Philosophy and Computer Science BA

London, Bloomsbury
Philosophy and Computer Science BA (2024)

Humanities students must understand our increasingly digital world. Computer scientists must think philosophically. Our new undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Computer Science will provide you with the opportunity to master both.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
Duration
3 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Fees to be confirmed
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Fees to be confirmed
Programme starts
September 2025
Application deadline
29 Jan 2025
UCAS course code
VG52

Entry requirements

Grades
A*AA
Subjects
Mathematics A* required.
GCSEs
English Language at grade B or 6 and Mathematics at grade C or 4.

Contextual offer information

Contextual offers are typically one to two grades lower than the standard offer. Grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

Points
39
Subjects
A total of 19 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics grade 7, with no higher level score below 5. The programme will accept either 'Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches' or 'Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

Contextual offers are typically one to two grade boundaries (equivalent to A levels) lower than the standard offer. IB Diploma grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

UK applicants qualifications

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

Equivalent qualification

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units. Please note, where subject specific requirements are stipulated at A level we may review your Access to HE syllabus to ensure you meet the subject specific requirements prior to a final decision being communicated.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

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.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades A*AA, including Mathematics at A*.

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

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

Course overview

The Philosophy and Computer Science BA is for you if you want to bring precise formal tools to bear on the big questions that face us in life. 

You'll learn about core concepts which belong equally in Philosophy and Computer Science: concepts to do with reasoning, agency, and fairness. You'll sharpen your analytic and critical skills, with an emphasis on clarity of thought and expression. You'll develop abstract but applicable problem-solving skills, such as rigorous logical reasoning, programming, and the design of efficient processes, with an emphasis on understanding formal tools.

What this course will give you

UCL is ranked 9th globally in the latest QS World University Rankings 2024, providing you with an exciting opportunity to study at one of the world’s top 10 institutions. UCL was also named The Times and Sunday Times University of the Year 2024.

You will be joining a prestigious department at a university ranked 6th in the world for the arts and humanities (THE World University Rankings 2024 by Subject). The research interests of academic staff are wide-ranging, covering all the main areas of philosophy. 60% of our overall research profile received the top grade (4*), the highest of any UK philosophy department, in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021).

UCL Computer Science is recognised as a world leader in teaching and research, with undergraduate degree programmes designed and taught by world-class researchers, ensuring our material is cutting-edge. 

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Modules

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

The curriculum for the Philosophy and Computer Science BA is structured to give you the benefits of a critical, reflective humanities education, whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge in theoretical computer science.

In the first year, you will study compulsory core modules, which will ensure that you have a firm grasp of logic and theoretical computer science, and are introduced to philosophical areas which interact with computer science.

In the second year, you will complete your compulsory core, developing a deeper understanding of the interactions between philosophy and computer science. You will also choose several optional modules, allowing you to begin to your own specialisms based on your areas of interest.

In your third year, you will write a 30-credit dissertation and you will choose six further modules. The modules are loosely divided into three groups – mathematical computer science; logic and logical metaphysics; normative philosophy – however these categories are just for guidance and you will be able to choose modules across the groupings.

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, logical and computational reasoning through lectures, seminars and small-group tutorial classes. In Years 2 and 3, your chosen modules will be taught by departmental experts through a combination of lectures, related seminars and classes.

Contact time across your programme can take a variety of forms, for example, lectures, seminars, tutorials, question and answer sessions, project supervision, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, visits, office hours (where staff are available for consultation), interaction by email or other media, and situations where feedback on assessed work is given (one-to-one or in a group).

Contact hours will vary depending on your optional and elective module selections. You will be able to review each module’s indicative timetable in advance of making and confirming your module selections each year.

Assessment

The programme's core curriculum is assessed through a range of methods that typically include individual coursework, tests and written examinations. The final year is additionally assessed via a substantive dissertation.

Assessment methods will vary according to your optional and elective module choices.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

The foundation of your career

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 Philosophy graduates have excelled in the legal profession, training as both solicitors and barristers. Others have entered sectors such as publishing (Oriel Square), journalism (TLDR News), finance (Bank of England, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank), the civil service and UK Government (Cabinet Office, Department for Education). Philosophy graduates are also sought after as programmers and systems analysts (Godija), while a good proportion of students go on to further study in philosophy.*

Graduates from Computer Science BSc have previously secured careers with global IT consultancies, as IT analysts with City of London banks and as IT specialists with manufacturing industries. Some have also chosen to pursue further academic study, such as a postgraduate degree or doctoral research.*

*Graduate Outcomes survey carried out by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), looking at the destinations of UK and EU graduates in the 2017-2021 cohorts.

Employability

Students will graduate with a range of extremely employable specific and transferrable skills.

Specific skills: graduates will understand topics at the intersection of philosophy and theoretical computer science. This sort of knowledge will equip them for a range of jobs in the technological sector, but especially anything related to artificial intelligence.

Transferrable skills: graduates will have developed: (1) analytical and critical skills, with an emphasis on clarity of thought and expression; and (2) abstract but applicable problem solving skills, such as rigorous, logical reasoning, programming, and the design of efficient processes, with an emphasis on understanding formal tools.

77% of Philosophy BA graduates and 95% of Computer Science BSc graduates from UCL were in work, further study or due to start work or study, 15 months after graduation.*

*Graduate Outcomes survey carried out by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), looking at the destinations of UK and EU graduates in the 2017-2021 cohorts.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) Fees to be confirmed
Tuition fees (2024/25) Fees to be confirmed

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

The departments strive to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available in the UCL Library as hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions.

It is recommended that during the course students have access to a modern computer (PC or Mac) with minimum specifications 8GB RAM and 500GB SSD storage. A computer with the stated specifications is estimated to cost £500 or greater.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

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.

Scholarships

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.

Next steps

Your application

The Philosophy and Computer Science BA is the ideal degree for students who want to bring precise formal tools to bear on the big questions that face us in life. We seek to select candidates who, in addition to academic achievement, have the motivation and passion for thinking rigorously about abstract ideas, developing solid arguments and who find the sorts of questions discussed in philosophy and computer science and their intersection to be fascinating and exciting.

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.

Selection

For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

Got questions? Get in touch

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