Philosophy is for people who find they are bothered by questions that their friends can cheerfully ignore. They do not want to settle for conventional answers and received wisdom, but rather arrive at answers that stand up to the most searching examination.
tudying Philosophy at the University of Newcastle will give you access to world-class talent in fields as diverse as Metaphysics, Philosophy of Psychiatry, Epistemology, Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, and the Philosophy of Mind. On this programme, we will develop and refine your philosophical skills and background knowledge to enable you to engage with some of the deepest questions human beings have ever asked.
You will meet the great minds of history and the present day on equal terms, not just learning what they thought, but engaging with them critically. In your first year, you will focus on the fundamentals of western philosophy, including its history and contemporary concerns. In your second and final year, you will have the opportunity to tailor your programme so that you can focus on the areas of the discipline that interest you most.
Why Study this Course?
- Excellent reputation – The Department is ranked in the Top 5 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019. This is the fourth consecutive year that we have been ranked in the Top 5.
- Taught by experts – You will study alongside some of the finest minds in Philosophy. Times Higher Education ranked the Department 2nd in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise.
- Outstanding student experience – You will have a variety of opportunities to enhance your student experience, including regular coffee mornings for staff and students, visiting speakers, specialist lectures, and a variety of trips. Our students gave the course an overall satisfaction rating of 93% in the National Student Survey 2018.
- Fantastic module variety – The amount of optional modules on offer will allow you to specialise more as you progress so that you can study areas of the discipline that interest you most.
- Space to think – Philosophers write works that closely resemble essays, so essays are for the most part the best method of assessment. With this in mind, almost all of our assessments are based on coursework. Staff within the Department of Philosophy know students by name and are always happy to talk about philosophical questions or provide additional feedback on academic performance.
Undergraduate, Single Honours
How long it takes:
Undergraduate (3 Years)
Distance learning/ Campus
Find out more about
Newcastle Law School
Problems of Philosophy (20 credits)
This module introduces a range of key philosophical problems most of which practically everyone with a philosophical temperament has puzzled over before:
- Scepticism (how can I know anything at all about the world?)
- Free will (how can I think and act freely, if all my thoughts and actions are determined by the laws that govern the Universe?)
- The existence of God (does S/He exist?)
- Realism vs. antirealism (to what extent is reality distinct from how it appears?)
- The mind/body problem (is the mind just the brain?)
- Personal identity (what is it about you that makes you the same person as you were years ago?)
- Utilitarianism vs. Deontology (are actions morally right and wrong ‘in themselves’, or are they so just because of the effects they have on people’s happiness etc?)
- Ethical obligation (do we have obligations to others?)
- Moral relativism (are moral values absolute or do they vary from one culture/person to others?)
- The requirements of justice (who should have what?)
The Philosopher’s Toolkit (20)
This module will equip you with the tools you need to understand, analyse and respond to different kinds of philosophical argument. In the first half of the module, we will investigate topics such as critical thinking, probability, interdisciplinarity, necessity & analyticity and the nature of explanation. In the second half of the module, it splits into two pathways. Students on one pathway will learn symbolic logic – the formal study of argument, which concentrates on proving things using abstract formulas such as ‘”x[Gx → Fx]’. The other pathway avoids formal proofs, but aims to use ordinary language to introduce students to the logical concepts they will need to understand the more technical philosophy they will encounter later in their degree.
Example optional modules may include:
Ancient Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle (10)
Epistemology: What and how do we know? (10)
Ethics: How should we live? (10)
Moral Problems: An introduction to Applied Ethics (10)
Philosophy of Religion (10)
Philosophical Traditions (10)
Political Philosophy: Can power be legitimate? (10)
Example optional modules may include:
Elements of Logic and Metaphysics (20 credits)
Experience and Reason: Early Modern Philosophy (20)
Feminist Philosophy (20)
History of Analytic Philosophy (20)
Logic: Its limits and scope (20)
Sex, Ethics and Philosophy (20)
Speaking of Things (20)
The Ethics and Politics of Climate Change (20)
The Ethics of Killing (20)
The Mind-Body Problem (20)
You can apply to study abroad for a year in an approved university around the world. If you achieve a grade of 2.1 or above in your first year then you will be invited to apply for a Year Abroad in your second year. If your application is successful, you will go abroad in your third year and return to us for your final year.
Philosophical Project (20 or 40 credits)
This module allows you to conduct independent research into and write on a particular philosophical issue of your choice, with assistance from a project supervisor with expertise in your chosen topic.
Example optional modules may include:
It’s About Time! (20)
Bodies and Beauty (20)
Being Good and Doing Right: Issues in Contemporary Moral Theory (20)
Fantastic Beasts and How to Understand them: Topics in Philosophy of Biology (20)
Global Bioethics (20)
Minds, Brains and Computers: Issues in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science (20)
Philosophy of Language and the Linguistic Study of Meaning (20)
Philosophy of Mathematics (20)
Prejudice, Race and Gender (20)
Reason and Belief: Topics in Epistemology (20)
Science and Nature (20)
Topics in Philosophy of Religion (20)
What there is: Issues in Ontology (20)
Applicants should normally have one of the following:
- A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a UK university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
- A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
- An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level
If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.
If you intend to become a Solicitor
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements, see the SRA website. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. If you think you may have a character or suitability issue, you may wish to clarify with the SRA before proceeding with the GDL.
See further details of our English Language requirement
USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)
International students starting 2019/20 (per year)
You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.
All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.
By studying a Philosophy and Sociology degree at the University of Newcastle , you will acquire skills highly sought after by employers within the graduate job market:
- Understanding complex information
- Writing clearly and effectively
- Building a case to critically assess a particular point of view
- Respecting the views of others even if they disagree with you
- Independent thought
- Ability to communicate, and knowledge of, social issues in private and public sectors
- Strong and evidenced training in research methods
Our graduates have excellent employment prospects with over 88% of Philosophy and Sociology graduates entering work or further study within six months of graduation .
Philosophy and Sociology graduates go on to pursue highly successful careers in professions such as:
- Management consultancy
- Local government
- Social Research
- Policy Development
Developing your career
Employers target University of Newcastle students for their diverse skill-set and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of our wide range of opportunities you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.
- Careers events – we hold events covering careers in teaching, event management, marketing and working with charities to help you meet potential employers and learn more about these sectors.
- Global Challenge – you can apply to work overseas on an expenses-paid placement during your summer vacation through our Global Challenge initiative.
- Work experience bursary – we encourage you to apply your skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer. Our work experience bursaries allow you to apply for funding to support you during unpaid internships.
- Cultural Internships – our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market. Our current partners include Newcastle Museums and Art Gallery, Newcastle REP, Newcastle Royal Ballet, City of Newcastle Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust, Library of Newcastle .
There are also internships available at our own cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.