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BA (Hons) - single BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) - combined

School of History, Philosophy and Culture

Can we understand what other people are thinking? Is morality real or just a matter of opinion? Is science the only source of truth? 

On this course you’ll tackle some of the most exciting and fundamental questions about human nature and our place in the world. You will not merely learn ‘about’ philosophy; you’ll be encouraged to become a philosopher in your own right.

Philosophy has a rich history, and we offer modules exploring the work of Plato and Aristotle, the Hellenistic Philosophers, Medieval Philosophy, Descartes and Hume and Kant. Alongside the history of philosophy you will also explore the philosophy of language, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, ethics and metaphysics.

We teach philosophy from a western, analytical perspective, but we also offer modules that look at eastern philosophy and issues around continental philosophy. We also offer teaching on experimental philosophy, an emerging field of philosophical inquiry that tests philosophical theories through observation and experience, rather than theory or pure logic.

We are a branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and we take philosophy to the wider world by organising an exciting programme of public lectures across the city.  You’ll be encouraged to get involved as much as possible in Philosophy outside of your lectures and tutorials. Get involved in our incredibly popular ‘philosophy with schools’ programme, where you’ll be trained to teach philosophy to children as an enriching educational activity for a placement in a local school.


Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Harcourt Hill Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: up to 6 years

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • We teach a wide range of different philosophies – Our team offers a wide range of expertise. Discover where Western and Eastern philosophies meet, learn the relevance of the great philosophers of old, and apply it to debates around contemporary concerns. 
  • Excellent teaching – by choosing Philosophy at Brookes you will be joining a lively community of students taught by lecturers who are deeply committed to sharing their enthusiasm for philosophy, and who have a proud tradition of giving students all the support they need to get the most out of their degree.
  • Think for yourself - you will develop the ability to ask challenging questions, reach reasoned conclusions and express yourself with clarity and precision, skills that will enhance your employment prospects.
  • Take philosophy outside the classroom – don’t limit your learning to the classroom and library. At Brookes you’ll have opportunities to explore philosophy through student-run reading groups, informal discussions with your tutors, or at one of the many events that take place on campus and in the city.

From day 1 we will encourage you to become a philosopher in your own right. You will engage with the thoughts of great thinkers, from Plato to Kant, and examine current developments in areas such as the philosophy of mind and language, to culture, gender and sexuality.

Our small, interactive classes will teach you to debate and discuss your ideas with confidence and develop your own opinions about what it means to be a philosopher.

Study modules

As courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Year 1


  • Introduction to Ethics
  • Theory of Knowledge
  • Introduction to Philosophy*
  • Reason and Argument*

*For combined honours students only these modules are compulsory

Optional modules

  • Global Philosophy in Religions
  • Human Nature
  • Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Year 2


  • Ancient Greek Philosophy*
  • Early Modern Philosophy*

*Combined honours students only need to take one of these modules as compulsory 

Optional modules

  • Continental Philosophy of Religion
  • Culture, Gender and Sexuality
  • Evolution and the Mind
  • Hellenistic Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Work and Community Related Learning

Year 3

  • Dissertation in Philosophy (compulsory for single honours)
  • Experimental Philosophy
  • Foundations of German Idealism
  • Freedom, Justice and Politics
  • Independent Study in Philosophy
  • Interdisciplinary Dissertation (only available to combined honours students)
  • Medieval Philosophy
  • Metaethics
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy of Education
  • Special Topics in Metaphysics
  • Thinking in Dark Times


Modules in detail » Module diagrams »


Work placements

You will have the opportunity to undertake a work and community-related learning module as part of your degree.  This module lets you pick your own work placement and write a reflective journal of 3000 words based on the experience. You can even use your  existing job as a basis for a study topic. For example if you work part-time in a  care home, you could write a project on memory loss in Alzheimer's patients, or look at issues of power and authority in the workplace.

We also offer you the chance to take part in the  ‘philosophy with schools’ programme. This voluntary programme offers you specialist training before embarking on a placement in a local school, teaching philosophy to children as an enriching educational activity.

Find out more about work placement opportunities in the School of History, Philosophy and Culture.

The work and community-related module is optional and if students choose to undertake a placement in a school then it is organised by the placement staff within the University. Students can also choose to undertake a different work and community related placement, however the student would be responsible for organising it themselves.

Travel and associated costs of all work placements are the responsibility of the student, therefore it is advised that they organise placements bearing this in mind. Oxfordshire based placements are accessible via public transport and can often be accessed by the Brookes Bus service, whilst placements in London will incur higher travel costs. It is encouraged that students explore opportunities for their placement provider to cover travel costs if they opt for a placement which is not local. 

Study abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Exchanges take place in the second year and most recently students have studied in Australia, Canada, Finland and the USA.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by: 

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.
  • While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Whilst on your year abroad tuition fees are paid as they would be if you remained in the UK, either to Oxford Brookes via your student loan or directly to Oxford Brookes according to your preference.

You will be responsible for all other costs such as accommodation, purchasing your airfares, travel and health insurance and any requisite visas. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards. 

There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Attendance pattern

You will have eight hours of lectures and seminars per week throughout semester time. This is supported by a range of events and activities (some organised by staff, others by students) to enhance your learning experience and ensure that you have a wide range of opportunities to perfect the skills that enable you to make the most of the course.

Additional costs

We do not expect students to purchase any compulsory course books, as they are all available in the library. If students wish to purchase additional books to supplement their reading this is at their own discretion.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Teaching and learning

Our aim is to help you to think for yourself and maximise your academic potential. You’ll find on campus a friendly and supportive environment in which you can develop your own thinking.

You’ll learn through a mix of interactive lectures, group discussions, seminars, online discussions and podcasts. You will also be encouraged to continue debating the issues outside the classroom by getting together with other students, and meeting staff informally to discuss your ideas.

We’ve structured the course in such a way to help you develop broader-ranging skills that will increase your confidence and help you later in life. You will be able construct cohesive arguments, structure your thoughts, keep an open mind, maintain a critical distance, and uncover the heart of an issue through a process of debate, reflection and argument. In your final year you will also develop your research skills. 

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 16%84%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 13%87%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 19%81%0%
2 19%82%0%
3 15%85%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 15%85%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 14%86%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 15%85%0%
2 11%89%0%
3 14%87%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 17%84%0%
2 16%84%0%
3 14%86%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 17%83%0%
2 14%86%0%
3 13%87%0%

Approach to assessment

You will be assessed through written coursework, exams and oral presentations.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 36%0%64%
2 0%0%100%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 34%0%66%
2 26%0%74%
3 8%3%89%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 54%0%46%
2 13%0%88%
3 13%0%88%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 53%0%47%
2 0%0%100%
3 0%0%100%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 43%0%57%
2 6%0%94%
3 13%0%88%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 42%0%58%
2 25%0%75%
3 6%0%94%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,150 2019/20: £13,410

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

A-Level: BBC or equivalent

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

IB Diploma: 30 points


If you accept a Conditional offer to this course as your Firm choice through UCAS, and the offer does not include a requirement to pass an English language test or improve your English language, we may be able to make the offer Unconditional. Please check your offer carefully where this will be confirmed for each applicant.

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offers quoted for each subject.

Applications are also welcomed for consideration from applicants with European qualifications, international qualifications or recognised foundation courses. For advice on eligibility please contact Admissions: admissions@brookes.ac.uk

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an  international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our  pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

International applicants

Apply direct »

For full-time study you can also apply through UCAS.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is a world-renowned centre for philosophy. The city is home to some of the best philosophy bookshops in the country, and hosts many events featuring world-leading philosophers.

Oxford Brookes also hold regular lectures with visiting philosophers covering a wide variety of philosophical debates that will complement your studies. Recent speakers have included Tim Crane, Emma Borg, Jennifer Saul, Stephen Mumford and James Garvey.

Specialist facilities

In 2012 Brookes became home to the regional branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and in this capacity the Brookes Philosophy team organises regular public events held in locations throughout Oxford.  For further information about these events and how you’ll be able to get involved, take a look at our Facebook page.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

Studying philosophy will help you to develop reasoning and communication skills that are highly prized by employers. Philosophy graduates work in a wide range of sectors including journalism and the media, the civil and diplomatic services, law, marketing, computing, management consultancy and counselling.

You can read more about the destinations of some of our recent graduates here.

Further study

You can stay at Oxford Brookes to continue your studies with us; we offer a MA by Research in Philosophy and also provide doctoral supervision. We have an active research community and pride ourselves on the high-quality supervision we give our research students, with each student being allocated at least two supervisors.

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