BA (Hons) Philosophy

A Philosophy degree from the University of Stirling addresses the big questions, while making sure you gain the key skills employers are looking for.

Key facts

  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Start date September 2024, January 2025
  • Duration 48 months or 36 months
  • Mode of study full time, part time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code V500
  • Study abroad opportunities

Overview

How are our minds related to our bodies? Do we really have free will? What can we truly know about the world around us, about other people or about ourselves?

These questions lie at the heart of philosophy – and if you seriously want to search for the answers, this is the course for you. Our Philosophy BA will challenge you to develop a strong set of critical, imaginative and informed reasoning skills. It will also deepen your understanding of the nature of the human mind, language, morality and politics, art, science and logic. We offer breadth and variety – from modules focused on individual philosophers, to others built around specific topics such as metaphysics, moral philosophy and environmental ethics.

You’ll be introduced to key philosophical issues in your first two years, before focusing in on the areas that interest you most. Along the way, you’ll benefit from the expert insights of your lecturers and tutors, whose own cutting-edge research feeds into course content and keeps you on the frontline of academic thinking.

Our Philosophy course has consistently achieved top marks for student satisfaction, and your studies will play out in a supportive, vibrant environment with an extremely active Student Philosophy Society. If you want to investigate the burning questions that shape humanity while gaining vital employability skills, choosing Philosophy at the University of Stirling is the perfect starting point.

Top reasons to study with us

* Rankings are based on institutions within the Guardian University Guide

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

SQA Highers
ABBB  - by the end of S5
AABB  - by the end of S6

GCE A-levels
BBB

IB Diploma
30

BTEC (Level 3)
DDM

Widening access students
Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

SQA Advanced Highers
ABB

GCE A-levels
ABB

IB Diploma
35

Essential subjects
Philosophy

Other Scottish qualifications

Scottish HNC/HND
Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

Access courses
University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

SWAP access course - for mature students only.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Foundation Apprenticeships
Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Other qualifications

English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
Merits and Distinctions

English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

International entry requirements

Advanced entry

Advanced entry is not available for this course.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 56 overall with a minimum of 51 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

Course details

See a detailed overview of what you'll study on this course. 

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course details

Teaching

Teaching in Philosophy modules is mainly through seminars, which are held each week to discuss a set topic - and lectures, which are usually given twice a week. Throughout your studies, you’ll have many opportunities for one-to-one discussions with tutors.

Assessment

Assessment in most modules is divided between essays written during the semester, and an examination at the end of the semester. You’ll also write a dissertation on an approved subject of your choice in your final year.

Study abroad

As a University of Stirling student, you’ll have the opportunity to broaden your horizons and study abroad through our well-established connections with several international universities.

Find out more about studying abroad.

Contact

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Academic year: 2023/24 2024/25
Scottish students £1,820 £1,820
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
International students (including EU) £16,400 £17,200

Scottish students

This fee is set by the Scottish Government and is subject to change.

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, if you are domiciled in Scotland you can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government on your behalf.

You will be charged the annual tuition fee each year when you enrol.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.

You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body. Students from the Republic of Ireland are eligible for a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

We also offer additional funding – such as our Honours Year Scholarship – for students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. See our funding opportunities section below for more information.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

International students (including EU)

Eligible students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. See our range of generous scholarships for international undergraduate students.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Funding

See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

Students from Scotland

Find funding opportunities for Scottish students.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Eligible students will automatically receive our Undergraduate Welcome Scholarship, Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, and our Honours Year Scholarship, which are worth between £1,000 and £9,250.

International students

Eligible international students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. Find funding opportunities for international students.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

International (including EU) students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

After you graduate

What jobs can you get with a Philosophy degree?

University of Stirling students with a Philosophy degree have gone on to a diverse range of careers in the civil service, business, law, the social services, environmental management and the media. Some of our graduates are currently working for organisations such as:

  • BAE Systems
  • HM Government
  • Scottish Enterprise
  • University of Sheffield
  • Justice Publishing
  • Wincanton

Some of our more established alumni are currently leading and shaping strategy across many different sectors, working in roles including Lecturer, Company Director, International Sales Manager, Police Inspector and Solicitor. 

Philosophy courses help you develop transferable skills that are highly valued by a wide range of employers - especially those looking for staff capable of clear, rigorous thinking.

  • Take part in career development workshops to get ready for the world of work.
  • Get the edge in the job market by mixing your Philosophy studies with various other courses.
  • Set yourself up for a huge range of careers by acquiring the transferrable skills employers are looking for.

Discover Uni

Discover Uni provides official data on each university's undergraduate courses, including satisfaction scores from the National Student Survey, details of graduate jobs and salaries, and other key information for prospective students.

What our students said

Jock Scott
United Kingdom
BA(Hons) Philosophy (Alumnus)
It is a wonderful intellectual training in terms of dealing with complex arguments, sometimes conflicting arguments, making sense of them and then communicating them both orally and written. A series of skills which have benefitted me these past 30 or 40 years.
Read Jock's story

Flexible study

Are you interested in more than one of our courses? You might not have to choose between them. Here at Stirling, we believe in choice and offer more than 170 course combinations.

Philosophy can be combined with any of the following courses:
Course nameUCAS code
Computing Science UCAS code for this combination: GV45
Criminology UCAS code for this combination: MV95
English Studies UCAS code for this combination: QV35
Film and Media UCAS code for this combination: VP53
History UCAS code for this combination: VV15
Politics UCAS code for this combination: LV25
Psychology UCAS code for this combination: CV85
Religion UCAS code for this combination: VV56
Religion and Education (Secondary) UCAS code for this combination: VX53

For a combined honours degree where the two subjects have different entry requirements, you will usually be asked to meet the higher entry requirement.

Find out more about degree flexibility and how you can take combined courses.