Philosophy (BA): 3-year, full-time

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

UCAS Code

V500

Duration

Three years full-time

Attendance

Three to four evenings a week

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 prestigious degree provides a thorough grounding in the central areas of philosophy for students from all educational backgrounds. It fosters independent judgement, original thought and the ability to analyse complex ideas and arguments. It offers a wide range of option modules, with some offered at King's College London (KCL). 

This course is also available for part-time evening study over four years.

Read more

Highlights

  • 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.
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Course structure

In Year 1, you are given a rigorous grounding in the central areas of the subject: epistemology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, political philosophy and the history of philosophy.

In the subsequent two years, you are taught these central areas to more advanced levels, while also choosing option modules from a wide range of other philosophical fields.

You may also, if you desire, write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, individually supervised by a faculty member with relevant expertise.

In Year 1, you take four compulsory modules.

In Year 2, you take three compulsory modules and choose two option modules.

In Year 3, you take any six option modules and complete a dissertation, or else take any eight option modules with no dissertation.

Read more about modules

The list of option modules is a representative sample; the option modules available may vary from year to year.

  • Entry Requirements We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.

    Entry requirements

    We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.

    UCAS tariff points

    120

    The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence. UCAS provides a tariff calculator for you to work out what your qualification is worth within the UCAS tariff.

    Foundation Year Degrees

    You can progress onto this degree if you successfully complete the foundation year of our BA Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year or BSc Social Sciences with Foundation Year course. This is an ideal route onto an undergraduate degree if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied this subject, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on this degree.

    Alternative entry routes

    Access to Higher Education Diploma with a minimum of 15 credits achieved at Merit or Distinction in humanities or social science units.

    Holders of Birkbeck's Certificate of Higher Education in Philosophy may be considered for entry into the second year. Each case will be considered on its own merits by the Department of Philosophy.

    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 We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.

    Fees (2017/8)

    Full-time home/EU students: £ 9250 pa
    Full-time overseas students: £ 13000 pa
  • Teaching and assessment Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.

    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, seminar groups and one-to-one tutorials. Lectures take place in the evening and are given by Birkbeck faculty. A seminar follows every lecture. Undergraduate dissertations involve multiple one-to-one tutorials with faculty, which can be arranged for any mutually convenient time.

    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

    Modules run over the course of an academic year. Some are examined in the summer term, others are assessed by coursework.

    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 To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in education, research, politics and journalism. This degree can also be useful in becoming a higher education lecturer, civil service fast streamer, local government officer or newspaper journalist.

    See the British Philosophical Association for more information on careers for philosophy graduates.

    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.

    Graduate Destinations

    Average salary six months after the course: £26000

    Go on to work and/or study:

    Go on to work and/or study
    Now working: 40%
    Doing further study: 35%
    Studying and working: 15%
    Unemployed: 0%
    Other: 15%

    Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.

  • How to apply Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.

    How to apply

    If you are applying for a three-year, full-time undergraduate degree at Birkbeck, you have to apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). To apply, go to the UCAS homepage and click on 'Apply and Track'. You will have to register, giving UCAS a few personal details, including your name, address and date of birth, and then you complete an application form.

    Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.

    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.

    UCAS Code

    V500

    Application deadlines and interviews

    15 January is the first UCAS deadline and the majority of university applications through UCAS are made by then. We welcome applications outside of the UCAS deadlines, so you can still apply through UCAS after 15 January, depending on the availability of places. We also take late applications via the UCAS Clearing system in August.

    Read more about key dates for UCAS applicants.

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