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Study Philosophy in the United Kingdom

Study Philosophy in the United Kingdom

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Erudera's Complete Guide to Studying Philosophy in The UK

If there is one field that trains your mind to think critically, and helps in developing skills that are most relevant in today's job market is philosophy. While a degree in the field may not have the most obvious path to a career, as one of the oldest academic subjects it will equip you with knowledge that you can use in a number of professions. The field of philosophy, combined with the excellent education offered in the United Kingdom - which is a center of excellence for philosophy -, as well as the great lecturers you will be working with will have an enormous impact on the future of your career as a philosophy graduate. In addition to this, you will have the opportunity to choose between universities that have one of the best reputations in the world.

Reasons to Study Philosophy in the United Kingdom

Benefit from the Expertise of UK Universities

Studying philosophy in the United Kingdom means that you will study in some of the best universities in the world. These universities not only rank among the top universities for topics such as medicine, biology, chemistry, or mathematics, but for philosophy as well. The fact that the UK comes from a very strong legacy- having some of the oldest universities in the world, has made education in the UK become a benchmark for countries around the world.

Gain Transferable Skills

Graduating from a philosophy program in the United Kingdom will equip you with skills that can be transferred to a large number of careers. You will be taught to do research, think critically, solve problems, synthesize ideas, communicate effectively, and organize complex information into more understandable chunks. You will also gain a deeper understanding of some of the world’s fundamental questions like who we are, what is the meaning of life, or is there life after death, and be able to formulate your own opinions on these and many other questions or topics.

Module Variety

The United Kingdom is known for offering fantastic module variety. And, considering that philosophy as a field covers a large number of topics, it is great that universities in the United Kingdom offer so many options. During your degree you will design your own pathway, choosing from a wide range of modules. This will enable you to tailor your degree in line with your own interest, and if you need help to structure your options you will receive it from the expert academics of your university. The modules you can choose from focus on logic, knowledge, metaphysics, ethics, religion and politics, and not only.

Excellent Student Experience

One of the greatest reasons to study in the United Kingdom is the outstanding student experience delivered by the universities in the country. This may be one of the most important factors that play a role in the success of your studies. UK universities foster in their students a real sense of belonging to a community of learners, they equip you with expertise that prepares you for life beyond your studies, they promote student wellbeing and most importantly they make sure you achieve your full potential. Other ways that UK universities use to enhance your student experience is through trips, specialist lectures, visiting speakers, and not only.

Requirements

Typically, to be accepted into a bachelor’s or master’s program in the United Kingdom you will have to send the following documents:

BA

  • A levels
  • Personal Statement
  • Academic References
  • English language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS scores)

MA

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Work experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • English language proficiency

Application Process

All international students should follow the same application procedure as home students. This means that you will need to apply for an undergraduate degree in philosophy through the centralized admissions portal of the United Kingdom and that is UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). When applying through UCAS you will take the following steps:

  • Open an account
  • Fill out the required information
  • Choose up to five courses to whom you want to send your application
  • Make sure you write your name exactly as it appears on your passport or ID

You can apply for a postgraduate degree by registering with UCAS Postgraduate, but note that not all universities are part of this scheme. However, you should not worry since there are other application routes. You can apply directly to the university of your choice by visiting their website and sending an application through the university’s application portal.

Degree Duration: How Long Does It Take to Study Philosophy in the United Kingdom

Undergraduate courses in the field of philosophy usually take 3 years of full-time study to complete. However, in some cases, they can take up to 4 years. At the beginning of your studies, you will be introduced to broader modules that tackle some fundamental arguments and ideas. These modules may include ethics, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, political philosophy, metaphysics, etc.

On the other hand, the duration of postgraduate studies in the field of philosophy depends on the field in which you decide to specialize. You can choose to specialize in Contemporary European Philosophy, Philosophy of Social Sciences, Legal and Political Theory, Theology, Ecology and Ethics, Media and Communications, Psychological Sciences, Philosophy of Medicine and Psychiatry, etc. These courses usually take 1 to 2 years of full-time study to complete.

Tuition Fees: How Much Does It Cost to Study Philosophy in the United Kingdom

Tuition fees will be one of your additional costs while studying in the United Kingdom as an international student. What they cover exactly depends on the university in which you decide to study. Usually, these fees cover the cost of your tuition, registration fees, examination fees and graduation. However, there are universities whose tuition fees do not cover the above-mentioned costs.

Due to the large number of universities in the United Kingdom, tuition fees differ from one university to the other. However, the average tuition fees for an undergraduate degree in philosophy start from £16,855. Whereas, tuition fees for a postgraduate degree in philosophy start from £17,700. If you decide to study part-time, you will be charged 50% of the full-time fee set by your university.

Note that these fees are an estimated average and that there will be different fees depending on the university you choose to study.

Philosophy Career Prospects in the United Kingdom

Even though earning a philosophy degree may be a bit unfocused for some people, it is a degree that prepares you for plenty of career options. During their studies, philosophy graduates gain some abilities that can be transferred into a wide range of both academic and non-academic positions. Some of the careers where these skills can be integrated include:

  • Teaching
  • Politics
  • Advertising
  • Human Resources
  • Science
  • Law
  • Historian
  • Business etc.

Depending on the field a philosophy graduate specializes in, the yearly average salary ranges from $35,359 to $127,000 (£25,000 to £89,793).