Programme contacts

Departmental Administrator
Helen Pascoe
+44 (0)20 7679 3068

Fees and funding

UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2016/17)
Overseas fee
£16,130 (2016/17)

Details about financial support are available at:


The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

This programme aims to provide an understanding of a range of central philosophical debates. All major areas of philosophy are available for study, covering branches such as moral and political philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology, and drawing upon the writings of philosophers both ancient and modern to contextualise your studies.

Programme Overview

This three-year programme aims to provide an understanding of a range of central philosophical debates. All major areas of philosophy are available for study, covering branches such as moral and political philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology, and drawing upon the writings of philosophers both ancient and modern to contextualise your studies. The programme is designed to assist you in constructing and assessing philosophical positions and arguments for yourself. These skills, which will help you analyse and present complex ideas are highly valuable in academic and professional contexts.

First Year

In the first year, you will take several introductory courses, which will provide you with a foundation for later studies. 

You will be introduced to:

• Political philosophy (examining questions about the state, liberty and laws)

• Moral philosophy (questioning distinctions of right and wrong, and our motivation for choosing between the two)

• Epistemology (exploring the nature of knowledge and belief)

• Metaphysics (investigating the nature of the world)

• Logic (learning principles of good reasoning).

• History of Philosophy (Ancient and Early Modern Philosophy)

You will also take a module called ‘Texts and Debate’, which will introduce you to philosophical methodology, as well as to some key ideas and concepts in philosophy. For this module, students are taught in small tutorial groups, to ensure that they have an opportunity to develop their ideas in discussion and through their presentations.

Second Year

In your second year, you will study a number of areas of philosophy in greater depth. The programme is structured to ensure that the central areas of the subject are covered but also allows you to choose from an array of options. You will choose modules from each of the following areas of philosophy: theoretical philosophy (epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, etc.); normative philosophy (ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, etc.); history of philosophy (Ancient Philosophy, Early Modern Philosophy, 19th/20th Century Philosophy, etc).

Our programmes are designed to help you acquire and understanding of a wide range of traditional and contemporary philosophical theories. You may also choose to take some modules from another department at UCL.

Third Year

In your third year, you will study a number of advanced topics in philosophy. You are able to choose options from a wide selection of modules, allowing scope for specialisation and in-depth study. You can also choose a certain number of modules from UCL departments other than Philosophy. 

Degree benefits

  • You will gain analytic, argumentative, and presentational skills that are highly valuable both in academic and professional contexts.
  • The UCL Philosophy Department is world class. It had a remarkable performance in the 2014 REF (Research Excellence Framework): 46% of UCL Philosophy’s submission was assessed at the top grade, 4*, denoting “quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour”.
  • We regard philosophy as a co-operative endeavour. We ensure personal support in your learning, and the Department deservedly has a reputation for excellent relations between staff and students.
  • There is a rich array of extracurricular philosophy events available in London. As a UCL Philosophy student you will be able to attend the meetings of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, the Aristotelian Society and the University of London's Institute of Philosophy.

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 credit units (cus), adding up to a total of 4.0 cus for the year (2.0 cus in each of the two teaching terms). A 1.0 cu module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). 

The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies depending on the year of the degree programme. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. 

First Year

All first year modules are compulsory. You will take the following modules.

• PHIL1010: History of Philosophy I

• PHIL1011: History of Philosophy II

• PHIL1012: Knowledge and Reality

• PHIL1014: Introduction to Logic I

• PHIL1013: Introduction to Logic II

• PHIL1015: Introduction to Moral Philosophy

• PHIL1016: Introduction to Political Philosophy

• PHIL1017: Philosophy Tutorial: Texts and Debate

Second Year

All second year modules are optional. You will select 4.0 cus of modules (2.0 cus per term), including at least one module each of groups A, B, and C:

• Group A: Theoretical Philosophy (e.g. Intermediate Logic; Knowledge; Metaphysics; Philosophy of Language; Philosophy of Mind)

• Group B: Normative Philosophy (e.g. Aesthetics; Applied Ethics; Ethics; Morality & Literature; Political Philosophy)

• Group C: History of Philosophy (e.g. Aristotle; Marxism; Nietzsche; Plato)

A full list of current Philosophy module options can be viewed by clicking on ‘BA Modules’ via the following link:

In choosing your second year modules, you must bear in mind that:

• You can take at most one 0.5 cu Level III module (i.e. modules coded PHIL3***).

• You cannot take any Level I Philosophy modules in your second year. Exceptions to this will only be made in special circumstances with the permission of the Philosophy Departmental Tutor.

• In your second year, you can take at most 1.0 cus of approved modules from UCL departments other than Philosophy. (For the purposes of this requirement, ESPS philosophy modules count as modules from the UCL Philosophy Department.) 

Third Year

You will select 4.0 cus of optional courses (2.0 cus per term) from a wide range of options. (For a full list of modules currently offered by Philosophy, click on ‘BA Modules’ via the following link:

No module is compulsory, but your choice must abide by the following rules.

• You must pass at least six level III modules (from any department) in order to graduate. (Level III Philosophy modules are coded PHIL3***.) If you have passed any Level III modules in your second year, they will be counted towards this requirement.

• You cannot take any Level I modules in your third year.

• You must have passed a Philosophy module in each of groups A, B, and C to graduate.

• In your third year, you can take at most 1.0 cus of approved modules from UCL departments other than Philosophy. (For the purposes of this requirement, ESPS philosophy modules count as modules from the UCL Philosophy Department.)

Your learning

Our teaching is based on lectures and seminars that complement each other. In your first year, you will be introduced to the basic elements of philosophical reasoning through lectures, seminars and small-group tutorial classes. In years two and three your chosen courses will be taught by an expert from within our department through a combination of lectures, related seminars and classes.


Assessment is by a mixture of coursework and examination. You may also elect to submit a dissertation as one of your philosophy options.

Entry requirements

A Levels
No specific subjects.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at:
IB Diploma
A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects, with no score below 5.
UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects

A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher)

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma Core with grade A, plus 2 GCE A-levels at grades AA.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.


This programme will assist you in constructing and assessing philosophical positions and arguments, thereby teaching you how to analyse and present complex ideas. Furthermore, it will provide you with an understanding of a wide range of traditional and contemporary philosophical theories. Such skills are transferable to non-philosophical contexts.

The discipline of philosophical training, and in particular its emphasis on rigorous argumentation, logic, and clarity of thought and expression, makes philosophy graduates highly suitable for a wide variety of careers.

Many recent UCL graduates have excelled in the legal profession, training as both solicitors and barristers, while others have entered publishing, journalism, finance, the civil service, Parliament, or local government. Philosophy graduates are also sought after as programmers and systems analysts. A high proportion of students go on to further study in philosophy.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2013) of this programme include:

  • Investment Banking Analyst, J.P. Morgan (2013)
  • Consultancy Support Worker, Hay Group (2013)
  • Gallery Assistant, Bank Street Arts (2012)
  • Future Leader, Barclays (2012)
  • Investment Banking Analyst, Citigroup (2012)

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Procedure for 2015 Entry

UCL Philosophy enrols about 65 undergraduate students each year who we think are suited for sustained philosophical study. Most are on the single honours Philosophy BA programme. 

  • Applications should be made through UCAS

Average Application Numbers

Programme Number of Applications
Number of Offers Made
Philosophy BA (V500) 380 160
Philosophy and Economics BA (VL51) 110 40
Philosophy and History of Art BA (VV53) 52 12 (or more)
Philosophy and Greek BA (VQ57) 5 3

We need to apply a somewhat higher standard to Philosophy and Economics (VL51), given the high quality and quantity of the applications, and the limited number whom we can enrol.


Selection will be made on the basis of information contained in the UCAS form: achieved and predicted academic grades, the level of interest in, motivation towards, and experience of the subject as indicated in the personal statement, the reference supplied, and any relevant contextual factors. In addition applicants may be asked from time to time to provide further information, such as AS module results, or a response to a questionnaire.


An official decision reaches each applicant through UCL's Arts and Humanities Faculty and through UCAS.

We try to let applicants know the decision without too much delay, but in order to be fair to later applicants we may have to keep some waiting.

Regretfully, given the ratio of applicants to places, some good students are unsuccessful.

How to Apply button

Page last modified on 11 oct 13 15:48