CV85 Philosophy and Psychology BA Undergraduate 2021
Please note: 2020-21 courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Summaries of course-specific changes resulting from the impact of Covid-19 will be provided to applicants during August 2020.
For the latest information on our plans for teaching in academic year 2020/21 in light of Covid-19, please see www.durham.ac.uk/coronavirus
|Mode of study||Full Time|
|Typical Offers||A Level|
|Please also check Requirements and Admissions.|
|Contextual Offers||You may be eligible for an offer which is one or two grades lower than our standard entry requirements. Find out more.|
|More information||Still have questions?|
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 degree 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.
In the first year, you will 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. You will also take either Science, Medicine, and Society, European Philosophy 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, you will take a number of comparable core modules.
Years 2 and 3
In the second year, you will take Philosophy of Mind. In the second and third years, you will also have a choice of a wide range of topics.
In previous years these have included:
- Moral Theory
- Modern Philosophy I and II
- History of Science and Medicine
- Issues in Contemporary Ethics
- Philosophy of Religion
- Political Philosophy
- Language, Logic and Reality
- Twentieth Century European Philosophy
- Philosophy of Science
- The Philosophy of Economics and Politics: Theory, Methods and Values
- 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 2021 entry from September 2020.
You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.
Subject requirements, level and grade
Grade 5 (or grade B) in Mathematics GCSE is required.
A level offer – AAA. Philosophy at AS or A Level is not a requirement.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – DDD.
IB Diploma score – 37 with 666 in higher level subjects, including standard level Mathematics.
In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:
- 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||£21,730.00 per year|
|Home Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Island Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£21,730.00 per year|
The tuition fees shown for home and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.
The tuition fees shown for overseas students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
We are committed to helping you prepare for life beyond university. You will enter the workplace with knowledge relevant to careers in Psychology, plus great analytical and problem-solving skills, that are in demand from a wide range of professions.
Many of our graduates go on to successful careers both inside and outside of Psychology. Our graduates have gone on to enjoy opportunities in further education with a PhD or Masters degree in Psychology, and have careers in areas such as Clinical Psychology, Human Resources, Law (via conversion course), Marketing Analysis, Speech & Language Therapy (via conversion course) and Teaching (PGCE Primary or Secondary).
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.
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 consider careers options, and provide references for you.
- The Durham Award, created to reward skill development in a way that is recognised by employers.
- A Psychology Employability Retreat: During these dedicated few days, usually held in some of the beautiful countryside around Durham, staff help students with career planning and CVs in small-group and one-to-one settings. This experience is highly rated by our students and aims to help each student find the right path for them.
- The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre is also available to help you find suitable vacancies. The team organise talks from professionals such as Educational, Clinical and Forensic Psychologists, and are there to 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.
- There will also be a number of graduate careers fairs attended by a wide range of recruiters.
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 2017:
- 92% are in employment or further study six months after graduating
Of those in employment:
- 87% are in graduate level employment
- Median salary £25,500
(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2016/17 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:www.hesa.ac.uk/support/definitions/destinations)
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: www.durham.ac.uk/opendays
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
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. At Durham University, you are part of a community that strives to push boundaries and works at the frontiers to improve lives; a community that is open and friendly and values diversity. You will take part in our research and innovation activities through your course and through extracurricular activities.
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. 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.
As a student at Durham University, you are not only joining one of the leading Psychology departments in the UK (and graduating with a BPS-accredited degree), but a top ranking institution that is committed to being a centre of excellence in quantitative social psychology. Applications of this field to challenges faced by organisations and government have become increasingly popular in recent years. Our Behavioural Science degree gives you a deep understanding of the field of psychology, combined with extensive insights into the application of psychological science in the behavioural arena.
- We are proud to hold an Athena SWAN silver award,underlining our commitment to equality and diversity.
- World Top 100 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2020.
Our extensive suite of research tools allows us to take advantage of such techniques as functional brain imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), eye-tracking, immersive virtual reality (VR), motion capture, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and physiological monitoring. Along with this, we have a wide variety of laboratory space, data analysis and experimental software licences, and our work is supported by a team of dedicated technicians. Our teaching laboratories are well-stocked with networked IT equipment, and our departmental facilities are located close to other departments on campus, 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 and students working in purpose-built modern buildings. Students have their own common rooms, which allow them to spend time and socialise with other members of their course. We encourage our students on different degrees to mingle through departmental events, talks and seminars.
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.
- World Top 100 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2020.
- 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2020.
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.