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CV85 Philosophy and Psychology BA Undergraduate  2019


UCAS code CV85
Degree BA
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 3 Years
Location Durham City
Typical Offers A Level
International Baccalaureate
Please also check Requirements and Admissions.
Alternative qualifications

Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 6550

Course Summary


The study of philosophy at Durham does not follow one particular school. The Department is unique in the UK in its wide-ranging expertise in Anglo-American analytical philosophy and Continental philosophy. Each of these has its own distinctive set of issues and approaches to resolving them. We also have special expertise in the philosophy of science, and social science, and the history of science and medicine. So at Durham, you will follow one of the widest-ranging philosophy degrees in the country.

At Durham, you will have the opportunity to study Philosophy as a Single Honours degree, or with another subject including: English, Psychology, Politics or Theology. Philosophy can also be combined in a Joint Honours degree within the Natural Sciences programme or as part of a Combined Honours degree.

Philosophy is a new subject for many students, so in your first year you follow a range of introductory courses, introducing the fundamental philosophical subject areas.

Year 1

In their first year, all students take the Philosophy core modules of Ethics and Values, and Knowledge and Reality. These concern the two broad divisions of Philosophy, into Metaphysics and Theory of Knowledge on the one hand, and Moral Philosophy on the other. Students also take either Introduction to Logic or Reading Philosophy. Reading Philosophy is a text-based course which examines in depth classic works by writers such as Plato, Hume and Sartre.

In Psychology, students take a number of comparable core modules.

Years 2 and 3

In the second year, all students take Philosophy of Mind.

In the second and third years, students have a choice of a wide range of topics. In previous years these have included:

  • Moral Theory
  • Modern Philosophy I and II
  • Gender, Film and Society
  • Issues in Contemporary Ethics
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Political Philosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • Language, Logic and Reality
  • Twentieth Century European Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
  • The Philosophy of Economics and Politics: Theory, Methods and Values
  • Victorian Science and Religion
  • Applied Ethics
  • Philosophical Issues in Contemporary Science
  • History and Philosophy of Psychiatry
  • Biomedical Ethics Past and Present. 

There is a comparable choice within Psychology. You will also have the opportunity to study a subject in depth, by writing a substantial Dissertation of your choice.

Philosophy and Psychology students may wish to take advantage of the Philosophy Department’s special expertise in the history and philosophy of science. The study of the history of science involves looking at the development of science as the way of explaining events in the natural world, and considering it critically as a belief system in relation to other belief systems and dogmas. The study of the philosophy of science raises philosophical questions about scientific method and about the various metaphysical assumptions upon which scientific theories depend. Philosophy of Mind is also a subject of cross-disciplinary importance, in which philosophers often engage with contemporary developments in Psychology.

We review course structures and core content (in light of e.g. external and student feedback) every year, and will publish finalised core requirements for 2019 entry from September 2018.

Course Detail

To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.

Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • To study Philosophy and Psychology you must have AAA at A Level, or the equivalent, in arts or science subjects. Philosophy at AS or A Level is not a requirement.
  • For Philosophy and Psychology you will also need at least a Grade C in GCSE Mathematics or equivalent
  • Please note we do not accept General Studies or Critical Thinking as part of our offer
  • Typical IB score 37 to include 666 in higher level subjects. Standard level subject requirements apply, see above  
  • We consider each application holistically. Whilst academic achievement is important, it is not the only factor that we consider when assessing applications and applicants who have achieved, or are predicted to achieve, close to our typical offer, but who have not met it exactly, will be welcome to apply if they have a strong application in other key elements, for example can demonstrate merit and potential through their personal statement or their reference. 
  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study.
  • An interview may form part of the entry requirements for mature students with non-standard qualifications.
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

Science A Levels

Applicants taking Science A Levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A Levels with an English examination board.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Information relevant to your country

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £9,250.00 per year
Home Student £9,250.00 per year
Island Student £9,250.00 per year
International non-EU Student £19,250.00 per year

Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding 

Career Opportunities


Of thse students who graduated in 2016:

  • 80% are in paid employment or further study 6 months after graduation

Of those in employment:

  • 72% are in graduate level employment
  • Median salary £21,613

(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2015/16 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. Full definitions for the DLHE Record can be found here:

We are committed to preparing our students for life beyond university. You will enter the workplace with knowledge directly relevant to careers in Psychology, but also with great analytical and problem-solving skills, in demand from a wide range of professions.

BPS Accreditation

A 2.1 or 1st class degree from Durham is accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, which is the first step in your career as a psychologist.


Many of our graduates go on to successful careers both inside and outside of Psychology. These commonly include:
  • Ph.D. or Masters degree in Psychology
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Human Resources
  • Law (via conversion course)
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Speech & Language Therapy (via conversion course)
  • Teaching (PGCE Primary or Secondary)

Careers support

From your first week at university until after you leave, we will support you to find the right career. We offer:

  • An academic advisor, who will stay with you across your 3-year degree and help you think through careers options, as well as provide references for you.
  • The Durham Award, an award recognised by employers which rewards skills development.
  • A Psychology Employability Retreat. During these dedicated few days, usually held in some of the beautiful countryside around Durham, staff help students with careers and CVs in a small-group or one-on-one setting. This is very highly rated by our students, and demonstrates our committment to helping each student find the right path for them.
  • The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre help you to find suitable vacancies. They organise talks from professionals such as Educational, Clinical and Forensic Psychologists. They develop your employability skills through workshops on CVs, applications, interviews, commercial awareness, and leadership. You can continue to use this fantastic service in the year after you graduate.
  • Graduate careers fairs attended by a wide range of recruiters.


Dr Andreas Pantazatos<br>Employability Officer

Durham Philosophy graduates possess skills in critical thinking, logical analysis and the clear communication of complex information that make them much sought after in many professional walks of life. Our research-led teaching ensures that they are not only well informed about the latest developments in Philosophy, but also competent researchers in their own right, able to think for themselves and tackle problems imaginatively. Philosophy at Durham is not an 'ivory tower' subject and students are taught to relate theory to practice and see the relevance of their studies to everyday life. Our broad programme covers all major areas of Philosophy and includes modules in moral philosophy (e.g. Applied Ethics and Biomedical Ethics), Political Philosophy, Science & Religion, History & Philosophy of Psychiatry and Theory, Literature and Society which explicitly apply philosophical techniques to real-world problems.

All students in their final year write a long dissertation that provides an excellent opportunity for them to put the final edge on their analytical, research and presentational skills. Some Durham Philosophy graduates proceed to higher-degree study and an academic career; others enter a wide range of professions including the law and civil service, management, public relations, teaching, marketing, retail and financial services. In the 2012 Complete University Guide, Durham Philosophy graduates rank joint-second in the UK for 'graduate prospects'.

Of those students that left in 2016:

- 84% are in employment or further study six months after graduating

Of those in employment:

- 81% are in graduate level employment
- Median salary £23,038

(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2015/16 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. Full definitions for the DLHE Record can be found

A significant number of students progress onto higher level study following their degree in Philosophy. Many remain within their academic field of interest and pursue a Masters, notably at Durham but also at other prestigious institutions including the London School of Economics and Cambridge. Others take a different route and pursue professional postgraduate programmes in law, finance and teaching to name but a few.

Employability development opportunities

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works closely with the Philosophy Department. The link Careers Adviser delivers presentations to each year group on topics relevant to that stage of their academic career. These cover career decision making, successful applications and interviews, and advice for those considering further study. Q & A sessions are also available in which students can ask the adviser anything about their future career plans or ideas.

Durham University Philosophy graduates enter a wide range of career areas including publishing, retail, marketing, business and finance. Our graduates find employment with leading employers in both the public and private sectors such as British Telecom, The Royal Society of Medicine, Goldman Sachs, Government Olympic Committee, KPMG, The Royal Navy and PwC. Specific roles our graduates have progressed into include marketing graduate, trainee accountant, international financial analyst, account manager and press publishing administrator.

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.

Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place:

Discover Durham Tours

Discover Durham tours offer a brief introduction to the University. The tour begins at one of our undergraduate colleges, where you will receive an introductory talk from a member of college staff, followed by a tour of the college by current students.

Overseas Visit Schedule

Department Information



Psychology aims to understand and improve how people perceive, think, act, react and interact.

In a Psychology degree at Durham, you will examine all aspects of behaviour, by investigating the processes underpinning the thoughts,
feelings and motivations behind our actions.

Durham is one of the leading Psychology departments in the UK. You will receive a genuinely research-led education. As well as learning the core principles of Psychology, you will participate in research through seminars, conferences and research assistantship schemes. You
will also have access to our world-leading clinical and experimental facilities, including motion capture, eye tracking and biophysical
recording laboratories.

Our degree is accredited as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society.  This will allow you to qualify as a professional psychologist. However, the degree also provides you with an excellent variety of skills and abilities that are transferable to a diverse array of professions.


  • 93% of our Psychology students were satisfied with the quality of their course in the National Student Survey 2017 (sector-wide average 85%)
  • 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018
  • 6th in the Complete University Guide 2018.


For a current list of staff, please see the Psychology Department web pages.


Our extensive suite of research tools allows us to take advantage of such techniques as functional brain imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), event-related potentials (ERPs) visuomotor performance, eye tracking and biophysiological recording. Along with this we have extensive Child and Baby Laboratories as well as a wide variety of laboratory space. We have excellent facilities across both the Queen’s and Durham Campuses, with suites of teaching laboratories which are well-stocked with networked IT equipment. All facilities across both campuses are conveniently located close to other departments, the University Libraries and the Computer Centre. We use IT systems such as email and web-based databases and discussion boards as a matter of routine and all first-year students are introduced to these systems. You will also have access to the campus computer network.

We are a friendly community of staff, students and research workers in purpose-built modern buildings. Students across both degrees have their own common rooms which allow them to spend time and socialise with other members of their course. The Department also has a study library, which contains the main course text books, copies of papers referred to in lectures and seminars and copies of third year student projects and MSc and PhD theses. We also encourage our students on both Single Honours degrees to mingle, by providing cross-campus events, and encouraging students to attend all departmental events and seminars across both campuses.




Philosophy studies profound and important questions that arise in all areas of human life. At Durham University, we offer a distinctive, research-led Philosophy curriculum, incorporating considerable levels of variety and choice. Whatever you choose, you will be taught by
internationally renowned experts in the field.

We are one of the UK’s top philosophy departments. The exceptionally high-quality education you receive here will equip you with critical
abilities that can be put to use in all sorts of ways and which are prized by employers.


  • 95% of our Philosophy students said that the course is intellectually stimulating in the National Student Survey 2017
  • 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2018
  • 6th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.


For a current list of staff, please see the Philosophy Department web pages.


Durham is one of the larger Philosophy departments in the UK, with 20 permanent members of staff. We are known as a very friendly department where you will have a lot of contact with full-time academic staff. We have an excellent department library that complements the University and college libraries. There is an active Philosophical Society and a weekly research seminar which students are welcome to attend.


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