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Courses

LV25 Philosophy and Politics BA Undergraduate  2016

Essentials

UCAS code LV25
Degree BA
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 3 years
Location Durham City
Typical Offers A-Level
AAA
International Baccalaureate
37*
Please also check Requirements and Admissions.
Alternative qualifications

www.durham.ac.uk/undergraduate/apply/entry-reqs

Department(s) Website
www.durham.ac.uk/philosophy
www.durham.ac.uk/sgia
Email
philosophy.department@durham.ac.uk
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 6550

Course Content

Description

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, Knowledge and Reality, and Reading Philosophy. The first two of these concern the two broad divisions of Philosophy, into Metaphysics and Theory of Knowledge on the one hand, and Moral Philosophy on the other.

Reading Philosophy is a text-based course which examines in depth classic works by writers such as Plato, Hume and Sartre. Students take comparably core modules in Politics.

Years 2 and 3

In the second year, all students take Moral Theory and Political Philosophy.

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

  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Modern Philosophy I and II
  • Theory, Literature and Society
  • Gender, Film and Society
  • Issues in Contemporary Ethics
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Metaphysics
  • 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 an equally broad choice of modules within Politics. You will also have the opportunity to study a subject in depth, by writing a substantial Dissertation of your choice.

Course Learning and Teaching

Students on this programme learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials (politics & philosophy), informal but scheduled one-on-one support, and self-directed learning, such as research, reading, and writing.

All of these are supported by a state of the art virtual learning environment, Durham University Online (DUO). Seminars and tutorials are much smaller groups than lectures, with tutorials often involving no more than eight students working with a professor or lecturer; seminars and workshops can be larger but are still small enough to allow one-on-one interaction with tutors; some of these also allow hands-on experience of the kind of work professional political scientists perform.

This emphasis on small-group teaching reflects a conscious choice to enhance the quality of the learning experience rather than the quantity of formal sessions. In fact, the degree programme is designed to feature fewer formal sessions and more independent research as students move from their first to their final year.

Small-group teaching and one-on-one attention from the personal academic advisor (provided for all students when they enter the programme) are part of the learning experience throughout, but by the final year classroom time gives way, to some extent, to independent research, including a capstone dissertation—supported by one-on-one supervision—that makes up a third of final year credits.

In this way the degree programme systematically transforms the student from a consumer of knowledge in the classroom to a generator of knowledge, ready for professional or postgraduate life. These formal teaching arrangements are supported by “drop-in” surgeries with teaching staff and induction sessions that begin in the week before the start of the programme and continue at key times throughout each year of the programme.

Students can also attend an extensive programme of research-focused seminars where staff and visiting scholars present their cutting edge research.

Admissions Process

Subjects required, level and grade

  • To study Philosophy and Politics 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 Politics, you will also need Grade A in at least one social science or humanities subject at GCSE and A-level.
  • 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.
  • Please note we do not accept General Studies or Critical Thinking as part of our offer.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study

Requirements and Admissions

www.durham.ac.uk/undergraduate/apply

The University accepts the following alternative English language tests and scores.

Information relevant to your country

www.durham.ac.uk/international/countryinfo

Fees and Funding

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding

www.durham.ac.uk/undergraduate/finance 

Career Opportunities

Philosophy

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 2014:

- 86% are in employment or further study six months after graduating

Of those in employment:

- 73% are in graduate level employment
- Median salary £22,000

(These statistics are based on the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2013/14 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: http://www.hesa.ac.uk/content/view/2889)

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.


School of Government and International Affairs

Choosing Durham for my undergraduate education is without doubt one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only does it excel academically as an institution, it also provides its students with an incredibly varied range of opportunities for personal development.

Of those students that left in 2014:

- 90% are in paid employment or study 6 months after graduation

Of those in employment:

- 89% are in graduate level employment
- Median salary £24,800

(These statistics are based on the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2013/14 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: http://www.hesa.ac.uk/content/view/2889)

A significant number of students progress onto higher level study following their degree. Some remain within their academic field of interest and pursue a taught or research Masters at Durham, London School of Economics, University College London, York, Sheffield and Oxford.  Some progress on to PhD study with recent successes at Durham and Cambridge. Others take a different route and pursue professional postgraduate programmes in law, IT, advertising and marketing, finance and teaching.

Employment and developement opportunities

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works closely with the School of Government and International Affairs. 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. The department also hosts a range of guest speakers from external organisations to expand our students' knowledge of their different career options.

Durham University School of Government and International Affairs graduates enter a wide range of career areas including business and finance, local and national government, armed forces, marketing and PR, media, recruitment and teaching, Our graduates are recruited by leading employers such as the House of Commons, Accenture, British Airways, Ernst and Young, British Telecom, Goldman Sachs, PwC, Royal Navy, House of Fraser, Aldi, Channel 4, HSBC, Teach First, Durham University, Black Rock and the Audit Commission. Specific roles our graduates have progressed into include business manager, press and publicity assistant, accountant, political assistant, retail manager, international financial analyst, Naval Officer, marketing executive, stockbroker, tax adviser and political researcher.

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

Campus Tours

www.durham.ac.uk/undergraduate/visit/campus.tours

Overseas Visit Schedule

www.durham.ac.uk/international/office/meetus

Department Information

Philosophy

Overview

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.

Ranking
  • Ranked in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015.
  • 94% of our Philosophy students said they found the course intellectually stimulating in the National Student Survey 2014 (sector-wide average 92%).
  • 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2015.
  • 9th in The Complete University Guide 2016.
Facilities

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.

Website
www.durham.ac.uk/philosophy

School of Government and International Affairs

Overview

From soapboxes to statecraft, you will learn how and why nations are run the way they are.

Our expert staff will help you to develop a thorough knowledge of the structure and functions of the modern state, the history of ideas about the nature and purpose of politics and the development of particular regions and their political systems.

You will study political thought, government, international relations and another subject such as geography, economics, history, psychology, sociology, philosophy, or law.

Ranking
  • Ranked joint 1st in the UK for Internationally Excellent and World-leading research impact (REF 2014).
  • Ranked in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015.
  • 6th in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2015.
  • 7th in The Complete University Guide 2016.
Facilities

The School of Government and International Affairs is a concentration of research expertise in political processes and institutions, political thought, and international and area studies. Teaching takes place both in the Department’s own rooms and in conveniently located lecture rooms.

The University Library has an excellent collection in politics as well as specialised research collections such as the European Documentation Centre. Colleges provide additional library resources as well as computing facilities.

Website
www.durham.ac.uk/sgia

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