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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 collegiate system.

What is a College?

Colleges are at the heart of the Wider Student Experience where you can socialise and develop personally through intellectual, cultural and social engagement, whether you live in our accommodation or not. Colleges are much more than just somewhere to live and eat; they are thriving international and multidisciplinary communities made up of academics, students and staff from all different backgrounds and cultures. Further details can be found at

All postgraduate students, regardless of the mode of study, are allocated membership of a College. College membership is a big part of what makes your experience with us so unique and will provide you with a sense of belonging within a multidisciplinary and international community regardless of your background, nationality or culture.

What our students say