Skip to Content

Philosophy and Politics (BA HONS) VLM2

BA|Undergraduate

Philosophy and Politics

Entry year
Academic Year 2023/24
Entry requirements
ABB
Duration
3 years (Full Time)
UCAS code
VLM2
Applications for 2022 entry are still open for some programmes. View courses
  • Overview

    The programme is designed to provide students with an intellectual training in the disciplines of Philosophy and Politics which, while discrete subjects, are complementary and mutually enriching. The combination of Philosophy and Politics allows for the development of an in-depth appreciation of the ideas that help to explain the foundations of the modern world, democracy and political stability.

    Philosophy and Politics Degree highlights

    Philosophy at Queen’s is a small unit, providing individualised teaching. Students receive personal attention from dedicated staff across all taught modules.

    Global Opportunities

    • QUB students, uniquely in the UK, still have the opportunity to spend part of the course studying in other European universities, through our Erasmus programme. There are also opportunities to study at partner institutions in the USA and Canada.

    Industry Links

    • Internship: students in their final year have the opportunity to secure a semester long internship, giving them hands-on experience of political issues and policymaking. Placement: unique to the BA Politics programme is the opportunity in the final year to undertake a part-time placement within a local organisation to gain direct experience of policy-making and political decision-making.

      Placement: students have the opportunity in the final year to undertake a part-time placement within a local organisation to gain direct experience of policy-making and political decision-making.

      Research-led Teaching: We have particular strengths in the areas of applied ethics and political philosophy.

      Student experience: We have active student societies for both Politics and Philosophy in the School and are also the home of the Belfast branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, which organises regular talks and seminars by distinguished visiting philosophers.

    Internationally Renowned Experts

    • Our Philosophy department offers expertise in continental and analytical philosophy, logic, philosophy of science, and moral and political philosophy.

      The School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen‘s has 30 full-time academics, making it the largest institutional centre for the study of these subjects in Ireland and one of the largest in the UK.

      The School also boasts the following:
      • Centre for Public History
      • 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)
    • Research-led Teaching: cutting-edge research drives our externally commended teaching, most recently evidenced in the latest student satisfaction survey.

    Student Experience

    • Support: our uniquely supportive pastoral care/personal tutor system is equalled only by the academic guidance available.

      Societies: Our vibrant Politics Society (Polysoc) provides a welcome and stimulating environment for new students. There is also an active student run Philosophy Society and the School is the home of the Belfast branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, which organises regular talks and seminars by distinguished visiting philosophers.

      Diversity of Students: we have students from around the UK, Ireland, Europe and the wider world, ensuring a rich mix of students with different experiences and backgrounds.
    • Queen’s is ranked in the top 140 in the world for graduate prospects (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020)
    • Queen’s is the 25th most international university in the world and has staff and students from over 80 countries.

      Queen’s is ranked 1st in the UK for entrepreneurial impact (Octopus Ventures, 2019)

      Queen’s was ranked 2nd out of 199 universities worldwide for satisfaction with social facilities.
    • Queen’s is ranked in the top 75 universities in Europe for Teaching Excellence (Times Higher Education, 2019)
    “I chose Queen’s because the wide choice of modules essentially allows me to build my own degree. I enjoy the way we are taught through lectures and tutorials where we are given an overview of a topic, able to research more for ourselves, and then debate with our peers in tutorial sessions.”
    Jessica Simonds
  • Course content

    Course Structure

    Course ContentPHILOSOPHY
    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.

    Year 1
    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

    Year 2
    Students choose 6 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

    Year 3
    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
    • Philosophical Theology
    • Philosophy for Children
    • Issues in the Philosophy of Science
    • Topics in Epistemology
    • Dissertation

    POLITICS

    Year 1
    • Comparative Politics
    • Contemporary Europe
    • Issues in Contemporary Politics
    • Perspectives on Politics
    • What is to be done? Sustainability, climate change and just energy transitions in the Anthropocene.

    Year 2
    In their second year, students focus on the political, economic and social transformations of the 20th century and beyond, and will be able to advance their conceptual understanding of the field of politics and international relations by studying modules such as: American Politics, British politics in crisis?, Deeply Divided Societies, Politics and Policies of the EU, and Security and Technology.

    • American Politics
    • British Politics in crisis
    • Identity Politics in Diverse Societies
    • International Organisations
    • Modern Political Thought
    • Politics and Policies of the European Union
    • Security and Terrorism
    • Studying Politics
    • The Politics of Deeply Divided Societies

    Year 3
    In the final year, students can select more specific areas and specialist-based modules on, for example, the Middle East, US foreign policy, migration, the Far Right, political extremism, politics of the global economy, and modules on identity politics, international ethics, war and visual culture, conflict and conflict resolution.



    • Arms Control

    • Asylum and Migration in Global Politics
    • Contemporary Political Philosophy
    • Global Political Economy of Energy
    • Politics of the Global Economy
    • European Cultural Identities
    • National and Ethnic Minorities in European Politics
    • Northern Ireland: A Case Study
    • Political Parties and Elections in Northern Ireland
    • Challenges to Contemporary Party Politics
    • Politics, Public Administration and Policymaking
    • Security and Technology
    • The Far Right in Western Europe and North America
    • The Politics of Irish Literature
    • Earth, Energy, Ethics and Economy
    • Radical Hope: Inspiring Present-day Sustainability Transformations
    • Internship
    • The Placement
    • Dissertation

    Note that this is not an exclusive list and these options are subject to staff availability.
    Stage 1PHILOSOPHY
    Stage1
    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

    POLITICS
    Stage1
    • Comparative Politics
    • Contemporary Europe
    • Issues in Contemporary Politics
    • Perspectives on Politics
    Stage 2PHILOSOPHY
    Stage 2
    Students choose 6 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
    • Philosophy of Race and Gender
    • Modern Political Thought
    • Moral Theories
    • Philosophy of Science

    POLITICS
    Stage 2
    • American Politics
    • British Politics in crisis
    • Identity Politics in Diverse Societies
    • International Organisations
    • Modern Political Thought
    • Politics and Policies of the European Union
    • Security and Terrorism
    • Studying Politics
    • The Politics of Deeply Divided Societies
    Stage 3PHILOSOPHY
    Stage 3
    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
    • Philosophical Theology
    • Philosophy for Children
    • Issues in the Philosophy of Science
    • Philosophy of Technology
    • Topics in Epistemology
    • Dissertation

    POLITICS
    Stage 3

    • Arms Control

    • Asylum and Migration in Global Politics
    • Contemporary Political Philosophy
    • Global Political Economy of Energy
    • Politics of the Global Economy
    • European Cultural Identities
    • National and Ethnic Minorities in European Politics
    • Northern Ireland: A Case Study
    • Political Parties and Elections in Northern Ireland
    • Challenges to Contemporary Party Politics
    • Politics, Public Administration and Policymaking
    • Security and Technology
    • The Far Right in Western Europe and North America
    • The Politics of Irish Literature
    • Earth, Energy, Ethics and Economy
    • Radical Hope: Inspiring Present-day Sustainability Transformations
    • Internship
    • The Placement
    • Dissertation

    Note that this is not an exclusive list and these options are subject to staff availability.

    People teaching you

    Dr. Cillian McBride, Politics


    happ@qub.ac.uk

    Dr. Roger Clarke, Philosophy


    happ@qub.ac.uk

    Contact Teaching Times

    Large Group Teaching6 (hours maximum)
    In a typical week you may have up to 6 hours of lectures, depending on the level of study.
    Medium Group Teaching9 (hours maximum)
    In a typical week, you may have up to 9 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars, depending on the level of study.
    Personal Study10 (hours maximum)
    Typically 10 hours per module (30 hours per week), revising in your own time
    Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial6 (hours maximum)
    In a typical week, you will have 3-6 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision).

    Learning and Teaching

    Examples of opportunities for learning provided on this course are:

    • Dissertations
      In their final year, students can write a dissertation based on a research topic of their choice and under one-to-one supervision by an academic with specialist knowledge in the chosen field. This provides a unique opportunity for students to marshal all the research and writing skills they have learned through the course of their degree to produce an original piece of research which reflects the particular interests that they have acquired in their time studying at Queen’s.
    • E-Learning technologies
      Information associated with lectures and assignments is normally communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Canvas. This means that each course has its own mini-website containing all of ethe relevant course information, essential readings, recordings, discussion boards, etc. E-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree programme through the use of, for example, interactive support materials, podcasts and web-based learning activities.
    • Lectures
      These introduce foundation information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. As the module progresses this information becomes more complex. Lectures, which are normally delivered in large groups to all year-group peers, also provide opportunities to ask questions and seek clarification on key issues as well as gain feedback and advice on assessments.
    • Self-directed study
      This is an essential 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.
    • Seminars/tutorials
      A significant amount of teaching is carried out in small groups (typically 10-12 students). These sessions are designed to explore, in more depth, the information that has been presented in the lectures. This provides students with the opportunity to engage closely with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of their peers. During these classes, students will be expected to present their work to academic staff and their peers.

      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

    The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. 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.

    • Most modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments.
    • Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.

    Feedback

    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 and peers. 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.
    • Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. All students are required to meet with their Personal Tutor to discuss their overall academic progress and performance at least once a semester. They are encouraged to bringing assignment mark-sheets to these meetings to help with discussing ways of improving assignment performance and preparing for exams.

      In philosophy, every lecture, tutorial and seminar is a ‘feedback’ session, where students get a better sense of their academic progress by being actively encouraged to discuss anything they do and don’t understand with each other and their class leader.
    • 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.

    PREV
    Overview

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    A level requirements
    ABB

    A maximum of one BTEC/OCR Single Award or AQA Extended Certificate will be accepted as part of an applicant's portfolio of qualifications with a Distinction* being equated to grade A at A-Level and a Distinction being equated to a grade B at A-level.
    Irish leaving certificate requirements
    H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3
    Access/Foundation Course
    Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 70%.
    International Baccalaureate Diploma
    33 points overall, including 6,5,5 at Higher Level.   If not offered at Higher Level/GCSE then Standard Level grade 4 in English would be accepted.
    BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma
    QCF BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with overall grades of D*DD

    RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 GLH at Level 3) with overall grades of D*DD
    Graduate
    A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree
    All applicants
    There are no specific subject requirements to study Philosophy and Politics.

    Selection Criteria

    In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below 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. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.

    For entry last year, applicants for this degree offering A-Level/ BTEC Level 3 qualifications must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of 5 GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language). 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 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 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.

    For applicants offering Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Irish Junior Certificate is taken into account. Applicants must have a minimum of 5 IJC grades C/ Merit. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of Leaving Certificate subjects can be satisfied.

    For applicants offering a HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits.
    For those offering a Higher National Diploma, 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 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits in all units assessed in the final year. Any consideration would be for stage 1 entry only. Some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.

    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 a Faculty/School 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 (admissions@qub.ac.uk), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.

    International Students

    Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

    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.

    INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

    NEXT
    Careers

  • Careers

    Career Prospects

    Introduction
    A degree in Politics and Philosophy provides a stimulating programme of study and intellectual training useful in many walks of life and future career paths. Graduates are equipped with the necessary attributes for graduate employment or postgraduate education and training, and are able to make a difference in whatever future career they choose.

    Employment Links
    The School has an active Employers’ Forum that is used to forge links with national and international employers. Graduates go on to an unlimited range of occupations in the public and private sectors - career destinations of our students have included the BBC, the Diplomatic Service, the NHS, International House, Civil Service and major banks.

    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.

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,630
    Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,630
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250
    EU Other 3 £17,900
    International £17,900

    1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

    2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

    3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2022-23, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees for 2023 will be updated later in 2022, and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    NI, GB and ROI fees for 2022 entry will be published soon. International fees for 2022 entry can be viewed here: www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-tuition-fees

    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

    All Students

    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.

    Philosophy and Politics costs

    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.

    A limited amount of funding may be available to contribute towards these additional costs, if the placement takes place through a government student mobility scheme. 

    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 www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.

    Scholarships

    Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

    International Scholarships

    Information on scholarships for international students, is available at www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.

    PREV
    Careers

    NEXT
    Apply

  • Apply

    How and when to Apply

    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/students.

    When to Apply

    UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2023 from 1 September 2022.

    Advisory closing date: 25 January 2023 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.

    Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2023) subject to the availability of places.

    Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2023. If you apply for 2023 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.

    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 name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.

    Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/

    Apply via UCAS

    Terms and Conditions

    The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

    Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students

    1. 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 2023.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

    Download a prospectus

    Keywords(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Register your interest
Course Vacancy Status

Below is the current vacancy status for this course. For further information please contact us.

Student Type
Places available?
NI and RoI Students
GB Students
International and EU (not RoI) Students