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Department of Philosophy

Why study philosophy at Durham?

“Everything about Durham’s Undergraduate Philosophy teaching and examining is impressive. The teaching materials that I have seen are excellent, and cover more or less the whole range of contemporary philosophical activity, from formal logic to contemporary continental philosophy. The examining methods are fair, rigorous, and scrupulously applied. The marking is careful and exact, and in all cases that I have examined, consistent across very different areas of work. The students are knowledgeable, sharp, and engaged in what they write and in how they think.”

Durham Undergraduate Philosophy Programme External Examiner’s Report. Professor Sophie Grace Chappell, The Open University

Philosophy takes on the questions that other disciplines don’t, won’t or can’t attempt. As a result, it provides both the foundations for these disciplines, and the critical tools for challenging and developing them.

Durham Philosophy department is amongst the most prestigious departments in the UK, and we pride ourselves on our excellence in research and teaching. The Durham Philosophy community is a lively, friendly group of people including undergraduates, postgraduates and staff, committed to the pursuit of philosophical knowledge and understanding. When you study philosophy at Durham, you will be given the opportunity to learn many skills that your future employers will value, including how to analyse different kinds of evidence, how to detect the strength of arguments presented by experts, how to work collaboratively to solve difficult problems, and how to write with clarity and precision. Our undergraduates and postgraduates publish their own journals, and as well as joining their editorial team, you can gain experience as a librarian, archivist or research assistant.

Our home on Old Elvet includes our department library, common room, post-graduate study room and our own garden. As an undergraduate or postgraduate here you will be an integral part of life in the Department.

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One of our greatest assets at Durham University is our college system.

College communities are at the heart of our distinctive student experience, each offering a diverse, interdisciplinary community of academics, students and staff from different backgrounds and cultures. 

All teaching is delivered via your academic department but your college provides an environment which encourages and supports your studies and personal development.

All postgraduates are members of a college throughout their time at Durham University, whether you live in college accommodation or elsewhere. College life is a big part of what makes your experience with us so unique and many of our students say that being part of a college is one of the best aspects of Durham University.

What our students say