The Philosophy Department at the University of Birmingham has an outstanding international reputation for excellence in teaching and research and was ranked second in the country in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
Similarly, our well-equipped Mathematics department boasts academics who are global experts in their fields, conducting excellent teaching and conducting ground breaking research in areas such as fluid dynamics, analysis and group theory. The Department of Mathematics was ranked sixth in the country in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
In your Philosophy studies, you will explore the great minds of history and the present day, both learning what they thought and engaging with them critically. You will focus on the fundamentals of western philosophy, including its history and contemporary concerns, with modules covering topics such as History of Philosophy, Moral and Political Philosophy, and Philosophy of Science. We also provide you with training in reasoning and logic.
Meanwhile, your Mathematics studies are carefully designed to give you access to as many topics as possible. You will develop skills such as the ability to formulate and tackle problems, to think logically, to use technical language and to express complex ideas clearly and accurately.
Why study this course
- Excellent employability development – 90% of our Philosophy and 85% of our Mathematics graduates enter work, or full time study, within six months of graduation. Visit our Employability page for more information.
- Taught by experts – You will study alongside some of the finest minds in Philosophy and Mathematics. We are ranked second among all Philosophy departments and sixth among all Mathematics departments in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. Both departments are large enough to offer a broad spectrum of modules, but small enough to offer a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Staff know students by name and are always happy to talk about the topics raised in lectures and seminars or provide additional support and guidance, such as feedback on essays.
- Flexibility – the variety of modules on offer will allow you to specialise more as you progress so that you can study areas of the discipline which interest you the most.
- Exciting study abroad opportunities – You will have the opportunity to experience student life in a new environment. Our programme allows you to spend the third year of your degree studying Philosophy and Maths at an overseas university.
- Diverse extracurricular activities – By joining the Philosophy Society or MathSoc you can make new friends who share your passion for your subjects. You can also attend interesting and diverse extra-curricular events as both societies are highly active and organise social events, guest speakers and debates throughout the academic year.
Open day talks
Two videos on YouTube from recent open day talks relevant to this course:
Please be aware that the following information is intended to provide prospective students with an indicative guide of the modules offered by the School. However, our research is constantly exploring new areas and directions of study, therefore some modules may be dropped and new ones offered in their place.
In this programme, you study half of your modules (60 credits) in Mathematics and half in Philosophy (60 credits)
Philosophy: First year modules include: Knowledge and Reality (what is the world like, and how – if at all – do we come to know about it?); History of Philosophy; Logic; and The Individual and Society (covering moral and political philosophy). There are also two seminar-only modules: Philosophical Texts I (where you learn how to analyse and criticise some texts on a variety of topics) and Independent Study I (where you learn essay-writing and research skills and apply them by writing an essay on a philosophical topic of your choice).
Mathematics: The first two years are carefully designed to allow you as much choice as possible in your final year. In the first year, you take core calculus and algebra together with either applied mathematics or discrete mathematics and statistics.
Philosophy: In the second year, all students are given some freedom of choice, so you can pursue the topics and questions that interest and inspire you. Second year modules currently on offer include: Thought and Language; Topics in the History of Philosophy; Philosophy of Science; Philosophy of Mind; and Meta-ethics. There is also Philosophical Texts II, where you focus on a single classic book by a particular author (you will have a range of texts in different areas to choose from), and Independent Study II, which gives you the opportunity to further hone your essay-writing skills and to write another essay on a question of your own devising.
Mathematics : You take modules in advanced calculus, pure mathematics, and management mathematics. Your computer skills are developed with an introduction to programming.
Philosophy: In the final year there is even more choice of modules. Some areas (like ethics and metaphysics) will be familiar to you, but will be studied at a more advanced level; others, like the philosophy of Schopenhauer, will be new to you. Final year modules currently on offer include:
- Contemporary Moral Theory
- Philosophy of Religion
- Philosophy of Psychology
- Issues in Contemporary Metaphysics
- Philosophy of Language
- Global Bio-Ethics
Another option is the Philosophical Project module, for which you research and write a dissertation with the help of a supervisor who advises you and generally guides you through the process.
Mathematics: The final year offers you a choice of modules with the opportunity to study subjects such as number theory, numerical methods or the history of mathematics
Fees and funding
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: AAB
Required subjects and grades: A level Maths grade A
International baccalaureate update
Please note that we have reviewed our policy on the IB Diploma for 2016 entry and our offers will now focus on performance in Higher Level subjects. For more information and details please read our 2016 IB Diploma requirements.
We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
How to apply
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