Philosophy (Postgraduate Certificate)

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

One year part-time

Attendance

Two classes per week, October to April

This Postgraduate Certificate in Philosophy is ideal if you want to develop a grounding in philosophy, but are not yet ready to commit to an MA. It is very well suited to people with busy schedules.

    You will study the central philosophical questions - in metaphysics, ethics, political philosophy and the theory of knowledge - and have the opportunity to delve deeper into more specific philosophical topics, based on your own interests. You will also develop your ability to write clearly, think critically and argue philosophically about some of the deepest questions in the Western philosophical tradition.

      The programme provides you with the chance to engage in seminar discussions with your fellow students and the opportunity to study with leading philosophers in their fields.

      You will have the option of transferring onto our MA Philosophy, if you choose to do so, before the end of the year.

      Highlights

      • 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, seventeenth-century philosophy and feminist philosophy.
      • As a philosophy student, you will be part of the thriving philosophical community in the University of London and eligible to attend the extensive range of seminars and conferences put on by the Institute of Philosophy.

      Course structure

      'Standard' route

      If you have studied philosophy at undergraduate level, you can follow the 'standard' route, which involves choosing four specialist option modules from a wide range covering a number of philosophical topics.

      'Conversion' route

      If you haven't studied philosophy at undergraduate level, you can choose to take a 'conversion' route through the programme. You take one compulsory double module, Introduction to Philosophy, which covers four core areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and political philosophy. This module meets two evenings a week. You then choose two specialist option modules.

      To find out more, read our programme handbook.

      Module groups

      Conversion route compulsory module

      • Entry Requirements

        Entry requirements

        Good upper second-class degree (or equivalent), not necessarily in philosophy, and a sample of written work prior to interview.

        International entry requirements

        If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

        If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

        Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

        Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

        If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

        Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

      • Fees

        Fees

        Part-time home/EU students: £2725 pa
        Part-time international students: £4950 pa

        Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

      • Teaching and assessment

        Teaching

        At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

        Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

        Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

        In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

        Methods of teaching on this course

        Lectures, seminars, class discussions and student presentations.

        Timetables

        Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

        Indicative class size

        Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

        Academic support

        Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

        • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
        • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
        • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

        Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

        Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

        Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

        Assessment

        Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

        Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

        Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

        Methods of assessment on this course

        Predominantly by essays on set topics.

        The core module, Introduction to Philosophy, is assessed by four short formative essays and a written examination. Option modules are assessed by submitted essays.

        Feedback

        As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

        Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

        Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

        Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

      • Careers and employability

        Careers and employability

        Graduates go in to careers in management, politics, recruitment and journalism. Possible professions include further/higher education lecturer, secondary school teacher, or Civil Service fast streamer. This degree can also be useful in becoming a local government officer, marketing executive, or recruitment consultant.

        Find out more about these professions.

        We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

      • How to apply

        How to apply

        You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link below.

        Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

        Application deadlines and interviews

        We recommend that you apply as early as possible. Late applications will be considered subject to the availability of places.