Philosophy is the most ancient of academic disciplines, yet the uncertainties of modern living make the traditional philosophical challenges even more pressing in the 21st century.
During the BA in Philosophy at Southampton you will gain an in-depth knowledge of the core areas of philosophy while pursuing your own interests through optional modules on the great philosophers and key philosophical topics. You will graduate as an independently-minded, confident individual with the skills required for a successful career.
You will have every opportunity to develop your own thoughts on philosophical issues and to engage in philosophical debate.
Year one offers lecture-based modules focusing on central themes, designed for students new to philosophy as well as those who have some familiarity with the subject, alongside staff-led tutorials involving three to five students.
In year two you will take a core module in the history of philosophy, accompanied by small-group seminars, and choose from a range of optional modules.
You will write a dissertation in your final year, as well as taking further optional modules.
Applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will also be made an alternative offer one grade below the standard offer, conditional on an A grade in the EPQ.
We accept all A levels except General Studies.
34 or 32 points overall, 17 or 16 at higher level
International Foundation Year
International students who do not currently meet our entry requirements may be able to join this course on successful completion of our International Foundation Year. For more information visit the IFY course page
We welcome applications from international students. Helpful information on applying, meeting a University representative in your country, or improving your English language levels can be found on the International Office website. If English is not your first language you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with not less than 6.5 in Reading and Writing, 6.0 in Listening and Speaking
We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard to an A level applicant. Contact us for further information on equivalencies for these qualifications and others not listed here.
Humanities supports contextual admission. A typical offer for an applicant qualifying as contextual is BBB from 3 A levels or the equivalent from alternative qualifications.
Average applications per place:
Selection is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Exceptionally we may ask you to come for an interview before making an offer.
Over each year you take eight modules, or the equivalent, four in each semester.
Learn a language
This programme allows you to take a language module as a free elective. These are split into seven stages, from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level. Please email your Student Office if you have any queries regarding your module options.
Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers our students the chance to take optional modules outside their core disciplines. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical
student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided.
More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).
Our students have gone on to succeed in a dazzling range of careers, including business, law, medicine, journalism, teaching, IT, the civil service, advertising, film and television, and finance. The 2013 Destination of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) survey found that 90% of our Philosophy graduates were in work or study six months after finishing their degree, with 80% of those in full-time employment occupying professional or managerial roles. We were ranked second in the UK for graduate prospects in the Times Good University Guide for 2014. You can find out more about some of our graduates on our‘Alumni: Where are they now?' pages for Philosophy.
During your degree you will learn skills such as:
Clear oral and written communication
The ability to appreciate different points of view
Working in groups
Don't just take our word for it. In a survey of results in the American GRE tests (tests of verbal, quantitative and analytical skills), Philosophy graduates achieved better average scores than graduates of any other humanities or social science subject.
Career skills are embedded throughout every stage of our course and are developed at every moment of study. Certain modules offer specific teaching in reasoning and communications skills. In addition, there are work experience opportunities to help you understand how your transferable skills apply in the workplace. The university's Excel placement scheme offers around 150 Christmas, Easter and summer placements in a range of companies.
Our teaching draws upon the cutting-edge research of Southampton's philosophers, all of whom are actively engaged in presenting and publishing their work to international audiences.
We place special emphasis on small group teaching. Alongside lectures, you will participate from your first year of study in tutorials and seminars in which you will explore and develop your own ideas in discussion with fellow students and staff.
You will be assessed by more than just essays and exams. Depending on the modules you choose, you will work in teams, give presentations, submit group projects, develop websites, and manage larger research projects such as dissertations.
Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor, a leading academic who provides help and support at every level of study.
Throughout the degree, we impart advanced skills in reasoning, research, communication, and analysis, skills which, alongside the support offered by the University's career service, will prepare you for further study or a future career.
Costs associated with this course
Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.
In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:
Printing and copying
Where possible, coursework such as essays, projects, dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently:
A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour).
Please Note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy.
You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to www.printcopypayments.soton.ac.uk.
Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account.
You will be given a printing allowance of £1 per 7.5 ECTS PHIL towards the costs of printing lecture hand-outs and/or practical scripts.
The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here. They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here.
There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:
You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.
Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
IT - Data Storage: Computer discs or USB drives - Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
IT - Software Licences: All software is provided.
IT - Hardware: It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
Placements: Students on placement programmes can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses, travel costs, and visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to. Specific details on what additional costs there will be are detailed in the individual module profiles which can be found under the modules tab of the programmes details of your programme.
In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.