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Undergraduate courses

Undergraduate courses

Our undergraduate courses offer a unique combination of analytic Anglo-American and European continental traditions.

Our BA courses in philosophy offer a unique combination of both Anglo-American 'analytical' philosophy with philosophical traditions that have developed in continental Europe. We have an international reputation for the quality of our research and teaching, with among the highest scores for student satisfaction and graduate prospects.

Our school

You will be taught by expert staff, dedicated to developing your full academic and personal potential. Our School is a friendly and lively environment, and you will be part of a large and active community of students.

We run seminars and minicourses that help you expand your philosophical horizons beyond what you study on your course. We also have an excellent student support system to offer advice and guidance during your studies, and to prepare you for success after graduation.

  • Why study philosophy?

    Philosophy is concerned with the basic problems encountered in every area of human life:

    • How do we decide what is right and wrong?
    • Do human beings really have rights?
    • Must we always obey the law?
    • Can we be absolutely sure of anything we believe?
    • Are human beings really free to choose their lives, or are we determined by our environment or genes?

    Philosophy involves thinking systematically about such fundamental questions, exploring what the tradition of philosophy says about them, and applying the results of that enquiry to the contemporary world.

    Careers and skills

    Philosophy teaches you crucial skills that are useful in working life and increasingly sought by employers. It requires you to think clearly, systematically and deeply, to read critically, and to use your imagination. Our courses teach key skills in clear oral and written communication, independent research, as well as analysing, constructing and defending arguments. Find out what you can do with a philosophy degree.

    Study abroad

    Our undergraduate courses include a variety of options for studying abroad at a wide range of partner universities around the world.

    Research-led education

    We are internationally recognised for our leading research across continental and analytic philosophical traditions and were ranked among the top ten philosophy departments in the UK for research quality in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.

    As well as research strengths in Critical theory, Phenomenology, Classical German philosophy, we are home to two leading Medical humanities projects:

  • Who does philosophy?

    You don’t have to have completed A-level Philosophy to study philosophy at undergraduate level. Previous study in other humanities subjects, as well as social science and natural sciences, is excellent preparation for studying philosophy, since all these areas raise their own philosophical questions. We welcome applications from people with a wide variety of backgrounds.

  • Visiting us from abroad

    Our School welcomes students from international universities who wish to study abroad at Essex. We provide a friendly, supportive and academically challenging environment for study.

    A period of study at Essex entitles you to our study abroad loyalty discount, which reduces your first-year tuition fees for your first period of postgraduate study at Essex by ten per cent.

Learn languages

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All our students can learn languages in a number of ways, including as part of your degree, in evening classes or online at no extra cost, or via Essex Modern Language Certificates.

Ask us a question

Giving information about Philosophy courses

Would you like to find out more about our philosophy courses or School? Ask us a question, our friendly team of advisors are on hand to offer support and information.

UG Open Days

Book a place at our undergraduate Open Day. Our department and admissions staff can answer any questions you have, and you can speak to current students about life at Essex while taking a campus tour.

Watch our videos

Philosophy videos

Find out more about studying philosophy at Essex and our academics' research by visiting our video gallery.