Key Information


Duration

3 years

Typical Offer

See More

Campus

Brayford Pool

UCAS Code

V500

Duration

3 years

Typical Offer

See More

Campus

Brayford Pool

UCAS Code

V500

Academic Years

Course Overview

Philosophers search for knowledge and truth, exploring the fundamental nature of reality and some of the most important questions about the world around us such as what is the self? What is a just society? Is free will an illusion? And, does God exist?

The Philosophy degree at Lincoln offers students the opportunity to study these questions and others through the lens of cutting-edge contemporary philosophical research, as well as the writings of the great philosophers, such as Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, Marx, and Wittgenstein.

The course makes high intellectual demands of students, and aims to develop the ability to think clearly, to construct and defend arguments, and be willing to explore a range of approaches to different topics.

Course Overview

Philosophers search for knowledge and truth, exploring the fundamental nature of reality and some of the most important questions about the world around us such as what is the self? What is a just society? Is free will an illusion? And, does God exist?

The Philosophy degree at Lincoln offers students the opportunity to study these questions and others through the lens of cutting-edge contemporary philosophical research, as well as the writings of the great philosophers, such as Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, Marx, and Wittgenstein.

The course makes high intellectual demands of students, and aims to develop the ability to think clearly, to construct and defend arguments, and be willing to explore a range of approaches to different topics.

Why Choose Lincoln

Subject ranked 4th in the UK for overall student satisfaction*

Study the work of Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, Marx, and Wittgenstein

Hear from experts at the Annual Philosophy Lecture

Opportunities to study abroad

Privileged access to the library at Lincoln Cathedral

A wide range of optional modules

*National Student Survey 2022 (out of 47 ranking institutions)

Students in a classroom setting

How You Study

The Philosophy programme at the University of Lincoln prides itself on offering a high level of philosophical training in both the 'analytical' and 'continental' traditions that have dominated the discipline since the early twentieth century, allowing students to find out what best caters to their own aims and interests.

The programme is designed to give students the tools to think seriously and independently about major philosophical questions. Students can develop valuable skills in reasoning, analysis, creative problem solving, and communication, which are relevant for a wide range of careers.

Over the duration of the programme, students are expected to develop an understanding of all the major fields in contemporary philosophy, including ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, epistemology, logic, philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, existentialism, legal and political philosophy, animal ethics, philosophy of love and sex, Indian philosophy, and philosophy of psychiatry and mental illness. Students are also introduced to major figures in the history of philosophy, such as Plato, Aristotle, Nagarjuna, Descartes, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Sartre, and Simone De Beauvoir. Studying original texts from great minds both past and present can help students learn to form, develop, and defend their own answers.

Students will explore these areas using the philosophical method of logical analysis and reasoned argument, and from the outset will be encouraged to develop their own views, and to critically assess the views of others.

As Philosophy will be a new subject for many students, the first year of the degree offers a chance to study a wide range of modules, with increasing specialisation in years two and three. The course is mainly delivered through a series of lectures and seminars. Each module usually consists of lectures in which topics are introduced and key concepts and ideas are examined and explained. Lectures also introduce the reading required for seminars.

Seminars are used to support lectures and are an opportunity for students to meet with a tutor in smaller groups and discuss the philosophical topic under consideration in greater depth. Occasionally workshops are used to work through a particular issue, question, or topic.

How You Study

The Philosophy programme at the University of Lincoln prides itself on offering a high level of philosophical training in both the 'analytical' and 'continental' traditions that have dominated the discipline since the early twentieth century, allowing students to find out what best caters to their own aims and interests.

The programme is designed to give students the tools to think seriously and independently about major philosophical questions. Students can develop valuable skills in reasoning, analysis, creative problem solving, and communication, which are relevant for a wide range of careers.

Over the duration of the programme, students are expected to develop an understanding of all the major fields in contemporary philosophy, including ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, epistemology, logic, philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, existentialism, legal and political philosophy, animal ethics, philosophy of love and sex, Indian philosophy, and philosophy of psychiatry and mental illness. Students are also introduced to major figures in the history of philosophy, such as Students are also introduced to major figures in the history of philosophy, such as Plato, Aristotle, Nagarjuna, Descartes, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Sartre, and Simone De Beauvoir. Studying original texts from great minds both past and present can help students learn to form, develop, and defend their own answers.

Students will explore these areas using the philosophical method of logical analysis and reasoned argument, and from the outset will be encouraged to develop their own views, and to critically assess the views of others.

As Philosophy will be a new subject for many students, the first year of the degree offers a chance to study a wide range of modules, with increasing specialisation in years two and three. The course is mainly delivered through a series of lectures and seminars. Each module usually consists of lectures in which topics are introduced and key concepts and ideas are examined and explained. Lectures also introduce the reading required for seminars.

Seminars are used to support lectures and are an opportunity for students to meet with a tutor in smaller groups and discuss the philosophical topic under consideration in greater depth. Occasionally workshops are used to work through a particular issue, question, or topic.

Modules


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Academic Skills for Philosophy 2023-24PHL1010MLevel 42023-24This module aims to support students in their adjustment to the demands of higher education by equipping students with the skills necessary to communicate their learning in an academic environment. The core objectives of the module are to develop students research and writing skills and to avoid plagiarism by correctly referencing their sources. Skills learned and dispositions developed on this module can prove vital for students' successful study throughout their degrees and afterwards.CoreGod, Evil, and the Meaning of life 2023-24PHL1007MLevel 42023-24The purpose of this module is to enable students to examine claims about the existence of God and the nature of religious faith. Among the major thinkers whose contributions to the philosophy of religion we will consider are Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein. Issues students can consider are whether religious statements are meaningful, whether the existence of evil counts strongly, or even conclusively, against the existence of God, whether religious beliefs are merely a projection of human desires, and whether the idea of life having a meaning stands and falls with the belief in God.CoreGreat Thinkers in Philosophy from Classical to Modern Times 2023-24PHL1003MLevel 42023-24This is a survey module introducing students to the main ideas of some of the key philosophical thinkers of both the pre-modern and modern periods that have helped to shape Western culture and philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Wittgenstein). As well as knowledge of what the great philosophers have said about the big questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind, this module aims to provide students with a map with which to navigate later developments in Western philosophy.CoreIntroduction to Moral Philosophy 2023-24PHL1004MLevel 42023-24This module is designed to introduce students to the three areas of discussion in contemporary moral philosophy. Metaethics is concerned with the nature of morality itself and questions such as Are there moral facts?, If there are moral facts, what is their origin?. Normative ethics is the attempt to provide a general theory that tells us how to live and enables us to determine what is morally right and wrong. Applied ethics involves the application of ethical principles to specific moral issues (e.g., abortion, euthanasia, animal rights) and the evaluation of the answers arrived at through this application. This module aims to introduce students to all three of these branches of ethics.CoreIntroduction to Philosophical Logic 2023-24PHL1002MLevel 42023-24This module introduces some of the basic ideas and concepts of philosophical logic and the technical vocabulary that is required for understanding contemporary philosophical writing. Students are introduced to logical concepts such as validity, soundness, consistency, possibility, necessity, contingency, inductive and deductive forms of argument, necessary and sufficient conditions, the rudiments of formalisation, and a range of logical fallacies. The emphasis will be on using logic to construct and evaluate arguments.CoreMind and Reality 2023-24PHL1005MLevel 42023-24This module aims to introduce students to some of the central questions in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind. For example: What is the self? What, if anything, makes you the same person you were when you were five years old? To what extent is the world of everyday experience mind-dependent? Is free will compatible with determinism the view that every event is causally necessitated by a prior event? What is the mind, and how does it relate to the body? Are we just highly complicated physical objects, or is the mind an immaterial or spiritual substance?CorePhilosophical Texts 2023-24PHL1008MLevel 42023-24This module introduces students to selected seminal works in the history of philosophy. Students will be required to develop a detailed knowledge of two texts and of relevant aspects of their historical background. Sample texts (which are subject to change in line with staff teaching availability) include Platos Meno, Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy, Berkeleys Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Humes An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Kants Prolegomena To Any Future Metaphysics.CorePhilosophy Through Film 2023-24PHL1009MLevel 42023-24Philosophy is not just a fascinating academic subject. It raises profound questions about the human condition and it is not surprising then that a contemporary medium like film frequently deals with philosophical issues. Philosophy through Film is a survey module in philosophy, where popular topics in various sub-fields in the discipline are studied and discussed as they are illustrated in a selection of films. Topics covered come from aesthetics, metaphysics, ethics, and the philosophy of mind. This introductory modules introduces students to some of the most fascinating and fundamental questions of philosophy.CoreWhat is Knowledge? 2023-24PHL1006MLevel 42023-24This module is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to some of the key issues in the theory of knowledge (epistemology). The main focus of the module is the nature of knowledge what is it, and what, if anything, can really be known? This leads on to questions about how knowledge relates to truth, belief, and justification, and to discussion of different kinds of knowledge (e.g., perceptual, religious, moral).CoreAesthetics 2024-25PHL2002MLevel 52024-25This module introduces students to philosophical questions about the nature of art and beauty. For example: What is art? Can anything be a work of art? Can a pile of elephant dung be art? Is beauty objectively real or only in the eye of the beholder? Can aesthetic judgements be right or wrong? Is Beethoven better than Beyoncé? Is Shakespeare better than Eastenders? Or are aesthetic disputes like deciding between the merits of different flavours of ice cream? Students can also consider questions that arise in relation to specific artforms: How is it possible to respond emotionally towards the plight of fictional characters that are known not to exist? Do rock/pop music and classical music require different aesthetic criteria for their appreciation and evaluation? Why do we take pleasure in the aesthetic representation of tragic events? Students will be guided through their reading of various classical and contemporary works on such issues, and encouraged to think for themselves about the problems addressed.CoreDissertations and Beyond 2024-25HST2020MLevel 52024-25This module aims to prepare students for designing their dissertation (independent study) proposals and for applying to jobs and postgraduate programmes. Students will explore how to prepare for and ensure success in their dissertations, employment, and study/research by identifying and articulating their transferable skills, breadth of knowledge, expertise, and interests. The module will provide information on how to become aware of opportunities, to plan and prepare for the future, and to build on their undergraduate careers.CoreExistentialism and Phenomenology 2024-25PHL2006MLevel 52024-25The aim of this module is to give students a thorough understanding of two intimately related philosophical traditions that came to prominence in the 19th and 20th centuries: existentialism and phenomenology. Each attempts to address the nature and meaning of human existence from the perspective of individual, first-person experience, focusing in particular on fundamental questions of being, meaning, death, nihilism, freedom, responsibility, value, human relations, and religious faith. The module will examine selected existential themes through the writings of thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus. Since existentialism is as much a artistic phenomenon as a philosophical one, students will also be given the opportunity to explore existentialist ideas in the works of various literary figures, such as Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, and Milan Kundera.CoreLanguage, Logic, and Reality 2024-25PHL2010MLevel 52024-25This module builds on the first-year module Mind and Reality, focusing in particular on fundamental questions about the nature of reality and how our thought can connect up with it. What and how do words mean? Must the world be the way it is? Are there non-existent things? And why does anything at all exist?CoreMinds and Machines 2024-25PHL2005MLevel 52024-25The purpose of this module is to develop students understanding of some of the major issues in contemporary philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence. What kind of entity is the mind? How does it relate to the brain? Can we explain consciousness in physical terms? Could a machine ever be conscious? Are we headed for the Singularitythe point in the future at which machine intelligence overtakes human intelligence and goes on to design exponentially more intelligent machines? If so, how intelligent can machine intelligence get? Where does the mind stop and machinery start? For example, could a neural implant or even a smartphone form part of your mind? Are we ourselves thinking machines?CorePhilosophy of Science 2024-25PHL2007MLevel 52024-25This module explores a range of philosophical questions relating to the nature of science. How are scientific theories developed? Are scientific theories discovered through a flash of genius or is something more methodical involved? How much of scientific discovery is down to careful observation? Do scientific theories tell us how the world really is? Do the entities scientific theories postulate atoms, electromagnetic waves, and so on really exist? Or are scientific theories merely useful models of reality? Is science independent of its social context? To what extent is scientific inquiry affected by gender, race or politics? Is there such a thing as truth that is not relative to a particular culture, social class or historical era? Drawing on accessible examples from a variety of scientific fields and by answering these and related questions, we shall try to reach an understanding of how science works.CoreTopics in Epistemology 2024-25PHL2008MLevel 52024-25This module builds on the first-year module What is Knowledge? to provide students with a more in-depth exploration of epistemology. Students can examine a range of issues in contemporary epistemology, including: the nature of epistemic justification (the internalism/externalism debate, the debates between foundationalists and coherentists), the analysis of knowledge, the role of contextual considerations in dealing with scepticism, social epistemology, virtue epistemology, a priori knowledge, and epistemic naturalism.CoreAnimal Ethics 2024-25PHL2009MLevel 52024-25The purpose of this module is to enable students to think critically about a range of issues in animal ethics. Do humans have obligations to other animals and, if so, what arethose obligations? Do animals matter morally or are they just things? Are animals persons? What follows ethically if animals are things? Does the property status of animals entail that animals cannot be anything other than things? What are some of the leading contemporary moral theories about animal ethics? Does the property status of animals make it impossible to apply the principle of equal consideration to animal interests? Can we justify the use of animals in science? Can we justify the use of animals for food? Can we justify the use of animals in other contexts, such as hunting? Is pet-ownership morally justifiable? What is the relationship between animal ethics and environmental ethics? How should we evaluate issues of animal ethics from various religious perspectives? Is the contemporary animal movement sound in terms of its methods?OptionalMoral Philosophy 2024-25PHL2004MLevel 52024-25This module aims to introduce students to some of the central concepts, issues, theories, and debates in an area of moral philosophy called "normative ethics", thereby providing them with a framework for thinking seriously about moral matters, and to assist them in developing their philosophical and analytical skills. We will distinguish and evaluate the leading positions on these issues through a range of more specific topics in normative ethics.OptionalStudy Period Abroad: History 2024-25HST2048MLevel 52024-25This module provides an opportunity for History students to spend a term studying at one of the Universitys partner institutions in North America or Europe. Students will be expected to cover their own transport, accommodation and living costs.OptionalPhilosophical Project 2025-26PHL3005MLevel 62025-26This is an extended piece of philosophical work that gives students opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills of critical thinking and philosophical analysis.CoreAncient Philosophy 2025-26PHL3013MLevel 62025-26This module will give students an opportunity to engage in close philosophical study of texts by the most influential ancient philosophers. Texts will be studied in English translation. They will include works by Plato and Aristotle, as well as by less familiar philosophers of the ancient world (c. 500 BC-500 AD Greece and Rome). The focus of the module will be philosophical, not interpretive or historical: students will be expected assess the credibility of the positions and arguments advanced by Plato, Aristotle and others and to develop their own views in dialogue with these thinkers.OptionalApplied Ethics 2025-26PHL3014Level 62025-26This module gives students the opportunity to build and demonstrate problem-solving skills in the context of applied philosophy. Students will be introduced to the interdisciplinary methods of applied ethics and examine together a series of selected applied ethics case studies, drawn from a variety of different areas including health care, climate justice, AI, beginning and end of life. Students will then work on an individual project which they will present in poster form at the end of the module. The module will give students a thorough grounding in applied ethics and enable them to evidence the key employability skill of problem-solving in the context of applied philosophy.OptionalAnarchy is order. Anarchism and social movements in Modern Europe 2025-26HST3055MLevel 62025-26This module will explore the different schools of thought and the political activities of the various groups and individuals that comprised the anarchist movement. Anarchism is a political doctrine based on freedom, egalitarianism and social justice and that developed in Europe as a political movement in the mid-XIX century. Anarchism never reached the ascendancy achieved by liberalism or communism; however, it had a significant influence on the political ideas, social movements, culture, and education of the international labour movement.OptionalClassical Indian Philosophy 2025-26PHL3016Level 62025-26This module provides an introduction to Indian philosophy and gives students the opportunity to study some of the classic texts of Indian philosophy in detail. While texts will be studied in English translation students can also gain a familiarity with the elements of classical Indian (principally Sanskrit) philosophical vocabulary. Topics will be drawn from both the astika (orthodox Hindu) schools such as Naya-Vaisheshika and Samkhya-Yoga and nastika schools such as Jainism and Buddhism, and will cover areas such as logic, epistemology, metaphysics, and linguistics. The focus of the module will be philosophical, not interpretive or historical. Students will be expected assess the credibility of the positions and arguments advanced by classical Indian thinkers and to develop their own views in dialogue with them.OptionalContemporary Problems in Philosophy 2025-26PHL3018Level 62025-26This module gives students the opportunity to engage with some key issues and contemporary debates in key areas of philosophy, such as epistemological relativism, the nature of consciousness, the nature of causation in science, the nature of the self. The precise topics addressed will vary from year to year and students will have input into the choice of topics. The aim of the module is to explore in-depth some significant contemporary philosophical issues and to enable students to develop and enhance their key philosophical and debating skills.OptionalElementary Greek I (Third Year) 2025-26CLS3016MLevel 62025-26This module aims to provide an introduction to the basics of Greek for students with little to no prior experience of the language. Students can gain the ability to translate and interpret sentences and short passages in prose and verse up to intermediate difficulty. This can aid sensitive reading of primary sources from the Classical world in translation, as well as in the original at higher levels of study.OptionalElementary Greek II (Third Year) 2025-26CLS3017MLevel 62025-26This module aims to provide a continued introduction to the basics of Greek for students with little to no prior experience of the language. Students can refine their ability to translate and interpret sentences and short to medium-length passages in prose and verse up to advanced difficulty. This helps develop a foundation for sensitive reading of primary sources from the Classical world in translation, as well as in the original at higher levels of study.OptionalElementary Latin I (Third Year) 2025-26CLS3032Level 62025-26This module aims to provide an introduction to the basics of Latin for students with little to no prior experience of the language. Students can gain the ability to translate and interpret sentences and short passages in prose and verse with confidence. This can aid sensitive reading of primary sources from the Classical world in translation, as well as in the original at higher levels of study. Please note: those students with A-Level Latin or equivalent, subject to successfully sitting a diagnostic Latin test before the first term of their first year, may choose to take The Medieval World or Empire and After: Colonialism and its Consequences instead of this module, however, they are required to continue their language studies in Elementary Latin II.OptionalElementary Latin II (Third Year) 2025-26CLS3013MLevel 62025-26This module aims to provide a continued introduction to the basics of Latin for students with little to no prior experience of the language. Students can refine their ability to translate and interpret sentences and short to medium-length passages in prose and verse up to advanced difficulty. This can aid sensitive reading of primary sources from the Classical world in translation, as well as in the original at higher levels of study.OptionalEthics and The Meaning of Life 2025-26PHL3010MLevel 62025-26The purpose of this module is to enable students to examine claims made about what, if anything, makes life meaningful by some of the major figures in the history of philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, St Augustine, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Marx). The module begins by considering the Question of Meaning itself. Is it intelligible? What is it to seek meaning in life? Is God necessary for life as a whole to have meaning? If so, and if God doesnt exist, what is an appropriate response to lifes absurdity or lack of meaning? Is suicide an ethically defensible response? Or can individual lives have meaning even if life as a whole has none? Could a life be meaningful even if it were entirely occupied with selfish or vicious activities? Could, for example, the life of a torturer be meaningful? Or must our lives have an ethical resonance to be meaningful? We will also consider nihilist views that the conditions necessary for meaning do not obtain, and metaethical debates about the nature of value in general.OptionalEugenics, Race and Reproduction across the Atlantic, 1800-1945 2025-26HST3095MLevel 62025-26This module explores the history of science, sexuality and politics in the UK, Continental Europe, the US and Latin America from 1850 to 2000. It will give students an excellent grounding in modern and contemporary history that will complement further modules at level 3 that deal with sexuality, gender, race, science and medicine. It module examines the controversial rise of eugenics movements as a global phenomenon. The purpose of this module is to sustain a balanced and informed discussion about how race, reproduction, and the improvement of human heredity have acquired great political relevance in the modern period. It explores how scientists and different governments became preoccupied with hereditary theories, race, reproduction and sexual behaviour. It examines how societies across the Atlantic developed government policies around areas such as family planning, pronatalism, sterilisation, and race, which culminated in the implementation of euthanasia programmes in Nazi Germany. This module looks at eugenics programmes and politics in a transnational context, exploring how, for example, Nazi Germanys sterilisation programmes were inspired by those already implemented in the US and how a number of Latin American countries adapted and transformed eugenics policies from Southern Europe and developed whitening policies.OptionalHistory Work Placement 2025-26HST3053MLevel 62025-26The module will give students practical experience of the workplace. Students will normally define, plan and undertake a specific project. In addition students will gain experience of a range of tasks appropriate to sector-specific professional skills.OptionalLegal and Political Philosophy 2025-26PHL3015Level 62025-26Political philosophy involves using philosophical methodology to understand the various institutions and concepts that are involved in organising and governing human society. One of those institutions is, of course, the law. Although political and legal philosophy are usually different modules, this module will combine these subjects and law will be one of the institutions that will be examined. After exploring some general question such as the state of nature, the justification of the state, and the issue of who should govern, the module will explore concepts of rights, justice, liberty, the distribution of property, the nature of law, law and morality, the rule of law, and the obligation obey the law.OptionalMad or Bad? Criminal Lunacy in Britain, 1800 1900 2025-26HST3085MLevel 62025-26This module explores how criminal lunatics - criminals who developed insanity in prison and individuals who committed a crime whilst insane - were represented and treated in nineteenth century Britain. Students can examine why some criminals were deemed insane and others were not; how criminal lunacy was defined in medicine and in law; how and why the institutions, people and practices for treating the criminal and criminal lunatic changed over the period; the role gender and class played in crimes, trials, diagnoses and treatment; and how criminality and criminal insanity were represented by laymen.OptionalMen, Sex and Work: Sexuality and Gender in 20th Century Britain 2025-26HST3073MLevel 62025-26The 20th century saw unprecedented social, economic, political and cultural change in Britain. However, the equally dramatic shifts in how sexuality and masculinity were experienced and represented are often ignored. This module aims to enable students to study the history of 20th Century Britain while using the lens of gender and sexuality to understand how ordinary men lived their lives. Students will get the opportunity to work with a wide variety of primary sources such as: court records, newspapers, film, photographs, music, autobiographies, oral history and literature.OptionalMetaethics 2025-26PHL3007MLevel 62025-26This module builds on the second-year module Moral Philosophy, focusing in particular on the central questions in metaethics: Do moral terms and judgements refer to moral properties, and if so, what are these properties like? Are any moral judgements true, and if so, are they true objectively, in virtue of moral properties that exist in the world? If there are objective moral truths, how can we know what they are? What implications do theories of moral reasoning and moral motivation have for the question of whether there are objective truths in ethics?OptionalNewton's Revolution 2025-26PHL3004MLevel 62025-26This module examines some of the philosophical issues raised by the Newtonian revolution in the natural sciences, such as: What is the nature of Newtons distinction between absolute and relative space? In what sense can forces be said to exist? What is the ontology of force? Is it sufficient to provide a mathematical definition of force (e.g., f=ma)? Is gravity a special kind of force with its own unique set of properties? What is the nature of action at a distance? Is Newtons view of space metaphysical? This is an interdisciplinary module that situates Newtonian science in its sociocultural context.OptionalNietzsche, Nihilism, and the Death of God 2025-26PHL3009MLevel 62025-26Friedrich Nietzsche famously proclaimed that the death of God would lead to a period of nihilism the view that life lacks meaning and value. But Nietzsche also saw the death of God as a liberating opportunity to move beyond traditional moral values, which he regarded as life-denying and stifling the potential of human beings. A central aim of Nietzsches philosophy, therefore, is to make his readers question the value of traditional morality. Are kindness, compassion, altruism, charity, and equality really valuable? Do such values promote the cultivation of great cultures and great human beings? Or are they simply what is most useful to, what Nietzsche called, the herd? All the major themes of Nietzsches philosophy will be considered: art, tragedy, genealogy, master and slave moralities, guilt, truth, self-creation, the Übermensch (or superman), the higher individual, life-affirmation, and eternal recurrence.OptionalPhilosophical Issues in Biology 2025-26PHL3003MLevel 62025-26The aim of this module is to examine some interesting puzzles in the ontology, epistemology, and metaphysics of biology. The module will address such questions as: How does natural selection explain the traits of organisms? How does the scientific method support biological sciences success? What are the appropriate aims for conservation biology? Can culture evolve? Is there an objective class of conditions that qualify as disease? Are there laws of evolution; and if not, is evolutionary biology a science? Are there biological natural kinds? Can Darwinism explain anything interesting about human mental and social life?OptionalPhilosophy of Evil 2025-26PHL3006MLevel 62025-26This module explores a variety of questions relating to the concept of evil, and introduces students to a range of philosophical theories of the nature of evil. Students can explore the language and ontology of evil, the concepts of radical and banal evil, and examine how the existence of evil is accounted for by key figures in the history of philosophy. Typically, questions to be considered include: Is evil an irreducibly theological concept? Are notions of evil relative to individuals or cultures? Is evil a positively existing force or is it the absence of some quality, as darkness is the absence of light? Why are humans capable of wickedness?OptionalPhilosophy of Love, Sex and Perversion 2025-26PHL3011MLevel 62025-26This module explores a range of philosophical questions that arise in relation to love and sexual desire. Can love be defined, or does it belong to the realm of the ineffable? Is love inherently irrational? Is it reducible to the reproductive or sexual drive? Do we love the other for his/her own sake, or is love always self-serving? Are jealousy and possessiveness really the enemy of successful love? Does all love stem from need or lack? What, if anything, is the difference between love and infatuation? And is, as Plato held, love a form of enslavement? In this module, students can address such questions through the lens of some of the greatest works in the Western philosophical tradition. We shall mostly consider reciprocal romantic love and investigate, among other things, its capacity to confer meaning and purpose upon life. We shall also explore the Freudian view that love involves regression to a situation in childhood in which we were perfectly safe, the search for love essentially being an attempt to recover this earlier form of security or wholeness. Can this need for wholeness ever be fully and stably fulfilled, or is, as Sartre argued, the project of love impossible? In addition, we shall reflect upon the nature of pornography, sadomasochism, and sexual perversion.OptionalPhilosophy of Psychiatry and Mental Illness 2025-26PHL3017Level 62025-26This module focuses on a range of philosophical questions relating to mental illness and its treatment. What makes a person mentally healthy or mentally unhealthy? What makes a conscious state psychotic or delusional? How might mental disorders be distinguished from non-disordered mental states and conditions? Would certain putative mental illnesses be better characterized as problems with living rather than as specifically medical conditions? Should, as per the prevailing tendency in contemporary psychiatry, the subjective experience of individuals suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression and schizophrenia, be understood chiefly in terms of a chemical imbalance, and accordingly treated by an adjustment to brain chemistry? Or should, as per the traditional psychoanalytic view, such conditions be understood as irreducibly tied to internal symbolic content to be decoded by the analyst and patient? We will also consider questions raised by particular psychopathologies. Is psychopathy best understood as a mental illness, and if so, is it appropriate to hold psychopaths responsible for their attitudes and actions? Are certain forms of cognition currently seen as neurological/ neuro-developmental disorders (e.g., autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) better understood as representing diverse or statistically atypical ways in which humans are capable of seeing and interacting with the world? These and other questions will be explored through the lens of recent literature in the analytic tradition as well as seminal texts in the history of the philosophy of mental illness (e.g., Freud, Foucault, R.D. Laing).OptionalThe Philosophy and History of Colour 2025-26PHL3008MLevel 62025-26The world as we encounter it in visual perception is a world of coloured objects red buses, yellow daffodils, blue skies, and the like. Colour raises a variety of perplexing philosophical puzzles concerning the nature of physical reality and our epistemic to the mental states of others. This module serves as an introduction to these issues. Some of the questions to be explored include: Do objects really have the colours we ordinarily take them to possess? If so, what sort of property is colour? Are colours really just impressions that exist only in the mind? If so, what causes these impressions? Do such impressions have representational content? What is the relationship between philosophical and scientific theories of colour? This is an interdisciplinary module that also explores issues relating to colour in art history and the history of science.OptionalTime, Space, and Ontology 2025-26PHL3012MLevel 62025-26This module builds on the first-year module Mind and Reality, and the second year module Language, Logic, and Reality, focusing in particular on fundamental questions about the nature of reality, such as the following. Does time have a direction? How do things exist through time? What, in the most general terms, exists? What more is there to causation than simply one event being followed by another? What more is there to laws of nature, than events of one type regularly being followed by events of another type?Optional

Modules


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Academic Skills for Philosophy 2024-25PHL1010MLevel 42024-25This module aims to support students in their adjustment to the demands of higher education by equipping students with the skills necessary to communicate their learning in an academic environment. The core objectives of the module are to develop students research and writing skills and to avoid plagiarism by correctly referencing their sources. Skills learned and dispositions developed on this module can prove vital for students' successful study throughout their degrees and afterwards.CoreGod, Evil, and the Meaning of life 2024-25PHL1007MLevel 42024-25The purpose of this module is to enable students to examine claims about the existence of God and the nature of religious faith. Among the major thinkers whose contributions to the philosophy of religion we will consider are Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein. Issues students can consider are whether religious statements are meaningful, whether the existence of evil counts strongly, or even conclusively, against the existence of God, whether religious beliefs are merely a projection of human desires, and whether the idea of life having a meaning stands and falls with the belief in God.CoreGreat Thinkers in Philosophy from Classical to Modern Times 2024-25PHL1003MLevel 42024-25This is a survey module introducing students to the main ideas of some of the key philosophical thinkers of both the pre-modern and modern periods that have helped to shape Western culture and philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Wittgenstein). As well as knowledge of what the great philosophers have said about the big questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind, this module aims to provide students with a map with which to navigate later developments in Western philosophy.CoreIntroduction to Moral Philosophy 2024-25PHL1004MLevel 42024-25This module is designed to introduce students to the three areas of discussion in contemporary moral philosophy. Metaethics is concerned with the nature of morality itself and questions such as Are there moral facts?, If there are moral facts, what is their origin?. Normative ethics is the attempt to provide a general theory that tells us how to live and enables us to determine what is morally right and wrong. Applied ethics involves the application of ethical principles to specific moral issues (e.g., abortion, euthanasia, animal rights) and the evaluation of the answers arrived at through this application. This module aims to introduce students to all three of these branches of ethics.CoreIntroduction to Philosophical Logic 2024-25PHL1002MLevel 42024-25This module introduces some of the basic ideas and concepts of philosophical logic and the technical vocabulary that is required for understanding contemporary philosophical writing. Students are introduced to logical concepts such as validity, soundness, consistency, possibility, necessity, contingency, inductive and deductive forms of argument, necessary and sufficient conditions, the rudiments of formalisation, and a range of logical fallacies. The emphasis will be on using logic to construct and evaluate arguments.CoreMind and Reality 2024-25PHL1005MLevel 42024-25This module aims to introduce students to some of the central questions in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind. For example: What is the self? What, if anything, makes you the same person you were when you were five years old? To what extent is the world of everyday experience mind-dependent? Is free will compatible with determinism the view that every event is causally necessitated by a prior event? What is the mind, and how does it relate to the body? Are we just highly complicated physical objects, or is the mind an immaterial or spiritual substance?CorePhilosophical Texts 2024-25PHL1008MLevel 42024-25This module introduces students to selected seminal works in the history of philosophy. Students will be required to develop a detailed knowledge of two texts and of relevant aspects of their historical background. Sample texts (which are subject to change in line with staff teaching availability) include Platos Meno, Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy, Berkeleys Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, Humes An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Kants Prolegomena To Any Future Metaphysics.CorePhilosophy Through Film 2024-25PHL1009MLevel 42024-25Philosophy is not just a fascinating academic subject. It raises profound questions about the human condition and it is not surprising then that a contemporary medium like film frequently deals with philosophical issues. Philosophy through Film is a survey module in philosophy, where popular topics in various sub-fields in the discipline are studied and discussed as they are illustrated in a selection of films. Topics covered come from aesthetics, metaphysics, ethics, and the philosophy of mind. This introductory modules introduces students to some of the most fascinating and fundamental questions of philosophy.CoreWhat is Knowledge? 2024-25PHL1006MLevel 42024-25This module is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to some of the key issues in the theory of knowledge (epistemology). The main focus of the module is the nature of knowledge what is it, and what, if anything, can really be known? This leads on to questions about how knowledge relates to truth, belief, and justification, and to discussion of different kinds of knowledge (e.g., perceptual, religious, moral).CoreAesthetics 2025-26PHL2002MLevel 52025-26This module introduces students to philosophical questions about the nature of art and beauty. For example: What is art? Can anything be a work of art? Can a pile of elephant dung be art? Is beauty objectively real or only in the eye of the beholder? Can aesthetic judgements be right or wrong? Is Beethoven better than Beyoncé? Is Shakespeare better than Eastenders? Or are aesthetic disputes like deciding between the merits of different flavours of ice cream? Students can also consider questions that arise in relation to specific artforms: How is it possible to respond emotionally towards the plight of fictional characters that are known not to exist? Do rock/pop music and classical music require different aesthetic criteria for their appreciation and evaluation? Why do we take pleasure in the aesthetic representation of tragic events? Students will be guided through their reading of various classical and contemporary works on such issues, and encouraged to think for themselves about the problems addressed.CoreDissertations and Beyond 2025-26HST2020MLevel 52025-26This module aims to prepare students for designing their dissertation (independent study) proposals and for applying to jobs and postgraduate programmes. Students will explore how to prepare for and ensure success in their dissertations, employment, and study/research by identifying and articulating their transferable skills, breadth of knowledge, expertise, and interests. The module will provide information on how to become aware of opportunities, to plan and prepare for the future, and to build on their undergraduate careers.CoreExistentialism and Phenomenology 2025-26PHL2006MLevel 52025-26The aim of this module is to give students a thorough understanding of two intimately related philosophical traditions that came to prominence in the 19th and 20th centuries: existentialism and phenomenology. Each attempts to address the nature and meaning of human existence from the perspective of individual, first-person experience, focusing in particular on fundamental questions of being, meaning, death, nihilism, freedom, responsibility, value, human relations, and religious faith. The module will examine selected existential themes through the writings of thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus. Since existentialism is as much a artistic phenomenon as a philosophical one, students will also be given the opportunity to explore existentialist ideas in the works of various literary figures, such as Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, and Milan Kundera.CoreLanguage, Logic, and Reality 2025-26PHL2010MLevel 52025-26This module builds on the first-year module Mind and Reality, focusing in particular on fundamental questions about the nature of reality and how our thought can connect up with it. What and how do words mean? Must the world be the way it is? Are there non-existent things? And why does anything at all exist?CoreMinds and Machines 2025-26PHL2005MLevel 52025-26The purpose of this module is to develop students understanding of some of the major issues in contemporary philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence. What kind of entity is the mind? How does it relate to the brain? Can we explain consciousness in physical terms? Could a machine ever be conscious? Are we headed for the Singularitythe point in the future at which machine intelligence overtakes human intelligence and goes on to design exponentially more intelligent machines? If so, how intelligent can machine intelligence get? Where does the mind stop and machinery start? For example, could a neural implant or even a smartphone form part of your mind? Are we ourselves thinking machines?CorePhilosophy of Science 2025-26PHL2007MLevel 52025-26This module explores a range of philosophical questions relating to the nature of science. How are scientific theories developed? Are scientific theories discovered through a flash of genius or is something more methodical involved? How much of scientific discovery is down to careful observation? Do scientific theories tell us how the world really is? Do the entities scientific theories postulate atoms, electromagnetic waves, and so on really exist? Or are scientific theories merely useful models of reality? Is science independent of its social context? To what extent is scientific inquiry affected by gender, race or politics? Is there such a thing as truth that is not relative to a particular culture, social class or historical era? Drawing on accessible examples from a variety of scientific fields and by answering these and related questions, we shall try to reach an understanding of how science works.CoreTopics in Epistemology 2025-26PHL2008MLevel 52025-26This module builds on the first-year module What is Knowledge? to provide students with a more in-depth exploration of epistemology. Students can examine a range of issues in contemporary epistemology, including: the nature of epistemic justification (the internalism/externalism debate, the debates between foundationalists and coherentists), the analysis of knowledge, the role of contextual considerations in dealing with scepticism, social epistemology, virtue epistemology, a priori knowledge, and epistemic naturalism.CoreAnimal Ethics 2025-26PHL2009MLevel 52025-26The purpose of this module is to enable students to think critically about a range of issues in animal ethics. Do humans have obligations to other animals and, if so, what arethose obligations? Do animals matter morally or are they just things? Are animals persons? What follows ethically if animals are things? Does the property status of animals entail that animals cannot be anything other than things? What are some of the leading contemporary moral theories about animal ethics? Does the property status of animals make it impossible to apply the principle of equal consideration to animal interests? Can we justify the use of animals in science? Can we justify the use of animals for food? Can we justify the use of animals in other contexts, such as hunting? Is pet-ownership morally justifiable? What is the relationship between animal ethics and environmental ethics? How should we evaluate issues of animal ethics from various religious perspectives? Is the contemporary animal movement sound in terms of its methods?OptionalMoral Philosophy 2025-26PHL2004MLevel 52025-26This module aims to introduce students to some of the central concepts, issues, theories, and debates in an area of moral philosophy called "normative ethics", thereby providing them with a framework for thinking seriously about moral matters, and to assist them in developing their philosophical and analytical skills. We will distinguish and evaluate the leading positions on these issues through a range of more specific topics in normative ethics.OptionalStudy Period Abroad: History 2025-26HST2048MLevel 52025-26This module provides an opportunity for History students to spend a term studying at one of the Universitys partner institutions in North America or Europe. Students will be expected to cover their own transport, accommodation and living costs.OptionalPhilosophical Project 2026-27PHL3005MLevel 62026-27This is an extended piece of philosophical work that gives students opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills of critical thinking and philosophical analysis.CoreAncient Philosophy 2026-27PHL3013MLevel 62026-27This module will give students an opportunity to engage in close philosophical study of texts by the most influential ancient philosophers. Texts will be studied in English translation. They will include works by Plato and Aristotle, as well as by less familiar philosophers of the ancient world (c. 500 BC-500 AD Greece and Rome). The focus of the module will be philosophical, not interpretive or historical: students will be expected assess the credibility of the positions and arguments advanced by Plato, Aristotle and others and to develop their own views in dialogue with these thinkers.OptionalApplied Ethics 2026-27PHL3014Level 62026-27This module gives students the opportunity to build and demonstrate problem-solving skills in the context of applied philosophy. Students will be introduced to the interdisciplinary methods of applied ethics and examine together a series of selected applied ethics case studies, drawn from a variety of different areas including health care, climate justice, AI, beginning and end of life. Students will then work on an individual project which they will present in poster form at the end of the module. The module will give students a thorough grounding in applied ethics and enable them to evidence the key employability skill of problem-solving in the context of applied philosophy.OptionalAnarchy is order. Anarchism and social movements in Modern Europe 2026-27HST3055MLevel 62026-27This module will explore the different schools of thought and the political activities of the various groups and individuals that comprised the anarchist movement. Anarchism is a political doctrine based on freedom, egalitarianism and social justice and that developed in Europe as a political movement in the mid-XIX century. Anarchism never reached the ascendancy achieved by liberalism or communism; however, it had a significant influence on the political ideas, social movements, culture, and education of the international labour movement.OptionalClassical Indian Philosophy 2026-27PHL3016Level 62026-27This module provides an introduction to Indian philosophy and gives students the opportunity to study some of the classic texts of Indian philosophy in detail. While texts will be studied in English translation students will also gain a familiarity with the elements of classical Indian (principally Sanskrit) philosophical vocabulary. Topics will be drawn from both the astika (orthodox Hindu) schools such as Naya-Vaisheshika and Samkhya-Yoga and nastika schools such as Jainism and Buddhism, and will cover areas such as logic, epistemology, metaphysics, and linguistics.OptionalContemporary Problems in Philosophy 2026-27PHL3018Level 62026-27This module gives students the opportunity to engage with some key issues and contemporary debates in key areas of philosophy, such as epistemological relativism, the nature of consciousness, the nature of causation in science, the nature of the self. The precise topics addressed will vary from year to year and students will have input into the choice of topics. The aim of the module is to explore in-depth some significant contemporary philosophical issues and to enable students to develop and enhance their key philosophical and debating skills.OptionalElementary Greek I (Third Year) 2026-27CLS3016MLevel 62026-27This module aims to provide an introduction to the basics of Greek for students with little to no prior experience of the language. Students can gain the ability to translate and interpret sentences and short passages in prose and verse up to intermediate difficulty. This can aid sensitive reading of primary sources from the Classical world in translation, as well as in the original at higher levels of study.OptionalElementary Greek II (Third Year) 2026-27CLS3017MLevel 62026-27This module aims to provide a continued introduction to the basics of Greek for students with little to no prior experience of the language. Students can refine their ability to translate and interpret sentences and short to medium-length passages in prose and verse up to advanced difficulty. This helps develop a foundation for sensitive reading of primary sources from the Classical world in translation, as well as in the original at higher levels of study.OptionalElementary Latin I (Third Year) 2026-27CLS3032Level 62026-27This module aims to provide an introduction to the basics of Latin for students with little to no prior experience of the language. Students can gain the ability to translate and interpret sentences and short passages in prose and verse with confidence. This can aid sensitive reading of primary sources from the Classical world in translation, as well as in the original at higher levels of study. Please note: those students with A-Level Latin or equivalent, subject to successfully sitting a diagnostic Latin test before the first term of their first year, may choose to take The Medieval World or Empire and After: Colonialism and its Consequences instead of this module, however, they are required to continue their language studies in Elementary Latin II.OptionalElementary Latin II (Third Year) 2026-27CLS3013MLevel 62026-27This module aims to provide a continued introduction to the basics of Latin for students with little to no prior experience of the language. Students can refine their ability to translate and interpret sentences and short to medium-length passages in prose and verse up to advanced difficulty. This can aid sensitive reading of primary sources from the Classical world in translation, as well as in the original at higher levels of study.OptionalEthics and The Meaning of Life 2026-27PHL3010MLevel 62026-27The purpose of this module is to enable students to examine claims made about what, if anything, makes life meaningful by some of the major figures in the history of philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, St Augustine, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Marx). The module begins by considering the Question of Meaning itself. Is it intelligible? What is it to seek meaning in life? Is God necessary for life as a whole to have meaning? If so, and if God doesnt exist, what is an appropriate response to lifes absurdity or lack of meaning? Is suicide an ethically defensible response? Or can individual lives have meaning even if life as a whole has none? Could a life be meaningful even if it were entirely occupied with selfish or vicious activities? Could, for example, the life of a torturer be meaningful? Or must our lives have an ethical resonance to be meaningful? We will also consider nihilist views that the conditions necessary for meaning do not obtain, and metaethical debates about the nature of value in general.OptionalEugenics, Race and Reproduction across the Atlantic, 1800-1945 2026-27HST3095MLevel 62026-27This module explores the history of science, sexuality and politics in the UK, Continental Europe, the US and Latin America from 1850 to 2000. It will give students an excellent grounding in modern and contemporary history that will complement further modules at level 3 that deal with sexuality, gender, race, science and medicine. It module examines the controversial rise of eugenics movements as a global phenomenon. The purpose of this module is to sustain a balanced and informed discussion about how race, reproduction, and the improvement of human heredity have acquired great political relevance in the modern period. It explores how scientists and different governments became preoccupied with hereditary theories, race, reproduction and sexual behaviour. It examines how societies across the Atlantic developed government policies around areas such as family planning, pronatalism, sterilisation, and race, which culminated in the implementation of euthanasia programmes in Nazi Germany. This module looks at eugenics programmes and politics in a transnational context, exploring how, for example, Nazi Germanys sterilisation programmes were inspired by those already implemented in the US and how a number of Latin American countries adapted and transformed eugenics policies from Southern Europe and developed whitening policies.OptionalHistory Work Placement 2026-27HST3053MLevel 62026-27The module will give students practical experience of the workplace. Students will normally define, plan and undertake a specific project. In addition students will gain experience of a range of tasks appropriate to sector-specific professional skills.OptionalLegal and Political Philosophy 2026-27PHL3015Level 62026-27This module gives students an opportunity to apply what they have learned in terms of philosophical methodology and analysis to issues involving political and legal institutions. For example, most people use concepts such as rights or justice in their everyday life, but few could articulate what those concepts mean. This makes discourse about political and legal matters difficult because there is no clarity, let alone agreement, about the concepts being used.OptionalMad or Bad? Criminal Lunacy in Britain, 1800 1900 2026-27HST3085MLevel 62026-27This module explores how criminal lunatics - criminals who developed insanity in prison and individuals who committed a crime whilst insane - were represented and treated in nineteenth century Britain. Students can examine why some criminals were deemed insane and others were not; how criminal lunacy was defined in medicine and in law; how and why the institutions, people and practices for treating the criminal and criminal lunatic changed over the period; the role gender and class played in crimes, trials, diagnoses and treatment; and how criminality and criminal insanity were represented by laymen.OptionalMen, Sex and Work: Sexuality and Gender in 20th Century Britain 2026-27HST3073MLevel 62026-27The 20th century saw unprecedented social, economic, political and cultural change in Britain. However, the equally dramatic shifts in how sexuality and masculinity were experienced and represented are often ignored. This module aims to enable students to study the history of 20th Century Britain while using the lens of gender and sexuality to understand how ordinary men lived their lives. Students will get the opportunity to work with a wide variety of primary sources such as: court records, newspapers, film, photographs, music, autobiographies, oral history and literature.OptionalMetaethics 2026-27PHL3007MLevel 62026-27This module builds on the second-year module Moral Philosophy, focusing in particular on the central questions in metaethics: Do moral terms and judgements refer to moral properties, and if so, what are these properties like? Are any moral judgements true, and if so, are they true objectively, in virtue of moral properties that exist in the world? If there are objective moral truths, how can we know what they are? What implications do theories of moral reasoning and moral motivation have for the question of whether there are objective truths in ethics?OptionalNewton's Revolution 2026-27PHL3004MLevel 62026-27This module examines some of the philosophical issues raised by the Newtonian revolution in the natural sciences, such as: What is the nature of Newtons distinction between absolute and relative space? In what sense can forces be said to exist? What is the ontology of force? Is it sufficient to provide a mathematical definition of force (e.g., f=ma)? Is gravity a special kind of force with its own unique set of properties? What is the nature of action at a distance? Is Newtons view of space metaphysical? This is an interdisciplinary module that situates Newtonian science in its sociocultural context.OptionalNietzsche, Nihilism, and the Death of God 2026-27PHL3009MLevel 62026-27Friedrich Nietzsche famously proclaimed that the death of God would lead to a period of nihilism the view that life lacks meaning and value. But Nietzsche also saw the death of God as a liberating opportunity to move beyond traditional moral values, which he regarded as life-denying and stifling the potential of human beings. A central aim of Nietzsches philosophy, therefore, is to make his readers question the value of traditional morality. Are kindness, compassion, altruism, charity, and equality really valuable? Do such values promote the cultivation of great cultures and great human beings? Or are they simply what is most useful to, what Nietzsche called, the herd? All the major themes of Nietzsches philosophy will be considered: art, tragedy, genealogy, master and slave moralities, guilt, truth, self-creation, the Übermensch (or superman), the higher individual, life-affirmation, and eternal recurrence.OptionalPhilosophical Issues in Biology 2026-27PHL3003MLevel 62026-27The aim of this module is to examine some interesting puzzles in the ontology, epistemology, and metaphysics of biology. The module will address such questions as: How does natural selection explain the traits of organisms? How does the scientific method support biological sciences success? What are the appropriate aims for conservation biology? Can culture evolve? Is there an objective class of conditions that qualify as disease? Are there laws of evolution; and if not, is evolutionary biology a science? Are there biological natural kinds? Can Darwinism explain anything interesting about human mental and social life?OptionalPhilosophy of Evil 2026-27PHL3006MLevel 62026-27This module explores a variety of questions relating to the concept of evil, and introduces students to a range of philosophical theories of the nature of evil. Students can explore the language and ontology of evil, the concepts of radical and banal evil, and examine how the existence of evil is accounted for by key figures in the history of philosophy. Typically, questions to be considered include: Is evil an irreducibly theological concept? Are notions of evil relative to individuals or cultures? Is evil a positively existing force or is it the absence of some quality, as darkness is the absence of light? Why are humans capable of wickedness?OptionalPhilosophy of Love, Sex and Perversion 2026-27PHL3011MLevel 62026-27This module explores a range of philosophical questions that arise in relation to love and sexual desire. Can love be defined, or does it belong to the realm of the ineffable? Is love inherently irrational? Is it reducible to the reproductive or sexual drive? Do we love the other for his/her own sake, or is love always self-serving? Are jealousy and possessiveness really the enemy of successful love? Does all love stem from need or lack? What, if anything, is the difference between love and infatuation? And is, as Plato held, love a form of enslavement? In this module, students can address such questions through the lens of some of the greatest works in the Western philosophical tradition. We shall mostly consider reciprocal romantic love and investigate, among other things, its capacity to confer meaning and purpose upon life. We shall also explore the Freudian view that love involves regression to a situation in childhood in which we were perfectly safe, the search for love essentially being an attempt to recover this earlier form of security or wholeness. Can this need for wholeness ever be fully and stably fulfilled, or is, as Sartre argued, the project of love impossible? In addition, we shall reflect upon the nature of pornography, sadomasochism, and sexual perversion.OptionalPhilosophy of Psychiatry and Mental Illness 2026-27PHL3017Level 62026-27This module focuses on a range of philosophical questions relating to mental illness and its treatment. What makes a person mentally healthy or mentally unhealthy? What makes a conscious state psychotic or delusional? How might mental disorders be distinguished from non-disordered mental states and conditions? Would certain putative mental illnesses be better characterized as problems with living rather than as medical conditions? We will also consider questions raised by particular psychopathologies. Questions will be explored through the lens of recent literature in the analytic tradition, as well as seminal texts in the history of the philosophy of mental illness (e.g., Freud, Foucault, R.D. Laing).OptionalThe Philosophy and History of Colour 2026-27PHL3008MLevel 62026-27The world as we encounter it in visual perception is a world of coloured objects red buses, yellow daffodils, blue skies, and the like. Colour raises a variety of perplexing philosophical puzzles concerning the nature of physical reality and our epistemic to the mental states of others. This module serves as an introduction to these issues. Some of the questions to be explored include: Do objects really have the colours we ordinarily take them to possess? If so, what sort of property is colour? Are colours really just impressions that exist only in the mind? If so, what causes these impressions? Do such impressions have representational content? What is the relationship between philosophical and scientific theories of colour? This is an interdisciplinary module that also explores issues relating to colour in art history and the history of science.OptionalTime, Space, and Ontology 2026-27PHL3012MLevel 62026-27This module builds on the first-year module Mind and Reality, and the second year module Language, Logic, and Reality, focusing in particular on fundamental questions about the nature of reality, such as the following. Does time have a direction? How do things exist through time? What, in the most general terms, exists? What more is there to causation than simply one event being followed by another? What more is there to laws of nature, than events of one type regularly being followed by events of another type?Optional

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

This course use a variety of assessment methods including essays, podcasts, student-led presentations, and in-class exams.

The University of Lincoln's policy is to ensure that staff return assessments to students promptly.

How you are assessed

This course use a variety of assessment methods including essays, podcasts, student-led presentations, and in-class exams.

The University of Lincoln's policy is to ensure that staff return assessments to students promptly.

Features

Lincoln is home to the Lincoln Philosophy Salon, which holds monthly talks in a local pub from world-leading professional philosophers. This is a thriving organisation with a membership of around 600 people, which provides a great opportunity for students to interact socially with staff and to discuss cutting-edge ideas with some of the most important living philosophers working today.

In addition, the Undergraduate Philosophy Society, which is run by students, organises talks and social events for students interested in Philosophy. We also hold an annual philosophy lecture, bringing a philosopher of international standing to Lincoln to give a talk on a topic of their choosing.

Study Abroad

Students within the School of Humanities and Heritage have the opportunity to spend a term studying at one of the University’s partner institutions in North America or Europe. Students will be expected to cover their own transport, accommodation, and living costs while studying abroad, and places are allocated competitively, subject to academic criteria.

The thing that has stuck with me most from the course is that we are being taught to be philosophers rather than simply remembering what others have said.

What Can I Do with a Philosophy Degree?

The range of fundamental skills involved in the study of philosophy, such as critical thinking and the ability to analyse and communicate complex ideas clearly and logically, can equip graduates for a wide range of careers. The strong research focus in our advanced modules, and the fact that students can research and write an independent dissertation during the third year, aim to develop highly transferable research skills.

Entry Requirements 2023-24

United Kingdom

A Level: BBC (112 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A levels or equivalent qualifications).

International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit or equivalent.

T Level: Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 112 UCAS Tariff points.

A combination of qualifications which may include A Levels, BTEC, EPQ etc

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, which must include English. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may be considered.

The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry. We will also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.

International

Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/ for information on equivalent qualifications.

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/pre-sessionalenglishandacademicstudyskills/

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email admissions@lincoln.ac.uk

Entry Requirements 2024-25

United Kingdom

112 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of 3 A Levels or equivalent qualifications.

A Levels: BBC.

International Baccalaureate: 29 points overall.

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit or equivalent.

T Level: Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits with a minimum of 112 UCAS Tariff points.

Applicants will also need at least three GCSEs at grade 4 or above, which must include English. Equivalent Level 2 qualifications may be considered.

The University accepts a wide range of qualifications as the basis for entry and do accept a combination of qualifications which may include A Levels, BTECs, EPQ etc.

We will also consider applicants with extensive and relevant work experience and will give special individual consideration to those who do not meet the standard entry qualifications.

International

Non UK Qualifications:

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/ for information on equivalent qualifications.

EU and Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-sessional English and Academic Study Skills courses.

https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/pre-sessionalenglishandacademicstudyskills/

For applicants who do not meet our standard entry requirements, our Arts Foundation Year can provide an alternative route of entry onto our full degree programmes:
https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/course/afyafyub/

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or email admissions@lincoln.ac.uk

Fees and Scholarships

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. The University of Lincoln offers a variety of merit-based and subject-specific bursaries and scholarships. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course -Specific Additional Costs

Students will be expected to cover their own transport, accommodation, and living costs if studying abroad.

Fees and Scholarships

Going to university is a life-changing step and it's important to understand the costs involved and the funding options available before you start. A full breakdown of the fees associated with this programme can be found on our course fees pages.

Course Fees

For eligible undergraduate students going to university for the first time, scholarships and bursaries are available to help cover costs. The University of Lincoln offers a variety of merit-based and subject-specific bursaries and scholarships. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course -Specific Additional Costs

Students will be expected to cover their own transport, accommodation, and living costs if studying abroad.

Find out More at an Open Day

The best way to find out what it is really like to live and learn at Lincoln is to join us for one of our Open Days. Visiting us in person is important and will help you to get a real feel for what it might be like to study here.

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Three students walking together on campus in the sunshine
The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.