At Essex, we offer the only BA in Continental Philosophy in the UK. To help you decide if it is the degree for you, we’ve answered some key questions below.

What is continental philosophy?

Continental philosophy encompasses a diverse range of movements that have emerged from the European continent in the 19th and 20th centuries, and have since then been adopted and developed further around the globe. Among these philosophical movements are Existentialism (e.g., Kierkegaard, Nietzsche), Phenomenology (e.g., Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty), Critical Theory (e.g., Marx or Frankfurt School), German Idealism (e.g., Hegel), and Contemporary French Thought (e.g., Foucault, Derrida, Rancière).


Why would I study continental philosophy?

What makes Continental Philosophy so attractive is that it grounds philosophy in our lived experiences and takes seriously that philosophy is a socially and historically situated endeavour. In the Continental tradition, engaging with philosophy always means engaging with and reflecting on your own time, and what it means live right here and right now.

Our BA Continental Philosophy is thus for you, if you want to develop a critical perspective on your life and the world around you. Our BA Continental Philosophy is for you, if you are not content with understanding the challenges that we are facing as individuals and societies, but want to be part of a community that creatively explores ways of thinking and living differently in response to these challenges. Furthermore, by engaging in Continental Philosophy, you hone a whole range of transferable skills that are attractive to employers.


Why Essex?

Philosophy at Essex has an international reputation for being an outstanding centre for Continental Philosophy. If you study on our BA Continental Philosophy, you embark with others on a journey that will transform how you understand yourself and the world you live in.  

Further, you can choose to add on a placement year or year abroad to your degree! You can spend your third year on a placement year with an external organisation, where you learn about a specific sector, company, or job role, relevant to your degree. You can apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment and receive inspiration for future career pathways. If you complete a placement year, you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.

If you’d rather study abroad, you can enjoy a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. You’ll spend the third year of your degree abroad and return to finish your final year at Essex. Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. If you spend a full year abroad, you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university.


You won’t find this BA course anywhere else in the UK, so find out more and apply today!