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V500 - Philosophy


BA Honours

  • UCAS code: V500
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2020
Year :

This philosophy degree pursues questions about the nature of reality, explores theories of knowledge, reflects on key ethical concepts, and examines issues related to the philosophy of art, culture, science and technology.

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £18000

Entry requirements

  • A Level: AAB-ABB
  • IB: 32 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21
Work placement opportunity Study abroad opportunity

Course overview

Newcastle Philosophy is rare among UK universities as much of our curriculum is dedicated to modern European philosophy. The curriculum includes thinkers such as Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, de Beauvoir, Sartre, Kristeva, Derrida and Foucault.

You'll also have the opportunity to explore key debates in the history of Western philosophy, including those in Ancient Philosophy, the Enlightenment and beyond.

Each year you’ll complete an individual project, where you apply the philosophy you learn to a topic of your choice. You'll open your mind to new ways of thinking and create your own learning path.

A dedicated project tutor will work with you throughout your degree and guide you through the project research process.

You'll learn how to question, analyse, and balance multiple (and often opposing) points of view - skills essential to a wide range of careers.


Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

See our terms and conditions for more information

View our Frequently Asked Questions

Your course during COVID-19

Whilst things will not be the same when you join us in September, this course page is intended to give you insight into what to expect from your course and your learning experience for the duration of your degree.

We have updated all course information where there are specific changes in the first semester.


Most of our student services are now available online. As COVID-19 restrictions lift, we'll be opening up our on-campus facilities as soon as it is safe to do so, so that you can get the best out of your studies.

Your learning experience

Your teaching will be a mixture of online and in-person on-campus teaching. In semester one, as a result of physical distancing requirements, all lecture materials will be delivered online along with many tutorials, workshops and labs.

Our aim, if Government guidance allows us, is to deliver up to three hours of labs, seminars and tutorial teaching in-person on campus where this is possible and safe to do so. We'll review this regularly and plan to return to full in-person, on-campus teaching in semester two if restrictions allow.


In semester one, we will not be running face-to-face, on-campus examinations. We will instead use different approaches to assessment. These will test and support your learning.

Field trips

We will be running some but not all of our planned field trips. Some of those that do run, will be run virtually. For those that do not run, we will be offering alternative learning activities. These learning activities will give you the opportunity to achieve the same learning.

Terms and conditions and student complaints

The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.

Further information

Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University 2020 study experience.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.

Quality and ranking

Philosophy at Newcastle ranks in the top 10 in the UK in the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.

Modules and learning


The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage. 

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

Flexibility and choice are built into the degree. You'll study compulsory philosophy modules and choose options from other subjects while undertaking your project.

You'll cover topics in Ancient Philosophy, ethics, epistemology, the philosophy of religion and existentialism. You'll explore issues such as the nature of freedom and the self, the existence of God, and the origin of our ethical values. You'll engage with the ideas of philosophers like Plato, Descartes, Hume, Nietzsche, Sartre and de Beauvoir. You'll begin your individual project in Semester 2.


Compulsory Modules Credits
Philosophy and Religion 20
Critical Reasoning 20
Stage 1 Project 20
European Philosophical Traditions I: Knowledge, Reality, Truth 10
European Philosophical Traditions II: Moral Philosophy and Human Nature 10
Optional Modules Credits
How Should I Live? An Introduction to Ancient Moral Philosophy 20
Existentialism and the Self 20
Ancient Philosophy I: From the Pre-Socratics to Plato 10
Ancient Philosophy II: Aristotle and Beyond 10

You'll study materialism and idealism by looking at Kant, and philosophers after Kant. Optional modules cover a range of topics from ethics in the modern world, to the philosophy of contemporary art and technology. You'll encounter theories of postmodernism/poststructuralism, philosophy and culture, feminism and the philosophy of science. You’ll also undertake your individual project throughout the year - your chance to explore a topic of your choosing and apply the philosophy you have studied. 


Compulsory Modules Credits
Kantian and Post-Kantian Philosophy I: Idealism 10
Kantian and Post-Kantian Philosophy II: Materialism 10
Ethics and the Modern World 20
Stage 2 Project 40
Optional Modules Credits
Career Development for second year students 20
Consciousness, Art and Technology 20
Philosophy, Culture and Society 20

The emphasis this year is on twentieth and twenty-first century philosophy. You'll study phenomenology, including theorists like Heidegger and Sartre, and modern theories in social and political philosophy, as well as postmodern political thought. You'll explore influential concepts of knowledge and the interconnection to networks of power in society, as well as theories of identity. Your individual research project continues throughout the year, providing you with an opportunity to apply these diverse ideas to your field of interest. 


Compulsory Modules Credits
Social and Political Philosophy 10
Postmodern Political Thought, Domination and Resistance 10
Phenomenology 20
Projects (Stage 3) 40
Optional Modules Credits
Career Development for final year students 20
Knowledge, Power and Desire 20
The Networked Society: Human Identity and Practices 20

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

Learning in Philosophy is an active process, centring on your own reading and inspired by lectures and discussion in seminars and tutorials.

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Coursework

  • Essays

Skills and experience

The project module runs in each year of the degree and provides the opportunity to develop your research and real business skills.

Each year you can work on a research project of interest to you, applying what you learn to the world around you. As you near your final year we'll encourage you to link your philosophical studies to a particular employment niche, such as publishing, advertising, law or education.

The topic of your project will determine what kind of research is required. It might involve site visits, interviews, archive work, or close textual analysis. Whatever you choose, we'll help you develop these research skills.

This project work encourages you to build up a range of skills that will be useful for your future, such as:

  • the ability to research, analyse and present complex information
  • the ability to time-manage large work projects
  • the ability to develop robust arguments and articulate your point of view
  • strong oral and written communication
  • creativity and independence

Chat to a student

I love the variety in the course content. It is a privilege to be taught such fascinating material by such enthusiastic and accomplished academics. Studying Philosophy at Newcastle University has exceeded my expectations.

Jennifer, Philosophy student


Study abroad

Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.

You could choose to spend a semester abroad in Stage 3. You also have the opportunity to transfer to 1429U BA Hons Philosophy (with Year Abroad) which involves a year of study in another country. You can choose to spend your year studying at a partner institution in an EU country as part of an Erasmus exchange or further afield. This will extend your degree by a year. 

Find out more about study abroad

Work placement

Get career ready with a work placement and leave as a confident professional in your field. You can apply to spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world, and receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between stages 2 and 3.

You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.

If you choose to take a work placement, it will extend your degree by a year. Placements are subject to availability.

Find out more about work placements

Facilities and environment


You'll be part of Philosophical Studies, and as a Newcastle University student, you'll have access to a whole range of facilities.

Newcastle University has achieved five QS Stars for facilities from QS Quacquarelli Symonds. You'll benefit from top facilities that not only support you and help you get the best out of your studies but give you an outstanding experience, such as:

  • an award-winning library service
  • excellent IT facilities
  • a range of study support and wellbeing services to help you reach your full potential
  • a wide range of sporting facilities

Find out more about our campus and facilities


You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.

Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have when starting university.

Your future

Join our network of confident and successful graduates.

90% of our Philosophy BA Hons graduates were employed or in further study within 6 months of graduating, with an average salary of £23,600.*

*Destinations of (undergraduate, UK and EU) Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/2017

Develop valuable employability skills

Although Philosophical Studies is generally considered to be a non-vocational degree, employers will value the specific skills that the study of philosophy develops.

The study of philosophy helps you to develop the ability to analyse and construct sound arguments, think logically and critically about ideas and issues, communicate clearly and persuasively, and generate solutions to problems.

You also gain crucial employability skills sought by graduate employers, including independent study and self-motivation, the ability to prioritise work and meet deadlines, flexibility, creativity, the ability to identify, absorb and sift complex information, teamwork, and applications of information technology.

Philosophical Studies graduates are found working for almost every type of employer in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Some graduates will continue to master's-level studies.

An insight into how our Philosophy students develop skills essential to any career

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Careers support

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2020 entry.

A Level


International Baccalaureate

32 points

Other UK qualifications (and PARTNERS)

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements


Through our PARTNERS programme, you could receive an offer up to three grades lower than the typical requirements, and get support throughout the application process. To apply through PARTNERS, you must be based in the UK and meet our eligibility criteria. 

Find out more about PARTNERS

Entrance courses (INTO)

International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University, including Newcastle University London. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2020 entry (per year)

Home Fee Students


International Fee Students


The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by the UK government.

As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).

The tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

Year abroad and additional costs

For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year. 

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

Find out more about:


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How to apply

Apply through UCAS

To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:

  • the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
  • the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
  • the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college

If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.

Apply through UCAS

Apply through an agent

International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.

Visit our International pages

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