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BA Philosophy

Year of entry: 2021

Overview

Degree awarded
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Duration
3 or 4 years
Typical A-level offer
ABB
Typical contextual A-level offer (what is this?)
BBB
Typical International Baccalaureate offer

6,5,5 at Higher level, 34 points overall. Applicants taking English Language A must achieve grade 4 at Higher or Standard level. Applicants offering English Language B must achieve grade 5 at Higher level and grade 6 at Standard level.

Changes to International Baccalaureate Diploma Mathematics Courses from September 2019, first examination 2021. We are aware of the planned changes to the IB Mathematics curriculum. IB students will be able to choose from: Mathematics: analysis and approaches and Mathematics: applications and interpretation from September 2019.

For this programme of study we will accept: Mathematics: analysis and approaches or Mathematics: applications and interpretation at SL or HL

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply through UCAS

Course overview

  • Explore questions about the nature of reality, knowledge, morality and religion.
  • Develop your skills in analytical thinking, reasoned argument and systematic expression of ideas.
  • Gain first-hand experience through paid work placements with our Q-Step programme.
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Kitty tells us why she chose to study Philosophy

Open days

The University holds regular open days in June, September and October.

You will have the opportunity to tour the campus, facilities, find out about courses and meet staff.

Fees

Tuition fees for home students commencing their studies in September 2021 will be £9,250 per annum. Tuition fees for international students will be £19,500 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate finance pages.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

Scholarships and bursaries are available to eligible home/EU students, including the Manchester Bursary . Approximately a third of all our undergraduate UK students will receive bursaries of up to £2,000 per year, in addition to the government package of maintenance grants.

You can get plenty of information and advice on student finance to help you manage your money.

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Social Sciences
Contact name
Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions
Facsimile
+44 (0)161 275 4751
Email
Website
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/socialsciences
School/Faculty overview

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Compare this course

Entry requirements

A-level

  • ABB
  • We do not accept two A/S Levels grades in place of one A Level.
  • Applicants must be studying at least one of the following A-level subjects: Accounting; Economics; Finance; Business Studies; Development Studies; Government and Politics; Economic and Social History; Mathematics; Anthropology; Sociology; Philosophy; Religious Studies; English Language; English Literature; Geography; Psychology; Classical Civilisation; History; Archaeology; Communication Studies; Environmental Studies; World Development; Biology; Chemistry; Physics; Modern Languages.
  • We accept native language A Levels providing they are taken in the same sitting as your other subjects. We will not accept the combination of Mathematics, Further Mathematics and a native language.
  • We accept the Level 3 Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS) as equivalent to an A-level if taken alongside two full A-levels from the list of acceptable subjects above.

AS-level

AS level results are not considered as part of the standard admissions process at The University of Manchester.

Unit grade information

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit information where available.  Like all other information provided by applicants this may be taken into consideration when assessing your application.  Unit grades will not normally form part of an offer conditions.

GCSE

Applicants must demonstrate a broad general education including acceptable levels of Literacy and Numeracy, equivalent to at least Grade B or 6 in GCSE/iGCSE English Language and Grade C or 4 in GCSE/iGCSE Mathematics. GCSE/iGCSE English Literature will not be accepted in lieu of GCSE/iGCSE English Language.

International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher level, 34 points overall. Applicants taking English Language A must achieve grade 4 at Higher or Standard level. Applicants offering English Language B must achieve grade 5 at Higher level and grade 6 at Standard level.

Changes to International Baccalaureate Diploma Mathematics Courses from September 2019, first examination 2021. We are aware of the planned changes to the IB Mathematics curriculum. IB students will be able to choose from: Mathematics: analysis and approaches and Mathematics: applications and interpretation from September 2019.

For this programme of study we will accept: Mathematics: analysis and approaches or Mathematics: applications and interpretation at SL or HL

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For detailed information please refer to our country-specific requirements and requirements for foundation years .

For general requirements not listed above see  Accepted entry qualifications from your country .

Still need help? Email us at  socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk .

Scottish requirements

We typically ask for grades of ABBBB in Scottish Highers. In addition, we accept Scottish Advanced Highers and Highers in one of the following combinations:

Three Advanced Highers at grades BBB.

or

Two Advanced Highers at grades BB, plus two additional Highers at grades BB.

Applicants taking a different combination of Highers and Advanced Highers should contact socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk for further advice. Applicants not taking English language or Mathematics at Higher level must achieve grade C in English language and Grade B in Mathematics at SCQF Level 5.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The University welcomes and recognises the value of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and usually requires two A Levels or equivalent to be included within this. We consider the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate as equivalent to an A-level on a grade-for-grade basis.

European Baccalaureate

The University of Manchester welcomes applicants with the European Baccalaureate. Acceptable on its own or in combination with other qualifications, applications from students studying for this qualification are welcome and all applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

We typically require 77% overall in European Baccalaureate with a minimum of 80% in English Language.

AQA Baccalaureate

The University recognises the benefits of the AQA Baccalaureate and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills.

In making offers, the University will focus on the three A Levels taken within the AQA Baccalaureate. Students need to check the standard A Level requirements for their chosen course.

The units of broader study, enrichment activities and the Extended Project are considered to be valuable elements of the AQA Baccalaureate and we would therefore strongly encourage students to draw upon these experiences within their personal statement.

Foundation year

The University recognises a number of foundation programmes as suitable for entry to this undergraduate programme:

Applicants completing the INTO Manchester in partnership with The University of Manchester international foundation programme are required to achieve ABB in academic subjects and grade B in the EAP with writing and speaking grade B and listening and reading grade C.

Applicants completing the NCUK International Foundation year are required to achieve ABB in academic subjects and grade B in the EAP with writing and speaking grade B and listening and reading grade C.

For all other foundation programmes please see our full list of approved UK foundation programmes .

Pearson BTEC qualifications

The School accepts Pearson BTEC Level 3 qualifications for entry as long as it is in a relevant subject and taken alongside A-levels. The A-level you are taking must be included in the list of subjects found in the A-level entry requirements above.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma  - accepted with grades  MMM  in combination with an  A-level at grade A  in a different subject area to the diploma.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma  - accepted with grades  DM  in combination with an  A-level at grade A  in a different subject area to the diploma.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma  - accepted with grade  M  in combination with  two A-levels at grade BB  in different subject areas to the diploma.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate  - accepted with grade  in combination with  two A-levels at grade BB  in different subject areas to the diploma.

We do not accept the Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate.

The University of Manchester welcomes applications from students who have achieved legacy BTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the BTEC Extended Diploma, BTEC Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma. The grades required are likely to be the same or vary similar to the new BTEC qualifications (first teaching 2016, awarded 2018). Please contact the Academic School for clarification.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

The School accepts OCR Cambridge Technical (CTEC) Level 3 qualifications for entry as long as it is in a relevant subject and taken alongside A-levels. The A-level you are taking must be included in the list of subjects found in the A-level entry requirements above.

Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma  - accepted with grades  MMM  in combination with an  A-level at grade A  in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Technical Diploma -  accepted with grades  DM  in combination with an  A-level at grade A  in a different subject area to the diploma.

Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma  - accepted with grades  MM  in combination with  two A-levels at grade BB  in different subject areas to the diploma.

Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate  - accepted with grade  D  in combination with  two A-levels at grade BB  in different subject areas to the diploma.

We do not accept the Cambridge Technical Certificate.

The University of Manchester welcomes applications from students who have achieved legacy CTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the CTEC Extended Diploma, CTEC Diploma, and CTEC Subsidiary Diploma.  The grades required are likely to be the same or vary similar to the new CTEC qualifications (first teaching 2016, awarded 2018). Please contact the Academic School for clarification.

Access to HE Diploma

We require a QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma (a minimum of 60 credits overall with at least 45 at Level 3), with merit or distinction in a subject area relevant to the chosen course.

  • Typical applicant - A mature student returning to education after a number of years.
  • Typical offer - Pass Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits (36 Distinctions/9 Merits).
  • Minimum Grade B or 6 in GCSE/iGCSE English Language and Grade C or 4 in GCSE/iGCSE Mathematics.

Contact: Tom McCunnie, tom.mccunnie@manchester.ac.uk.

Cambridge Pre-U

Applicants are expected to achieve D3, M1, M1 in the Cambridge Pre-U. Applicants can either take three Pre-U qualifications or study them in conjunction with A-level subjects.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. Although the Extended Project will not be included in the conditions of your offer, we strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement and at interview. A number of our academic Schools may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Core Maths

The University welcomes and recognises the value of Level 3 core mathematics qualifications (e.g. AQA Certificate in Mathematical Studies). 

Core Mathematics is not a compulsory element of post-16 study and as a result we will not normally include it in the conditions of any offer made to the student. However, if a student chooses to undertake a core mathematics qualification this may be taken into account when we consider their application, particularly for certain non-science courses with a distinct mathematical or statistical element.

We advise students to contact the academic School, who will clarify whether their specific portfolio of qualifications is acceptable for entry on to their chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you are a student who has followed a non-standard educational route, e.g. you have been educated at home; your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course for which you are applying. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the specified academic entry requirements of the course. We will also require a reference from somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. If you are a home schooled student and would like further information or advice please contact the academic School for your chosen course who will be able to help you. 

Non-standard educational routes

Mature students are some of our most well-equipped learners, bringing skills and attributes gained from work, family and other life experiences.  Students come from a whole array of backgrounds, study every kind of course, undertake full-time and part-time learning and are motivated by career intentions as well as personal interest.  There is no such thing as a typical mature student at Manchester.  The application process is the same as for other prospective undergraduates.  If you require further clarification about the acceptability of the qualifications you hold please contact the academic School(s) you plan to apply to.  Further information for mature students can be found here ( http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/mature-students/ )

English language

All applicants to the University (from the UK and Overseas) are required to show evidence of English Language proficiency.  The minimum English Language requirement for this course is either:

  • GCSE/iGCSE English Language grade C.
  • IELTS 6.5 overall with no lower than 6 in any component.
  • TOEFL (IBT) 92 overall with minimum of 21 in listening and speaking, 22 in reading and 23 in speaking.
  • iGCSE English (Second Language) grade B
  • An acceptable equivalent qualification.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires that every student from outside the UK and the EU must show evidence of a minimum level of English Language in order to be granted a UK visa (Tier 4 visa) to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level. This level is often referred to as the 'B2 level'.

Additionally, our individual Schools may ask for specific English Language proficiency levels that are necessary for their academic programmes. In most cases these requirements are likely to be higher than the B2 level. Further information about our English Language policy, including a list of some of the English Language qualifications we accept, can be found  here .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS

Advice to applicants

Applicants submitting mitigating circumstances

If you are submitting information about mitigating circumstances that have affected, or are likely to affect, your academic performance, you should include this in the referee's report.

We cannot take into account information that is supplied after an adverse decision has been made on an application.

(Examples of mitigating circumstances include family illness, problems with school facilities or an unusual curriculum followed by your school of college.)

How your application is considered

Applications are considered on the basis of an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic reference and personal statement.

Interview requirements

We do not interview.

Returning to education

We welcome applications from anyone who is returning to education.

Contact: Tom McCunnie tom.mccunnie@manchester.ac.uk

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

Applicants classed as international students who are studying Foundation Year Programmes, will be considered on the basis they have completed their High School education in full.

Deferrals

Applications for deferred entry are considered equally to other applications up to the point of confirmation. Deferred entry is granted on the discretion of admissions staff, and is normally granted for one year only.

NB Some English Language test results, such as IELTS of TOEFL, are only valid from two years from the test date.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

We consider applicants who are resitting.

Contact: socialsciences@manchester.ac.uk

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you can apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.

In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may refer back to previous applications or registrations at the University.

If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should include additional evidence of your suitability for the course.

If you are applying through clearing you will need to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing places will be subject to availability.

Course details

Course description

Lois Uduje

Studying Philosophy has allowed me to explore new ways of thinking that I would never have otherwise come across.

All the lecturers here are very passionate about their subject, making it all the more interesting to learn.

Lois Uduje / BA Philosophy

Philosophy is the study of the most general and fundamental features of reality - including ourselves - and the knowledge and beliefs we have about that reality which are embodied in our concepts, theories and practices.

The BA (Hons) in Philosophy course enables you to learn how to develop and justify your own answers to some of the most fundamental and important questions:

  • Can I know that I'm not trapped inside The Matrix?
  • What makes something the morally right thing to do?
  • Do we have free will?
  • Does God exist?
  • Is the human mind just a lump of grey matter?

While we'll explain some of the existing answers to these questions, and the reasons why one might think those answers are correct, our focus is on learning how to critically assess these arguments and to develop and argue for your own answers.

You will develop useful skills including:

  • how to present an effective and rigorous argument;
  • how to develop criticisms of other people's arguments and views;
  • how to explain difficult material clearly and concisely; and
  • how to deal with the fact that on most of the questions in life, reasonable people can believe radically different things.

These skills are value for your career as well as in everyday life, whether you're deciding what to do, having an argument with a friend, or simply reading a newspaper.

Aims

  • Deliver structured yet flexible study, informed by current research, in which you critically evaluate, and think for themselves through philosophical arguments and problems.
  • Provide you with a curriculum where you study texts and questions central to the analytical tradition in philosophy and from outside that tradition.
  • Develop your subject-specific knowledge, cognitive, intellectual and transferable skills, preparing you for further academic study and employment.
  • Employ an appropriate variety of teaching and assessment methods and use learning resources effectively and efficiently.
  • Provide an effective induction programme, and academic and pastoral support to enhance your progress and academic development.

Teaching and learning

Course units feature formal lectures supported by smaller tutorials or seminars where you explore the contents of lectures and recommended reading in depth.

Tutorials and seminars are key to improving your written and oral communication skills through group discussions, essay-writing and presentations.

You are assigned an Academic Advisor who takes a friendly interest in your progress and can advise you on selecting course units and career opportunities.

Expert teaching

All permanent members of Philosophy teaching staff are internationally recognised researchers publishing their work in journals and books and giving talks around the world.

Coursework and assessment

In Years 1 and 2, course units are normally examined by a two-hour unseen exam (counting for two-thirds of the final mark) and approximately 3,000 words of essay work (counting for one-third of the final mark).

For course units in logic there are weekly worksheets, which form part of the assessment.

In Year 3 we deploy a broader range of assessment methods, including a second essay instead of an exam and oral presentations in tutorials. You also complete a dissertation in your final year.

Course content for year 1

Year 1 provides you with a grounding in philosophical traditions, themes and problems.

You can also take 20 credits in an outside subject such as Politics or a language course.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Ethics PHIL10021 20 Mandatory
Critical Thinking PHIL10042 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology PHIL10622 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Philosophy of Mind PHIL10631 20 Mandatory
Introduction to Political Theory POLI10702 20 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

You will develop and deepen your understanding of issues introduced in the first year, and can choose new and more advanced topics to explore.

You can also take 20 credits in an outside subject, a University College course or the Manchester Leadership Programme.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Jurisprudence LAWS20101 20 Optional
Formal Logic PHIL20042 20 Optional
Ethics PHIL20231 20 Optional
20th Century Analytical Philosophy PHIL20242 20 Optional
Philosophy of Science PHIL20262 20 Optional
Philosophy of Mind PHIL20271 20 Optional
Existentialism PHIL23001 20 Optional
Hegel and Marx PHIL23022 20 Optional
Arguing About Politics: Political Theory in the World POLI20602 20 Optional
Ideals of Social Justice POLI20881 20 Optional

Course content for year 3

Year 3 offers specialised and in-depth explorations of issues led by original researchers in the field. You also undertake a substantial independent piece of research on a topic of your choosing, and can study 20 credits in an outside subject.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation Semester 1 PHIL30001 20 Optional
Dissertation Semester 2 PHIL30002 20 Optional
Dissertation (40 credit) PHIL30030 40 Optional
Metaphysics PHIL30212 20 Optional
Language and Analysis PHIL30351 20 Optional
Philosophy of Psychology PHIL30362 20 Optional
Philosophy of Action PHIL30552 20 Optional
Personhood and Freedom of the Will PHIL30711 20 Optional
Philosophy of Mathematics PHIL30721 20 Optional
The Politics and Philosophy of Nationalism POLI30192 20 Optional
Political Morality and Dirty Hands POLI30271 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 3

Course content for year 4

If completing a year professional placement, you will take the Year 3 course content in Year 4.

What our students say

Read profiles of our students to find out more about studying Philosophy at Manchester.

Facilities

You will benefit from:

  • one of the UK's largest academic libraries;
  • 24/7 access to computer facilities; and
  • A variety of extra-curricular facilities, all in the heart of the UK's most popular student city.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

Our graduates have gone on to careers in a wide range of paths, reflecting the broad nature of our courses.

We have one of the best records for placing graduates with employers of any British university, and we are currently the joint most targeted university by top graduate recruiters in the UK.

Popular avenues include journalism and the media, charities, consultancy, the civil service, finance, marketing and PR, social work, teaching and the law.

Recent graduates now work for:

  • Manchester City Council;
  • Royal Bank of Scotland;
  • Palgrave MacMillan;
  • Lloyds TSB;
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office;
  • TeachFirst; and
  • Siemens.

Another option is postgraduate study in teaching, law, political theory and political economy, business and marketing, visual anthropology and social work.

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .  

You can also improve your employability by choosing course units in Year 2 from:

Find out more on the careers and employability .