"How should I live?"
" I think that I am in control of what I do. But why do I do the things I do? Presumably, I do them because of things to do with my upbringing, my circumstances, and my biological make-up. But these are things over which I have no control. If they determine what I do, how can I have any control over what I do?"
"What can I know?"
"I see something, and say that it looks 'red'. You see something and also say that it looks 'red'. But how do I know that the way it looks to me is the same way it looks to you?"
"What am I?"
"I look in the mirror, and I see someone in it. But what exactly have I got to do with him? How can I be a person in the world at all?"
These are just a few examples of the kind of questions that philosophers ask. It is possible that you have asked some or all of them yourself, at some point in your life. They are amongst the most puzzling, most captivating, and most fundamental questions that there are. Philosophy is the activity of thinking seriously, creatively, and very carefully about these and similar questions. Engaging in this activity is not only fascinating in itself, but also an excellent way to sharpen and improve your mind.
Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.
Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.
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SQA Adv. Higher:
BTEC (Level 3):
To include Philosophy
Access coursesAccess courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.
INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those international students who do not meet the required academic and English-language criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Media, Humanities and Social Sciences to the required standard provides guaranteed progression to this degree.
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
More information on our English language requirements
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.
|Overseas students (non-EU)||£ 11,845.00|
|Scottish and EU students||£ 1,820.00|
|Students from the rest of the UK||£6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years|
|Overseas students (non-EU)||£ 12,140.00|
|Scottish and EU students||£ 1,820.00|
|Students from the rest of the UK||£9250 – with a generous package of scholarship options|
From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for overseas undergraduates will be held at the level upon entry.
Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.
You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.
Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information
Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling
Find information on paying fees by instalments
Students take Philosophy plus two other subjects in Year 1.
You are required to take:
You then take optional modules, which currently include:
In Year 4 there are opportunities for directed independent study, including dissertation projects and supervised independent study of a particular topic, theme or book.
Teaching in Philosophy modules is mainly by seminars, which are held each week to discuss a set topic, and lectures, which are usually given twice a week. Assessment in most modules is divided between essays written during the semester and an examination at the end of the semester. There are many opportunities for one-to-one discussions with tutors.
|Film & Media||VP53|
|Politics and Economics||L0V0|
(For a Combined Honours degree the higher entrance requirements of the subjects usually apply.)
Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
January entry also available - see semester dates
The 2016 National Student Survey ranked Philosophy at Stirling as one of the best philosophy programmes in the UK for student satisfaction, with a grade considerably above the average satisfaction rating of 89%.
If you enrol for Philosophy courses at Stirling you will be taught by academics in a discipline which is highly rated in research terms and strongly committed to making philosophical ideas accessible. We are especially noted for our strengths in metaphysics, moral and political philosophy, philosophy of mind and action, philosophy of language, and the theory of knowledge.
The University of Stirling welcomes applications from all countries.
You are eligible to participate in the University’s Exchange Programme, with more than 25 countries around the world, and in an Erasmus exchange with the University of Copenhagen.
"The most enjoyable aspect of the programme for me was writing essays where I was asked to explain my own thoughts on the matter. It was the first time in my entire school life I was supposed to give importance to my own ideas on the topics discussed, and not just to someone else’s ideas. This aspect, along with the fact that there were seminars to learn to develop those ideas and debate with others, made the whole experience incredibly challenging, but also enjoyable."
Matilde Liberti, BA (Hons) Philosophy, Graduated 2017
Philosophy is a highly regarded subject developing useful transferable skills and opening up a wide range of career paths. Equipped with an Honours degree in Philosophy a graduate can bring to subsequent employment a sharp and analytical mind that can be applied directly to the job itself, or to any further specialist training required. Stirling Philosophy students in recent years have gone on to careers in the civil service, business, law, the social services, environmental management and the media.
In gaining this understanding, Philosophy students develop a wide range of abilities that are highly valued by employers, especially by those looking for staff capable of clear, rigorous thinking. These abilities include:
Each of the abilities listed above involves a capacity to think creatively, self-critically and independently. These intellectual skills are integral to the study of philosophy. In addition, Philosophy is taught in an environment in which you will:
Workshops focused on careers for Philosophy students are run by the Student Philosophy Society and discipline-specific advice and events are organised by the Career Development Service. In addition, a biennial student conference, often held in the Highlands, allows students to present their work in a semi-formal ‘presentation’ setting in front of their peers.
Philosophy graduates are currently contributing to the performance of the following organisations:
To provide you with an indication as to what you can do with your Philosophy degree, graduates entering into employment in the past two years are currently working as:
Building on that foundation, alumni of Stirling’s Philosophy degree who graduated between five and ten years ago have since advanced into some of the following positions:
Some of our more established alumni are currently leading and shaping strategy across many different sectors – here is an example of how a few former Philosophy students have advanced in their careers: