Philosophy BA

London, Bloomsbury
Philosophy BA (2024)

Cultivating an understanding of a range of central philosophical debates, as well as of the history of philosophy (ancient, modern and contemporary), all major areas of philosophy are available for study on this programme, including moral and political philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology and logic, as well as some continental philosophy.

UK students International students
Study mode
3 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme starts
September 2025
Application deadline
29 Jan 2025
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
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.

A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects, with no higher level score below 5.

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 33 credits at Distinction and 12 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

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)

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 AAA.

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:

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 first year provides a foundation for your studies in Years 2 and 3. Lectures will introduce you to political philosophy (questions about the state, liberty and justice), moral philosophy (about the definition of right action, moral motivation, the metaphysics of moral judgements), epistemology (about knowledge and belief), metaphysics (about the nature of things, reality, personal identity, free will), and introductory logic, which models principles of sound reasoning. All of these are compulsory for single-subject students.

In your second and third years, you choose from a wide range of modules. The only constraint on choice is a liberal 'breadth' requirement, encouraging you to take modules across a breadth of philosophical areas; for this reason, all modules in Years 2 and 3 are optional. These may include metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophies of mind and language, moral and political philosophy, aesthetics, and central historical figures (for example, Aristotle, Kant, Nietzsche). 

The programme is designed to ensure coverage of the central areas of philosophy, while also allowing you to choose from an array of optional modules, some of which may be taken from other UCL departments.

What this course will give you

You will be joining a highly prestigious department at a university ranked 6th in the world for 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).

We regard philosophy as a co-operative endeavour. We ensure personal support in your learning, and the department has a reputation for excellent relations between staff and students.

A rich array of extracurricular events to further your philosophical interests are 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 Institute of Philosophy, all located nearby. Undergraduate students also run a vibrant Philosophy Society with on-campus events and activities.

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).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Philosophy.


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 first year begins with several introductory modules, providing a foundation for your studies in Years 2 and 3. 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 optional modules, some of which may be taken from other departments at UCL.

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 2 and 3, your chosen modules will be taught by an expert from within our department through a combination of lectures, related seminars and classes.

22% of a student's time during the two teaching terms will be spent in lectures, seminars and tutorials. The remainder of your time will be spent in independent study and assessment.


Assessment is by a mixture of coursework (essays or shorter pieces of writing) and written examination. You may also elect to submit a dissertation as one of your optional modules.


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 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.*

*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.


This programme will teach you how to understand and evaluate philosophical theories and arguments, thereby developing your analytical and critical skills. You will also be trained to write clear and well-structured essays. Such skills are transferable to non-philosophical contexts and highly valued by employers. 

77% of Philosophy BA graduates 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) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £28,100

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

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.


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

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 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.


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

In addition, applicants may be asked to provide further information, such as AS module results, or a response to a questionnaire.

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.

Got questions? Get in touch

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