At Essex, philosophy has never been boxed in by the usual reading lists or disciplinary boundaries. We've never been afraid to read the books or think the thoughts that others dismiss.


Undergraduate degrees

Philosophy at Essex is critical, existential, real and unique.

Philosophers at Essex use the tools of philosophy and the study of its history to engage with the most pressing issues of our time: climate change, capitalism & inequality, gender & justice, and the epidemic of mental illness.

As the UK’s leading centre for Critical Theory, we use multi-disciplinary analysis to ask hard questions about power and ideology in the contemporary world. Our courses tackle the hard questions about Death, God and the Meaning of Life. Plato thought that the ultimate concern of philosophy was with a world of abstract ideas. We love Plato, and we love ideas, but at Essex philosophy begins and ends in the real world. Our academics are making real-world changes, such as Professor Wayne Martin’s recommendations on Do Not Attempt CPR usage in care homes.

Why study here?
  • Be part of a multi-faculty department where you can tailor your studies to suit your interests. 
  • Option to join one of the most active student societies. 
  • You have the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions.
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What is Continental Philosophy?

We offer the only BA in Continental Philosophy in the entire UK. Find out what it is, and why you should study it at Essex.

Find out more
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Career prospects

Studying Philosophy at Essex can provide you with:

  • The ability to analyse and solve difficult problems
  • The ability to think clearly, creatively, and self-critically
  • The ability to work in a team, taking a collaborative approach to problems

Philosophy graduates are well-suited to a wide range of occupations, including law, PR, journalism and the media, the Civil Service, charity work, banking, and the NHS.

Explore the career opportunities Philosophy can provide.

“I chose to study philosophy at Essex because I always knew the University had a good reputation for this subject. However nothing prepared me for just how brilliant it is! The atmosphere in the School is fantastic; the lecturers are some of the most enthusiastic and interesting people you will ever meet, and so passionate about what they teach.”
Jennifer Bass BA Philosophy

Postgraduate degrees

At Essex we are world-renowned for our combination of Continental and Anglo-American philosophy.

We study real-world problems, both political and existential, to gain a critical perspective on the personal, political, and socio-economic challenges we face today. Join our tight-knit school that is praised for its collaborative and supportive ethos and teaching environment.

We're 9th for philosophy for overall positivity score (National Student Survey 2023, English Broad Discipline Institutions).

Visit our department page to learn more about our faculty, research opportunities, and the diverse array of courses we offer that can enrich your experience at Essex.

Why study here?
  • We're 7th in the UK for research impact in philosophy (Grade Point Average, REF2021).
  • We have the largest concentration of philosophers working on critical social theory in the UK.
  • We have two major funded projects: the Ethics of Powerlessness, and the Essex Autonomy Project which was highly commended in the Timers Higher Education Awards.
Book onto our Open Day

Book your place for one of our on-campus Open Days and we'll make sure you have all of the information you need to make the most out of your day.

Book your place

Postgraduate Research degrees

Philosophy at Essex offers a unique environment for PhD study. 

We have two major funded research projects: The Ethics of Powerlessness and The Essex Autonomy Project. 

That's not all though. We have expertise in all sorts of philosophical themes and many of our academics are open to supervision.  

 Use our research finder to find a topic and a supervisor to suit you, or find out more about our School of Philosophy and Art History.

Start your application with us

Explore our Philosophy research by theme or your area of interest and find a supervisor that can support your through your studies. More information can be found about research degrees on our school pages. Our courses below will help guide you through the various research degree programmes we offer.

Explore funding opportunities Ready to apply? Start your application today
Book onto our Open Day

Book your place for one of our on-campus Open Days and we'll make sure you have all of the information you need to make the most out of your day.

Book your place
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We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We'll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we'll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.