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 three-year programme aims to provide an understanding of a range of central philosophical debates, together with a detailed education in economics. All major areas of philosophy are available for study, and the programme is run jointly with the highly-regarded UCL Economics, where half your courses are taken.

This three-year programme aims to provide an understanding of a range of central philosophical debates, together with a detailed education in economics. You will study philosophy and economics on a roughly equal basis.

The programme is designed to help you acquire an understanding of a wide range of traditional and contemporary philosophical theories, and to assist you in constructing and assessing philosophical positions and arguments for yourself. It is also designed to provide you with a thorough grounding in economic theory and the technical tools to master that theory. These analytic skills 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. 

In economics, you will take the introductory module ‘Economics’, which provides you with an analytical introduction to the core concepts of modern microeconomics and macroeconomics. You will also take the module ‘Introduction to Mathematics for Economics’, which will equip you with the mathematical skills needed for the rest of your degree. Finally, you will choose an additional economics module from a range of options.

In philosophy, you will choose four options from a range of modules in the following areas:

• 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 can also choose 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 core areas of economics and philosophy in greater depth. 

In economics, you will study two modules across both teaching terms: Microeconomics and Macroeconomic Theory & Policy. These modules are key elements in your professional training as an economist, as well as serving as a foundation for the advanced modules in microeconomics and macroeconomics that you will be able to take in your third year. 

In philosophy, you will choose four one-term modules from a wide selection, including courses from at least two 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).

Third Year

In your third year, you will study a number of advanced topics in philosophy and economics. You are able to choose options from a wide selection of modules, allowing scope for specialisation and in-depth study. Over your second and third year, you can also choose a certain number of modules from UCL departments other than Philosophy and Economics and/or concentrate slightly in philosophy or in economics by substituting a certain number of optional philosophy modules for economics modules, or vice versa. 

Degree benefits

  • You will gain analytic, argumentative, and technical skills that are highly valuable both in academic and professional contexts.
  • The UCL Philosophy and Economics departments are world class. Each 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”, while UCL Economics received the highest grade-point average (3.78 out of 4) of any economics department in the UK.
  • There is a rich array of extracurricular philosophy events available in London. As a UCL Philosophy & Economics 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.  The Economist’s Society is very active and organises a wide variety of both social and academic events, regularly inviting distinguished speakers to share their knowledge of – and interest in – the constantly evolving world of economics.  In 2015, a Philosophy and Economics student was awarded  the top prize for her paper in the inaugural “Explore Econ” undergraduate conference organised by the Department.

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 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. 

(Students who wish to keep their options open with respect to graduate study in Economics should choose their options carefully and in consultation with their Economics Personal Tutor.)

First Year

Compulsory Modules

• ECON1001: Economics (1.0 cus; Term 1 & Term 2)

• ECON1004: Introduction to Mathematics for Economics (0.5 cus; Term 1)

Optional Modules

In addition to the compulsory modules, you will choose an additional 2.5 cus of optional modules. These will include a 0.5 cu optional module in Economics and 2.0 cus of optional modules in Philosophy. Of your 2.5 cus of optional modules, 1.0 cus will be taken in Term 1 and 1.5 cus will be taken in Term 2. 

The 0.5 cu optional module from Economics that you take may be any of the following:

• ECON1002: Applied Economics (0.5 cus; Term 2)

• ECON1003: Statistical Methods in Economics (0.5 cus; Term 1)

• ECON1005: The World Economy (0.5 cus; Term 2)

(N.B. Whilst it is not compulsory to choose one of the three optional 0.5 cu economics modules listed above, it is advisable because doing so will be useful for studying some of the second/third year optional modules. Further advice on module selection will be provided by the Economics Personal Tutor at Registration.)

The 2.0 cus of optional philosophy modules that you take will comprise four modules from the following list:

• PHIL1010: History of Philosophy I (0.5 cus; Term 1)

• PHIL1011: History of Philosophy II (0.5 cus; Term 2)

• PHIL1012: Knowledge and Reality (0.5 cus; Term 1)

• PHIL1014: Introduction to Logic I (0.5 cus; Term 1)

• PHIL1013: Introduction to Logic II (0.5 cus; Term 2)

• PHIL1015: Introduction to Moral Philosophy (0.5 cus; Term 2)

• PHIL1016: Introduction to Political Philosophy (0.5 cus; Term 1)

• PHIL1017: Philosophy Tutorial: Texts and Debate (0.5 cus; Term 2)

(N.B. PHIL1014 is a prerequisite for PHIL1013; otherwise there are no prerequisites)

Second Year

Compulsory Modules

• ECON2001: Microeconomics (1.0 cus; Term 1 & Term 2)

• ECON2004: Macroeconomic Theory and Policy (1.0 cus; Term 1 & Term 2)

Optional Modules

You will select 2.0 cus of optional modules from Philosophy (1.0 cus per term), including courses from at least two 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 Philosophy modules, you must bear in mind that:

  • You may chose either to take 4 x 0.5 cu Philosophy modules, or 3 x 0.5 cu Philosophy modules plus 1 x 0.5 cu module from another department (this may be Economics, or some other department at UCL). (N.B. For the purposes of these requirements, ESPS philosophy modules count as modules from the UCL Philosophy Department.) 
  • You cannot take any Level I Philosophy models (i.e. modules coded PHIL1***) in your second year, and you can take at most one 0.5 cu Level III module (i.e. modules coded PHIL3***) in your second year.
  • Of the minimum 1.5 cus of Level II & III Philosophy modules that you must take in your second year, you must pass a minimum of 1.0 cus to progress into your third year.
Third Year

You will select 4.0 cus of optional courses (2.0 cus per term), including:

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***; Level III Economics modules are coded ECON3*** or ECON7***.) 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 from at least two of groups A, B, and C to graduate.
  • In your final year, you must take at least 1.5 cus of Philosophy modules. (N.B. For the purposes of these requirements, ESPS philosophy modules count as modules from the UCL Philosophy Department.) You should consult with your economics personal tutor or the economics departmental tutor about the minimum number of Economics modules that you must take in your third year.
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
Mathematics A* required.
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 19 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics grade 7, 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 28 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D2,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Mathematics required at D2

A1,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher). Mathematics A1 required at Advanced Higher.

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

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, apart from graduate study, include:

  • Analyst, Credit Suisse (2013)
  • Graduate Scheme, HSBC (2013)
  • Account Manager, Amazon (2013)
  • Analyst, Morgan Stanley (2012)
  • Audit Associate, Ernst and Young (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. Our procedure has been developed in recent years to make the admissions process fairer and more efficient.

  • 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 25 jul 13 12:09