During your degree, you will learn about cutting-edge debates in core areas of philosophy such as ethics, metaphysics, theory of knowledge and political philosophy, as well as studying some of the key thinkers in the history of philosophy, such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Mill and Marx. You will also develop your skills in reasoning and argumentation by studying formal logic and critical thinking.
Philosophy Degree highlights
Philosophy at Queen’s is a small unit, providing individualised teaching. Students receive personal attention from dedicated staff across all taught modules.
- Students have the opportunity to spend part of the course studying in other European universities, through our Erasmus programme, and also in the USA.
- Optional internship at Level 3.
- The School has an active Employers’ Forum that is used to forge links with national and international employers. Queen‘s philosophy graduates have an unlimited range of occupations in he public and private sectors, including he Civil Service, local government, the media, policy analysis, the voluntary sector, teaching, journalism, business, marketing and advertising. Career destinations of our students have included the BBC, the Diplomatic Service, the NHS, International House, RPS Belfast and the Belfast Education and Library Board.
World Class Facilities
- • The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice • Institute of Cognition and Culture • Institute of Irish Studies • Two International Summer Schools (the Irish Studies Summer School; and the Conflict Transformation and Social Justice Summer School)
Internationally Renowned Experts
- Queen’s philosophy department has particular strengths in analytic philosophy. Our faculty work on cutting edge topics in applied ethics and political philosophy. We have an international reputation for our research in the philosophy of religion, epistemology, and the philosophy of science.
- There is an active student-run Philosophy Society and the School is also the home of the Belfast branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, which organises regular talks and seminars by distinguished visiting philosophers.
“I found it very easy to talk to the Philosophy staff and they always went out of their way to help me. They were genuinely interested in my progress and always had my best interests at heart.“
Adrian Downey, Northern Ireland BA Philosophy Graduate Currently studying for a MSc
The degree programme does not presuppose any prior training in Philosophy and can profitably be taken by those who have studied the subject at school – as well as those who have not.
Students choose six modules from a range of introductory modules including the following:
• Introductory Logic
• Perspectives on Politics
• Philosophy and Human Nature
• Philosophy and the Good Life
Students choose six modules that explore the wide range of major debates and inquiry in Philosophy, exploring questions that range from how to understand the mind, to how ‘reality’ might be understood, to key political theories about how we live as a society. Examples include:
• History of Philosophy
• Knowledge and Reality
• Mind and Language
• Modern Political Thought
• Moral Theories
• Philosophy of Science
In the final year, students focus on particular areas of specialisation that build on their studies in years 1 and 2. Students will write a dissertation (double-weighted) and choose four modules. Examples of options include:
• Applied Ethics
• Contemporary Critical Theory
• Philosophical Theology
• Philosophy for Children
• Issues in the Philosophy of Science
• Scholastic Ethics
• Scholastic Metaphysics
• Topics in Epistemology
Note: this is not an exclusive list and these options are subject to staff availability.
People teaching you
Dr Clarke is a Lecturer in Philosophy specialising in epistemology
Contact Teaching Times
|Large Group Teaching|
2 (hours maximum)
Level 1 per module 2 hours lectures
|Medium Group Teaching|
2 (hours maximum)
Level 2 per module 2 hours lectures; Level 3 could be 1 hour lectures and 2 hours seminar
24 (hours maximum)
22–24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities, etc
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial|
2 (hours maximum)
Level 1 per module 1 hour tutorial; Level 2 per module 1 hour seminar; Level 3 could be 1 hour lectures and 2 hours seminar
Learning and Teaching
Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities and opportunities to contribute.
These introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
This is an important part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide significant opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess your own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups. Logic Labs Logic Labs
For level 1 Introductory Logic, students meet for two hours a week in a large open-plan computer suite to work through logic assignments online. The session is facilitated by tutors who encourage students to work together to find strategies to solve problems.
Assessment procedures are outlined below:
The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction. Level 3 students can take a dissertation module (it is double weighted) which reduces their contact hours, however they are expected to have regular one-to-one meetings with supervisors, and to conduct more personal study.
As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
Placement employer comments or references (where relevant).
Online or emailed comment.
General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by individual University Schools. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for that particular subject or degree programme along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants for this BA programme must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language). Performance in any AS or A-level examinations already completed would also have been taken into account and the Selector will check that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of 3 A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though applicants offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis. The offer for repeat applicants is set in terms of 3 A-levels and may be one grade higher than that asked from first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-Levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-Level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as BTEC Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered.
The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those applicants taking a BTEC Extended Diploma qualification or a Higher National Certificate (HNC).
The current entrance requirements for applicants offering a BTEC Extended Diploma are successful completion of the BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with 120 credits at Distinction and 60 credits at Merit. For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 8 Merits.
For those offering a Higher National Diploma, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile but, to be eligible for an offer, at least half of the units completed in the first year of the HND must be at Merit level and remainder Passes. Applicants must successfully complete the HND with Merits in all units assessed in the final year. Any consideration would be for stage 1 entry only.
Applicants offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits and for last year, the standard set was an overall average of 70% in Level 3 modules.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of BA degrees, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking 4 A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview, though there are some exceptions and specific information is provided with the relevant subject areas.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to an Open Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions Service (email@example.com), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - FOUNDATION AND INTERNATIONAL YEAR ONE PROGRAMMES
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Queen‘s takes the employability of its students very seriously. Tailored careers advice and study guidance are available to all students throughout their time at Queen's.
The School has an active Employers‘ Forum that is used to forge links with national and international employers. Queen‘s philosophy graduates go on to an unlimited range of occupations in the public and private sectors, including the Civil Service, local government, the media, policy analysis, the voluntary sector, teaching, journalism, business, marketing and advertising. Career destinations of our students have included the BBC, the Diplomatic Service, the NHS, International House, RPS Belfast and the Belfast Education and Library Board.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
The tuition fee rates for undergraduate students who first enrol at the University in the academic year 2019-20 have not been agreed. Tuition fees for 2019-20 will be based on 2018-19 levels, normally increased by inflation and these are set out below.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,160|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU||£4,160|
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
In Year 2 students can apply for a number of optional exchanges with institutions in the USA. The cost will vary depending on the institution and length of exchange and can range from £500 - £6,000. Students who undertake a period of study or work abroad, are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students should be aware that placement and internship modules do not normally involve payment or financial support from either Queen’s or the placement/internship provider. If the placement is undertaken under the European Erasmus programme, students are normally eligible to receive a top-up grant to contribute towards these costs of approximately €300 per month. A limited number of Erasmus grants are available.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2019 from 1 September 2018.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2019 (18:00).
Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2019.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
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Our Undergraduate Open Days will take place from 6 - 8 September 2018, or book a campus tour.
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