Philosophy (Certificate of Higher Education)

Year of entry



Central London


Fully Approved


Two to four years part-time


One evening a week for each module

Come and explore some of the most profound questions it is possible to ask with some of the most eminent philosophers in the country. What makes something good or just? Is the human mind just a lump of grey matter? Can I know that I'm not trapped inside The Matrix? Do we have free will? Does God exist? Does science provide us with a special kind of knowledge? Who decides what counts as beautiful? 

This course will allow you to develop a historical perspective on the main philosophical problems, learn about historical and contemporary philosophical debates, and gain an understanding of key philosophical theories and concepts. You will also make connections between the ideas, beliefs and arguments that inform philosophical issues and learn how to articulate ideas systematically and logically.

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  • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
  • Birkbeck's Department of Philosophy is a leading centre for philosophical research in the UK. All of our established members of academic staff are active researchers, and the Department’s excellence in both teaching and research is consistently reflected in UK and international surveys.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Philosophy at Birkbeck was ranked 15th in the UK, with a research environment judged conducive to producing internationally excellent research.
  • In the Philosophical Gourmet Report 2014-2015, Philosophy at Birkbeck was ranked among the strongest in the UK, and was highly ranked in philosophy of action, philosophy of art, 17th-century philosophy and feminist philosophy.
  • The Department of Philosophy has its own library at 30 Russell Square. The main philosophy collection is held in the Birkbeck Library, which has an extensive range of books and online resources.
  • The Department of Philosophy is a member of the University of London’s Institute of Philosophy. Students in the Department therefore belong to a large, intercollegiate community of philosophers, and are welcome at a range of seminars, lectures, talks and conferences.

Progression to degrees at Birkbeck

This programme is not only an award in its own right, but successful completion can give you entry into the Year 2 of our BA Philosophy degree.

You can apply to go straight into Year 2 of our 3-year full-time evening study BA Philosophy if you successfully complete all 8 modules of the Certificate of Higher Education, and into Year 2 of our 4-year part-time evening study BA Philosophy if you successfully complete all 6 non-Logic modules.

If you wish to progress to the second year of the degree with credits gained from modules previously offered as part of the Certificate of Higher Education in Philosophy you should contact the BA admissions tutor.

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Course structure

To gain the Certificate of Higher Education, you must successfully complete eight modules, worth a total of 120 credit points.

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Please note: credits gained from previous, successfully completed philosophy modules can be counted towards the 120 credits required to complete this Certificate.

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