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.
BA Philosophy students take the three compulsory modules, a Widening Horizons module from outside of the Department and choose 60 credits of optional modules.
- Problems of Philosophy (20)
- Reasoning (10)
- Logic (10)
- Widening Horizons module (20)
- Ancient Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle (10)
- Epistemology: What and how do we know? (10)
- Ethics: How should we live? (10)
- Moral Problems: An introduction to Applied Ethics (10)
- Philosophy of Religion (10)
- Philosophical Traditions (10)
- Political Philosophy: Can power be legitimate? (10)
In second year, no modules are compulsory so you have the freedom to pursue the topics and questions that interest and inspire you the most.
All of the modules below carry 20 credits, so BA Philosophy students take either six philosophy modules or five plus an Widening Horizons module.The range of modules on offer may differ a little from year to year, but the following are currently available.
- Elements of Logic and Metaphysics (20)
- Experience and Reason: Early Modern Philosophy (20)
- Feminist Philosophy (20)
- History of Analytic Philosophy (20)
- Logic: Its limits and scope (20)
- Sex, Ethics and Philosophy (20)
- Speaking of Things (20)
- The Ethics and Politics of Climate Change (20)
- The Ethics of Killing (20)
- The Mind-Body Problem (20)
- Widening Horizons module (20)
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. The range of optional modules on offer may differ a little from year to year, but the below are currently available.
In addition five optional modules, BA Philosophy students undertake independent research of their own and, with help from a supervisor, write a dissertation on a topic of their own choosing.
- Philosophical Project (20)
- Being Good and Doing Right: Issues in Contemporary Moral Theory (20)
- Global Bioethics (20)
- Minds, Brains and Computers: Issues in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science (20)
- Nietzsche (20)
- Philosophy of Language (20)
- Philosophy of Mathematics (20)
- Philosophy of Time Travel (20)
- Prejudice, Race and Gender (20)
- Reason and Belief: Topics in Epistemology (20)
- Science and Nature (20)
- Topics in Philosophy of Religion (20)
- What There Is: Issues in Ontology (20)
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.