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Philosophy (BA)

  • V500

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

There are two related aspects of the Philosophy programme at Cardiff that mark it out among Russell Group universities. One is that there is a strong emphasis on ethics, politics, and aesthetics among the modules on offer. Although we do cover the full range of contemporary philosophical concerns, we are unusual in providing so much opportunity in these areas.

Students studying in a group

The other is that our research and teaching is spread equally across both the ‘analytic’ and ‘Continental’ styles of Western philosophy. For historical reasons, most philosophy programmes in the UK are almost entirely analytic. Some are almost entirely Continental. Only a very few are evenly balanced across the two approaches, allowing students to develop a full understanding of both with the possibility of an informed choice to specialise in one approach or the other.

As a student in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff you will be taught by leading researchers in Philosophy.

Your scheduled contact hours will be supplemented by the opportunity for individual meetings with academic staff, by supportive academic progress meetings with your Personal Tutor and by the opportunity to attend research seminars and careers activities.

The School prides itself on nurturing a friendly, personalised and supportive environment for its students, with staff spending a great deal of time at various points in the semester in individual one-to-one meetings with students.

Key Facts

UCAS Code V500
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Typical places available Typical places available: The School admits c360 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes
Typical applications received 1,500
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer ABB
Admissions Tutors Dr Richard Gray
Tel Number 029 2087 6323
Email address
School website
Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

There are opportunities for students wishing to study part of their course through the medium of Welsh. Visit the School of English, Communication and Philosophy website for further information.

We realise that many of our students will not have had the opportunity to study Philosophy before as an academic discipline, and for the increasing number of those who have, it is still relatively new and demanding. We therefore structure the programme with great care so as to build progressively your critical understanding and creative philosophical skills.

Year One consists in two modules that provide a comprehensive grounding in Philosophy, while not repeating what some students will already have studied. One of these modules, ‘Mind, Thought and Reality’, focuses on the nature of thinking, the relation between thoughts and the rest of the world, and the basic structures of the world. Students address these questions through discussing classic and contemporary writings. The other module, ‘Moral and Political Philosophy’, introduces the central concepts, theories, arguments, and approaches of contemporary moral and political theory through considering such particular issues as global poverty, nuclear weapons, the relations between men and women, medical ethics, and the use of animals.

Year Two is designed to build on this foundation through more focused modules that provide a more solid grounding in their particular area. Among the modules currently on offer in Year Two are ‘Epistemology and Mind’, ‘Logic and Language’, ‘Kant and Heidegger’, ‘Modern Moral Philosophy’, and ‘Contemporary Political Philosophy’. There are no compulsory modules. Students are encouraged to follow the interests they developed at Year One, but also to consider what they would like to take in the following year.

Year Three is our research-led year, where the modules reflect the current research interests of the staff who teach them. These build on, and are more specialised than, the Year Two modules. Essentially, students are reading and thinking about the very same texts that the module leader is thinking and writing about. Modules currently available at Year Three include ‘The Problem of Consciousness’, ‘German Aesthetics’, ‘Philosophy and Literary Theory’, ‘Moral Psychology’, ‘Metaethics’, ‘Feminist Philosophy’, and ‘Nietzsche’. There is also the opportunity for independent research in the dissertation module.

There are opportunities for students who wish to undertake part of their degree through the medium of Welsh. There are two Welsh medium modules available in each year of study. Further information about these modules can be found on the School of English Communication and Philosophy website.

The Cardiff BA in Philosophy will be taught using the following methods:
  • Weekly lectures
  • Weekly small group seminars
  • Teaching via Virtual Learning Environments
Typical A-level Offer


General Studies is not accepted

Typical WBQ Offer Grade A in the Core plus AB at A-level
Typical Int Bacc Offer  34 points including 655 in Higher Level subjects.
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

The School of English, Communication and Philosophy provides its students with a highly satisfying academic experience that assists their development as critically-minded, culturally-aware citizens whose high analytic skills, powers of expression and progressive self-reliance make them extremely attractive to employers.

Because of the transferable nature of the skills that the study of Philosophy develops, the kinds of jobs that Philosophy graduates go on to are extremely diverse. These include: the civil service; other government and public sector administration bodies; the charity or not-for-profit sector; non-governmental organisations (NGOs); teaching; sales and advertising.

As a graduate in Philosophy at Cardiff you will have shown yourself to be able to:

  • Grasp complex issues with confidence
  • Ask the right questions of complex texts
  • Have an imaginative appreciation of different views and options
  • Analyse these critically and reflectively
  • Identify and apply relevant data
  • Propose imaginative solutions of your own that are rooted in evidence and critical analysis
  • Do so clearly, concisely and persuasively in writing and speech
  • Work to deadlines and priorities, managing a range of tasks at the same time
  • Articulate well-researched ideas with the right degree of assertiveness
  • Learn from constructive criticism and incorporate its insights in revising your work and in future work on different topics
  • Demonstrate enterprise and initiative in researching your topics and developing your point of view
  • Work as part of a team, developing qualities of respect for the ideas and arguments of others and a collaborative approach to inquiry and problem-solving
  • Develop a range of communicative skills, including the use of IT programmes and digital media, where appropriate

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Mrs Anna Birt  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 6323 



School Website:

More information

School of English, Communication and Philosophy