BA Joint Honours Philosophy and Politics (UCAS Code: VLM2)
For entrance requirements
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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 Philosophy and Politics degree programme 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 students 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 your 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 students have reviewed their feedback, they are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of their work.Back to top
Studying for a Politics and Philosophy degree at Queen’s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Transferable skills such as team-working, analytical understanding, debating and presentation skills, and, increasingly, information technology and communication skills are embedded in the curriculum. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline.
The following is a list of the major career sectors that have attracted our graduates in recent years:
Employer Links – Consultations:We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers (including the Northern Bank, Price Waterhouse Coopers, the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, a range of government departments based at Stormont and the BBC). A number of employers form part of our active and engaged Employers Forum. The members of this panel advise staff in incorporating employability skills in the development of our degree programmes and in helping prepare our students for the world of work. They also contribute to advisory sessions for students on careers and employability.
As part of their programme of study all students who are undertaking the BA Philosophy and Politics degree can apply to undertake our Internship scheme in level 3. All interns are placed with an employer for three days each week during the course of one semester. The employers comprise all government departments at Stormont (with the exception of Justice), the North-South Ministerial Council, consultancy groups, the BBC and the voluntary sector. Students are expected to complete a learning journal of their time on placement and to produce a 12,000 word project that relates directly to the placement.
Graduate Careers and Achievements: Many of our former graduates have risen to the top of their fields and include many famous figures; for example:
Studentsshould also take a look at the Prospects websitefor further information concerning the types of jobs that attract Philosophy and Politics graduates.
Further study is also an option open to our graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics.
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 Plus initiative, 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 Plusin 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