BA Single Honours Philosophy (UCAS Code: V500)
For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838
There are no specific subject requirements to study Philosophy.
BA Joint Requirements
For BA Joint Honours the requirements are stated separately under each programme.
For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information on other acceptable English Language qualifications is available here
If you are an international student and you do not meet the English Language requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will develop the language skills you need to progress. INTO Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses. For a full list click hereBack to top
Philosophy addresses some of the fundamental questions of thought and existence, such as: What is knowledge? Is there a God? Do we have free will? Is the mind identical to the brain? What is the nature and foundation of morality? Is democracy the best form of government?
As an academic discipline, philosophy places great emphasis on the need for careful reasoning, clear expression and logical rigour. By studying the subject at Queen's, students can expect to develop their skills in critical thinking and argumentation and to acquire knowledge of a range of texts and ideas which are central to the history of philosophy and to cutting-edge debates in the subject.Back to top
This degree programme doesn't presuppose any prior training in Philosophy; it can profitably be undertaken by those who have, and have not, studied the subject at school.
At Level 1, students choose six modules from a range of introductory modules including the following:
Approaches to Philosophy
Philosophy and the Good Life
Thereafter, at Levels 2 and 3, the subject may be studied as a Single Honours pathway (12 modules) or as Joint Honours pathway (six philosophy modules together with six modules taken from the other subject).
Students take the appropriate number of modules from the following indicative list:
Contemporary Critical Theory
Contemporary Theories of Justice
History of Philosophy
Logic and Critical Thinking
Mind and Nature
Modern Political Thought
Philosophy of Law
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Science
The Religious and the Secular in Modern Political Thought
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential. On the BA in Philosophy, we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
Assessment (general): The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.Back to top
A philosophy degree provides intellectual skills in literacy and numeracy fit for a lifetime, through training in reasoning about complex issues at the foundation of all understanding and of all practical affairs. Students learn to think clearly and to express themselves with exactness. Philosophy graduates go into an unlimited range of occupations in the public and private sectors, including the civil service, local government, the media, policy analysis, the voluntary sector, teaching, journalism, business, marketing and advertising.
Some graduates build on the degree by undertaking postgraduate training in fields such as law, social science research and teaching. Tailored careers advice and study guidance is available to all students throughout their time at Queen’s.
The following is a list of some recent careers/study destinations of our students:
Employer Links: Consultations
We have an active and engaged Employers Forum, which is used to foster collaboration between ourselves and employers and to inform related activity, such as the format, content and structure of our educational provision, with the ultimate aim of enhancing the employability of our graduates. The Employer’s Forum meets 2-3 times per academic year. In addition to PISP and QUB staff, its membership includes employers from both public and private sector organizations, including Equality Commission for NI, Northern Bank, Deloitte, Stratagem NI, NI Local Government Association PricewaterhouseCoopers, MCE Public Relations, Department of Employment and Learning NI and Stratagem NI.
Graduate Careers and Achievements
Many of the School’s former graduates have risen to the top of their fields, for example:
For those wishing to pursue further study after their first degree, the School provides a range of MA programmes, each of which can be taken either full-time in one year or part-time over two years. The MA programmes, each of which consists of four taught courses and a dissertation, are: Political Philosophy; Politics; Irish Politics; Comparative Ethnic Conflict; International Politics; Violence, Terrorism and Security; European Integration and Public Policy; Gender and Society. There are also opportunities to do an MRes in Politics, and an MPhil or PhDby thesis.
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plusinitiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives: Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.Back to top
Philosophy societies: there is an active student-run Philosophy Society and the School is also the home of the Belfast branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, which organises regular talks and seminars by distinguished visiting philosophers.
Research-led teaching: our academic staff are all engaged in state-of-the-art research which informs and enriches their teaching practice.
Curriculum: we have particular strengths in the areas of applied ethics and political philosophy, and - unusually amongst UK universities - offer teaching in scholastic philosophy.Back to top