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CV85 Philosophy and Psychology BA Undergraduate  2018


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, Music, 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 comparably 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.

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 £18,300.00 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


The Psychology department comprises members of academic staff who use cutting edge techniques in order to become world leaders in their research field. The experience gained with us will therefore enable you to enter the workplace with knowledge and hands-on experience of how psychological issues are investigated and how this knowledge is applied to solve problems in the world.

Of those students who studied Psychology that left in 2013:

- 44% are in full time paid employment

Of those in employment:

- 65% are graduate level employment

- Median salary £19,000

Of those students in further study:

- 100% are in graduate level study, in areas including:

  • Conversion course/Speech & Language Therapy
  • PhD/Psychology
  • Masters/Psychology
  • PGCE/Primary
  • PGCE/Secondary
  • Conversion course/Law

(These statistics are based on the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2012/13 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:

I had an excellent experience as an undergraduate on the Psychology (Applied) course. My experience at Queen's Campus has been second to none, I found the course intersting and enjoying the three years I spent there. The excellent research-led teaching, combined with the wide range of final year options, is what - in my opinion - makes this degree in Psychology far superior to others. The third year modules allowed me to get to grips with more practical aspects of Psychology and guided my decision of what to do after graduating.

Of those students who studied Psychology (Applied) at Queen's Campus, who left in 2013:

- 41% are in full time paid employment

Of those in employment:

- 52% are graduate level employment

- Median salary £15,500

Of those students in further study:

- 100% are in graduate level study, in areas including:

  • Conversion course/Speech & Language Therapy
  • PhD/Psychology
  • Masters/Psychology
  • PGCE/Primary
  • PGCE/Secondary
  • Conversion course/Law

(These statistics are based on the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2012/13 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:

Employment development opportunities

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works closely with the Psychology Department to ensure that students receive information, advice and vacancies relevant to their needs.  A Careers Adviser delivers talks focused on ensuring that students receive the most relevant and up to date advice about professions that are of interest to students in the department.  This includes inviting professionals such as Educational, Counselling, Clinical and Forensic Psychologists onto campus to talk to students about their work.

A wide range of work is carried out in conjunction with the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre to develop students' employability skills, including presentations/workshops on CVs, applications, assessment centres, interviews, commercial awareness, leadership, etc. 

A wide range of recruiters of Durham Psychology graduates attend careers fairs and run presentations on campus, from career areas including: Psychology, Teaching, Accountancy, Law, HR, Retail, Management Consultancy, Marketing Advertising, PR, Banking, IT, to name a few.

Work experience

Our department encourages you to gain experimental expereince during your time with us. To that end you can get involved via a participant pool scheme for which you can gain credit and also take part in our research assistant scheme. In this scheme you have the opportunity to join a research group in the department to see first-hand how ideas turn into experiments, how those experiments are run and what the results mean.
We also encourage our students to find related vacation experience either within the department through a summer bursary (external funding) or by working with one of our employability partners.

Professional recognition

Our degrees are accreditied 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. 

(*minimum of a second class honours degree required)

Neuro Partners are a company who specialise in care and support for people with Neurological Conditions and Brain Injury. We have over 250 employees across the North of England and although everyone works towards the same standards across the company, each individual brings their own knowledge ambition and expertise. Durham University produces high calibre Psychology graduates who boast all of the key skills we require when recruiting for Assistant Psychologists and Support Workers to work within our Service.


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'.

I had always seen myself in some kind of charity work so while travelling after graduation, my brother and I set up our own volunteer organisation called Development Through Action (DTA). Durham helped give me the confidence to do something unique and worthwhile.

Of those students that left in 2015:

- 83% are in employment or further study six months after graduating

Of those in employment:

- 100% are in graduate level employment
- Median salary £25,750

(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2014/15 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.

Find out more about our alumni career destinations here ...

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. It examines all aspects of behaviour, by investigating the processes underpinning the thoughts, feelings and motivations behind our actions.

Durham is one of the leading universities in the UK to offer degrees in Psychology and in Applied Psychology, with both courses demonstrating extensive depth and breadth in the field of psychology. You will receive genuinely research-led education and, as well as undertaking your course-based studies, we invite students to participate actively in our research environment through seminars, conferences, research assistantship schemes and access to our clinical and experimental facilities.

Our degrees are accredited as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and represent the first step in qualifying as a professional psychologist; however, they also provide you with an excellent variety of skills and abilities that are transferable to a diverse array of professions.


  • 92% of our Psychology students were satisfied with the quality of their course in the National Student Survey 2016 (sector-wide average 89%).
  • 4th for graduate prospects in the Complete University Guide 2016.


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.




This most ancient yet compelling intellectual discipline is fundamental to our understanding of what it is to be human. 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.

  • 9th in The Complete University Guide 2016


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.