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.
- UCAS code
- 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2017
- Applications per place
- 6 (2015 entry)*
- Total intake
- 65 (2017 entry)*
- No specific subjects.
- 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: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs
- 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:
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 Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA.
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
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a twelve-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
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.
- UCL Philosophy was one of the top-rated departments in the UK in the most recent (2014) Research Excellence Framework. The research interests of the academic staff are wide-ranging, covering all the main areas of philosophy.
- 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.
- A rich array of extracurricular philosophy events is 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.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Philosophy.
- 75% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
The first year begins with several introductory lecture courses, providing a foundation for later studies. The programme covers 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 which investigates the nature of knowledge and belief; metaphysics, which attempts to grasp the nature of things; and logic, which imparts principles of sound reasoning.
Your second and third years will be spent studying a range of subjects from metaphysics and epistemology and the philosophies of mind and language, to moral and political philosophy, aesthetics and phenomenology, and the history of philosophy.
The programme is designed to ensure that the central areas of the subject are covered, while also allowing you to choose from an array of options, some of which may be taken from other departments at UCL.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Introduction to the History of Philosophy I
Introduction to the History of Philosophy II
Introduction to Logic I
Introduction to Logic II
Introduction to Moral Philosophy
Introduction to Political Philosophy
Knowledge and Reality
Philosophy Tutorial: Texts and Debate
All first year modules are compulsory.
All second year modules are optional.
You will select 4.0 credits of optional modules, including at least one module each from Groups A, B, and C:
Theoretical Philosophy (e.g. Knowledge; Metaphysics; Mind and Body; Language)
Normative Philosophy (e.g. Aesthetics; Applied Ethics; Global Justice and Health; Morality and Literature; Normative Ethics; Political Philosophy)
History of Philosophy (e.g. Aristotle; Plato; Marxism; Nietzsche; Wittgenstein; Sartre)
All third year modules are optional.
You will choose eight modules from the wide range of options available to the value of 4.0 credits.
You must pass at least six level III modules and have passed one module from group A, B, and C respectively to graduate. You can take a total of 2.0 credits from other departments at UCL.
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 modules 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 (essays) and written examination. You may also elect to submit a dissertation as one of your options.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Philosophy BA.
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 (2012-2014) of this programme include:
- Human Resources Business Partner, Barclays
- Market Branding Consultant, BeSeen Marketing
- Investment Banking Analyst, J.P. Morgan
- Consultancy Support Worker, Hay Group
- Gallery Assistant, Bank Street Arts
*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 2012-2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
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.
“I chose Philosophy because it makes you think laterally and carefully about so many things - from the nature of existence to the way governments are formed. Studying in London is a great experience that allows me to be very flexible. Throughout my studies I've been able to work in some interesting places, such as the BBC, whilst taking full benefit of the city's great nightlife.”Azaan Akbar - Philosophy BA (Third Year)
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2016/17 academic year.
- UK/EU students
- £9,000 (2016/17)
- Overseas students
- £16,130 (2016/17)
Fees for students entering UCL in September 2017 (i.e. for the 2017/2018 academic year) will be set in the summer of 2016 and published on the UCL Current Students website. Fees advertised by UCL are for the first year of the programme. UK/EU undergraduate fees are capped, but fees for other students may be subject to increase in future years of study by between 3-5%.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
Application and next steps
In addition to looking for outstanding grades in your academic record, we also assess your application for evidence of your ability to engage with philosophical arguments and your skills in reasoning.
How to apply
Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.
Application deadline: 15 January 2017
Selection will be made on the basis of information contained in the UCAS application: 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.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students