interest in your progress and can advise you on selecting course units and career opportunities.

Coursework and assessment

In Years 1 and 2, course units are normally examined by a two-hour unseen exam (counting for two-thirds of the final mark) and approximately 3,000 words of essay work (counting for one-third of the final mark).

For course units in logic there are weekly worksheets, which form part of the assessment.

In Year 3 we deploy a broader range of assessment methods, including a second essay instead of an exam and oral presentations in tutorials. You also complete a dissertation in your final year.

Course content for year 1

The emphasis is on giving you a proper grounding in philosophy. You will take a course on Critical Thinking together with your choice of four of the following four courses:

  • Introduction to Ethics
  • Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology
  • History of Philosophy
  • Introduction to Philosophy of Mind 

In addition you will take a `free choice' course unit from courses across the University. Examples include political theory, art history, languages, and theology.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Ethics PHIL10021 20 Mandatory
Critical Thinking PHIL10041 20 Mandatory
History of Philosophy PHIL10401 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology PHIL10622 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Philosophy of Mind PHIL10632 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology PHIL10622 20 Optional
Introduction to Philosophy of Mind PHIL10632 20 Optional
Philosophy & Social Science PHIL10641 20 Optional
Introduction to Political Theory POLI10702 20 Optional

Course content for year 2

In your second year you will go into the study of Philosophy in much greater depth. The BA Philosophy course at Manchester is a modular course and you take 120 credits of courses over the year (around 6/8 individual course units).

You will choose at least one of the following (20 credits each): 

  • 20 th Century Analytical Philosophy
  • Philosophical Methods
  • Formal Logic

Plus at least one of these (20 credits each):

  • Ethics
  • Aesthetics

Plus 60 credits from philosophy and political theory course units, with a choice that typically includes the courses above as well as:

  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Phenomenology
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Freedom and Equality
  • Philosophy of Science

For your final 20 credits, you can take an additional philosophy or political theory course unit or 20 credits of free choice units.

Free choice units

In your second year you can also take 20 units from across the University.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Jurisprudence LAWS20101 20 Optional
Philosophy of Religion PHIL20021 20 Optional
Formal Logic PHIL20041 20 Optional
Locke, Berkeley, Hume PHIL20212 20 Optional
Ethics PHIL20232 20 Optional
20th Century Analytical Philosophy PHIL20241 20 Optional
Philosophy of Science PHIL20261 20 Optional
Philosophy of Mind PHIL20271 20 Optional
Philosophical Methods PHIL20891 20 Optional
Aesthetics PHIL20952 20 Optional
Existentialism PHIL23002 20 Optional
Arguing About Politics: Political Theory in the World POLI20602 20 Optional
Ideals of Social Justice POLI20881 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

In your final year you take 120 credits overall which includes a substantial, independent piece of research on a topic of your choosing. This leads to a dissertation of either 7,500 words (20 credits) or 15,000 words (40 credits).

Your remaining 100/80 credits come as four or five course units in philosophy (or an approved course unit in Politics or Law).

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Jurisprudence LAWS20101 20 Optional
Dissertation (20 credit) PHIL30000 20 Optional
Dissertation (40 credit) PHIL30030 40 Optional
Metaphysics PHIL30212 20 Optional
Philosophy of Language PHIL30311 20 Optional
Philosophy of Psychology PHIL30361 20 Optional
Advanced Topics in Aesthetics: Fiction PHIL30622 20 Optional
Philosophy of Music PHIL30632 20 Optional
Philosophy of Mathematics PHIL30722 20 Optional
Metaethics and Religious Language PHIL30842 20 Optional
Personhood and Freedom of the Will PHIL33241 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 3

What our students say

`Though Philosophy mostly involves quiet independent study, the course at Manchester is taught by extremely competent staff who encourage intelligent debate in tutorials. The topics are thorough and well organised, not only providing me with a broad understanding of what Philosophy is and why it is important, but also with general transferable skills of analysis. I am going on to try my luck at journalism and truly believe that had I not done the degree I did, where I did it, I would be much less likely to succeed.'

Robert Knowles , Philosophy student.

`Manchester is a fantastic and diverse city that, clichéd though it may be has something to offer everyone, a characteristic that is reflected in the University. The Philosophy department in particular is highly supportive and happy to offer advice in all aspects of university life and study. The structure of the course gives you a taster of most of what Philosophy has to offer and then encourages you to explore those areas that are of greatest interest to you. I found this to be an invaluable opportunity, absent from many other disciplines; I am confident that after graduating I will be among the most employable candidates leaving the University.'

Kristina Boneva , Philosophy student.

Facilities

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

Our recent graduates from Philosophy, and related graduates from the School of Social Sciences, have gone to:

Manchester City Council, Royal Bank of Scotland, Palgrave MacMillan, Lloyds TSB, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, TeachFirst, Siemens, The University of Manchester. (Source: DLHE)

See also:

Throughout your studies and after you graduate you will have to access our Careers Service , which can help you:

  • find summer internships or work experience;
  • apply for jobs and provide practice interviews;
  • access online and interactive services such as practice psychometric tests.

A favourite with employers, the University also organises careers fairs and events throughout the year to give you a chance to meet graduate recruiters.

You can improve your employability by choosing course units in Year 2 from:

`Their specialised Philosophy Careers Workshop has helped highlight the many desirable and transferable skills that I have picked up throughout the course of my degree. While Philosophy is a challenging degree, the support and guidance that lecturers and tutors readily offer has definitely made it one of the most rewarding!' Kristina Boneva, Philosophy student.