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3 Years



UCAS points required

Dr Peter Fossey

Programme Director for Philosophy

Email | 020 8240 4193

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Please note: this course is not currently recruiting for September 2018 entry.

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Why study Philosophy?

Have you ever wondered: What makes any act good or just? What it is to know, and what it is to believe? Is it possible to really put yourself in the position of someone else?

Philosophers ask questions about what lies behind our everyday reality. Our Philosophy programme offers you the opportunity to explore such questions in a variety of traditions and periods. 

Studying Philosophy will enable you to develop skills of independent and critical thought. It teaches you to be creative and insightful when engaging with problems and questions wherever you find them; be that in classroom debates, everyday life or the wider public sphere.

BA Philosophy puts you in a position to succeed in a wide variety of careers. Analytical thinking and creativity are highly appreciated in business, journalism, local government, care and social work, education, the civil service, the legal profession, and elsewhere.

Topics on the degree programme include philosophical dialogue, philosophy of science and technology, philosophy of emotions, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, philosophy and literature, philosophy and popular culture, as well as core topics in the history of philosophy.

Why St Mary's?

St Mary's is a unique university. There's a strong sense of community; our values of excellence, respect, generosity of spirit and inclusivity permeate the programme, and help to define your university experience. 

You will work closely with a small team of lecturers, whose teaching is informed by their research, working from a variety of philosophical perspectives and on a range of specialist topics.

Students and staff meet regularly at events organised by the student-led Philosophy Society.

Teaching methods

Typically, you will have a three-hour session per module per week during term time, and study three modules per semester, for a total of nine hours per week. Time in the classroom is split between discussion, either in small groups or as a class, and lecturing.

Some of our modules offer different opportunities - including extended dialogues, reading groups, and the opportunity to present your own research to the class.

These mandatory contact hours are supplemented by optional one-to-one tutorials, where you can discuss philosophical topics in depth, get advice on upcoming assessments or receive more detailed feedback.

Assessment methods

Philosophy is a vibrant, creative discipline. Practicing philosophy cannot be reduced to just writing essays and sitting exams, however important those may be. As well as essays and exams, assessments on the programme include:

  • Presentations (individually or in groups)
  • Dialogues
  • Posters
  • Commentaries
  • Participation in seminar discussion
  • Reviews of lectures, books and articles
  • A portfolio of artwork and philosophical engagement with works of art (for the Aesthetics module)
  • Ethics reviews and case studies

Key facts

  • Focus on dialogue and public philosophy
  • Small class sizes mean more opportunities for discussion, as well as one-to-one tutorials
  • The chance to be involved in undergraduate research events and publications
  • Diverse assessment methods reward a range of skills
  • Take one of only a handful of dedicated philosophy of emotions modules in the UK
  • Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus

Joint honours

Course content

Year one

  • Being and Action: An Introduction to Philosophical Anthropology and Ethics 
  • Independent Study in Philosophy 
  • Key Texts of Antiquity 
  • Philosophy and Popular Culture 
  • Reason, Evidence, Argument 
  • Revolutions in Thought: 1500-1800 

Year two

  • Applied Ethics 
  • Philosophical Dialogue and Rhetoric 
  • Philosophy and Gender 
  • Philosophy and Literature 
  • Philosophy of Emotions 
  • Philosophy of Science and Technology 
View all modules

Year three

  • 20th Century Jewish Thought 
  • Aesthetics 
  • Dissertation/Extended Essay 
  • Identity, Culture and Society 
  • Jurisprudence 
  • Modern and Contemporary Philosophies 
View all modules
Please note: information published on this webpage is subject to change before the programme commences. Please refer to the programme specification document (PDF) for an authoritative summary of the programme.

Career opportunities

Studying Philosophy equips you with skills and abilities that are crucial to a number of different careers. You'll gain an understanding of how arguments work, how to put together a convincing argument, and how to spot logical errors (especially useful if you are considering a career in law). 

This puts philosophers in a good position to analyse problems and disagreements, and find common ground between opposing parties; a very useful ability in business, management, and politics. The ability to understand complex concepts and explain them in a clear and engaging way is a core ability for philosophers, and these sorts of communication skills are very beneficial in most walks of life.

Philosophy graduates are sought after in a range of fields, including local government, the civil service, politics more generally, business, journalism, social and care work, teaching, the charity sector and the legal profession - not to mention the opportunity to go on to further study in philosophy or a related discipline.

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Philosophy students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

There is also the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your degree. The Centre for Workplace Learning offers work-related modules that can be embedded within your studies.


View all facilities

Fees and funding

Home/EU: £9,250
International: £11,220

Please note: the tuition fees listed on this page are for the 2017/18 academic year. For information on fees for other academic years - along with information about financing your studies - please check the Fees & Funding section.

Additional costs

Your tuition fee will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs incurred depend on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken. Additional costs on the philosophy programme typically include occasionally buying books for optional modules (though the vast majority of course texts are available through the library) and printing out assessed work for some modules.

For further information about additional costs please contact

Further information

UCAS Application Timeline