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Why study with us?

Philosophy is a demanding but highly rewarding discipline, dealing with fundamental questions in a rigorous way. The subject covers areas as diverse as the nature of reality, the claims of morality and their justification, forms of political organisation, feminism, and the nature of language and logical inference. At undergraduate level students’ reasoning and argumentation skills are developed through lectures, essay-writing and small-group tutorials. Students engage in philosophy themselves, by formulating and defending philosophical positions.

We offer a range of distinctive features:

Diverse student community

  • Because we cater to both full-time and part-time study at all levels, our students come from many different walks of life and have a range of life experiences.

Teaching quality

  • As well as being top-rated for teaching quality, the Department of Philosophy at Birkbeck fosters a lively, friendly atmosphere.
  • Our staff are active researchers, and their teaching reflects their own work at the cutting edge of philosophical discussion and research. You can check out their work and research interests on their individual pages here.
  • The Department has been recognised by the UK Society for Women in Philosophy as a women-friendly department.

Flexible study

  • Our taught courses accommodate the needs of those with other day-time commitments.
  • Taught programmes include weekly seminars in which students can develop their ideas in discussion with a tutor and other students.

Study weekends

  • At study weekends, we offer students a chance to immerse themselves in philosophy, and get to know fellow students and staff.

Transferable skills

    A training in Philosophy develops many useful skills and equips one for many careers. On completion of a degree programme, students will have enhanced their ability to analyse complex material and summarise key points from presented material.

    Students will also be able to present well-structured thought orally, construct cogent arguments in a discussion and recognise the strengths and weaknesses in opposing views.

    These skills are essential to the ability to give effective workplace presentations, respond to criticism, weigh competing considerations, and speak with confidence in the work situation.

Research excellence

  • The Department of Philosophy enjoys an international reputation for the consistently high quality of its research. In the 2008 and 2014 national research assessments, 100% of our research was deemed to be of international significance. In the 2014 assessment, over a third of our books and articles were classified as world-leading (or 4*).
  • In the 2014 Philosophical Gourmet Report, the Birkbeck Department is ranked highly in a number of philosophical subject areas. The rankings measure the philosophical distinction of the faculty.
  • We offer expert supervision for the MPhilStud and MPhil/PhD.

Central London location

  • We are located in the heart of London's academic quarter, within easy walking distance of some of the world's most prestigious libraries, archives and museums, including the British Library and the British Museum.
  • We are a few minutes' walk from the Institute of Philosophy, the Aristotelian Society and the Royal Institute of Philosophy.
  • Research students benefit from an intercollegiate community and a wealth of research resources.
  • Bloomsbury also has many cafés, book shops, and other places where students can socialise and meet informally.