The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.
In your first year we offer a thorough grounding in mainly mainstream western philosophy, with some modules based around philosophical problems (e.g. the problem of scepticism, the problem of free will, and so on), some based around important historical figures (e.g. Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes and Rousseau), and some aimed at providing you with the skills you need to study philosophy in later years.
- Problems of Philosophy
- Ethics: How Should We Live?
- Epistemology: What and How do We Know?
- Philosophical Traditions
- Philosophy of Religion
- Political Philosophy: Can Power be Legitimate?
- Ethics: Issues of Life and Death
- Moral Problems: An Introduction to Applied Ethics
- Ancient Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle
You will be given far more freedom of choice, with no modules being compulsory, so that you can pursue the topics and questions that interest and inspire you.
All of the modules below carry 20 credits, so Single Honours students take either six philosophy modules or five (plus an MOMD) and Joint Honours students will normally take three (Joint Honours students may in many programmes take more credits in one of their subjects than in the other, so some Joint Honours students might take two or four modules). The range of modules on offer may differ a little from year to year, but the following are currently available.
Second year modules include:
- The Mind-Body Problem
- Elements of Logic and Metaphysics
- Feminist Philosophy
- Speaking of Things
- Logic: its Limits and Scope
- Sex, Ethics and Philosophy
- The Ethics of Killing
- The Ethics and Politics of Climate Change
- Experience and Reason: Early Modern Philosophy
- History of Analytic Philosophy
The modules on offer at this level are informed by lecturers’ research interests to a greater degree than before, and students should begin to get a real feel for philosophy at the cutting-edge. In addition to four or five modules below, Single Honours students undertake independent research of their own, and, with help from a supervisor, write a dissertation on a topic of their own choosing. Joint Honours students may do the same, but if their other subject includes a dissertation they are not obliged to do another in Philosophy.
Final year modules include:
- Minds, Brains and Computers
- Topics in Philosophy of Religion
- Global Bioethics
- Prejudice, Race and Gender
- Being Good and Doing Right
- Science and Nature
- Philosophy of Language
- Experience and Reason: Topics in Epistemology
- What there is: Issues in Ontology
- Philosophy of Mathematics
- Philosophy of Time Travel
Philosophy with a year abroad
Subject to satisfactory performance over your first two years, you may have the option of spending your third year studying Philosophy at an overseas university. You will then come back to Birmingham for your fourth and final year.