BA Philosophy and History with Study Abroad

Duration4 Years
Typical offerAAA-AAB; IB: 36-34
  • Philosophy
  • History
Location Streatham (Exeter)


This degree combines the study of two complementary subjects, enabling you to develop analytical and reasoning skills while deepening your knowledge of history across different time periods and countries.

Studying philosophy will give you the opportunity to discuss long-standing questions about the nature of knowledge. How do we know what we know? Does science provide us with a special kind of knowledge? How should we behave? Who decides what counts as beautiful? Why is there something rather than nothing? From the beginning you will be encouraged to develop your own views and to assess other philosophers’ takes on issues and topics. It will teach you to think rigorously, to defend your views in a clear and consistent way, to understand the why and what-for of different points of view, and ultimately to develop a sharp, analytical and open mind. History will take you on a fascinating journey of the human race by exploring its activities, institutions and ideas. You will have the opportunity to tailor your studies to your own interests by choosing from a diverse range of options.

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

The Philosophy and History degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.

Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons. However this is not normally available for Combined Honours programmes which feature a language.

The third year is spent studying abroad at a partner institution.

Please note that modules offered are subject to change, depending on staff availability, timetabling, and demand.

Year 1

The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of philosophical theory and concepts, plus a broad foundation in historical subjects and methods. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.

You will take 60 credits of Philosophy modules and 60 credits of History modules.

Compulsory modules

PHL1002AKnowledge and Reality 1 15
PHL1005AEvidence and Argument 115
PHL1006Introduction to Philosophical Analysis15
Choose either HIH1410 or HIH1420
HIH1410Understanding the Medieval and Early-Modern World30
HIH1420Understanding the Modern World30
HIH1400Making History 15

Optional modules

Select 15 credits of Philosophy Level 1 optional modules.

Select 15 credits of History Level 1 optional modules.

PHL1002BKnowledge and Reality 2 15
PHL1007Philosophical Reading 115
PHL1008Philosophical Reading 215
PHL1013Philosophy of Morality 15
PHL1036Foucault-Discipline and Punish15
PHL1112Philosophy of Film 15
History (Sources and Skills)
HIH1402Britain, America, and the Global Order, 1846-194615
HIH1406The Opium War: Britain and the Birth of Modern China, 1839-184215
HIH1505The First Crusade15
HIH1535British Naval Power in the Age of Nelson15
HIH1542Magic and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe15
HIH1543The Norman Conquest15
HIH1553The Supernatural in Early Modern England15
HIH1585Ladies of the Night: Prostitution in the Victorian World15
HIH1596The Good War? The United States in World War II15
HIH1606The Two Island Empires: Anglo-Japanese Encounters 1600-2000 15
HIH1609The Habsburg Monarchy of Austria-Hungary 1867-191815
HIH1610The Rise and Demise of the Raj: India 1857-1947 15

Year 2

In the second year you will advance your grasp of philosophical and historical knowledge and methods. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.

Compulsory modules

HIH2001Doing History: Perspectives on Sources 30

Optional modules

Select 45 credits of Philosophy Level 2 optional modules and 15 credits of Philosophy Level 3 options.

Select 30 credits of History Level 2 optional modules.

Philosophy (Level 2)
PHL2010APhilosophy of Mind - 115
PHL2011APhilosophy of Nature 115
PHL2012Social Philosophy 15
PHL2015Body and Mind 15
PHL2016Metaphysics 15
PHL2018Philosophy of Language15
Philosophy (Level 3)
PHL3011Philosophy of Science30
PHL3013Virtues and Vices15
PHL3014Symbolic Logic15
PHL3018Sex and Death: Introduction to the Philosophy of Biology 15
PHL3029Sociology and Philosophy of Globalisation15
PHL3035Critical Bioethics15
PHL3037Aristotle's Politics15
PHL3038The Self15
PHL3046AThe Holocaust, Genocide and Society30
PHL3074Cyborg Studies 30
PHL3075Philosophical Readings 615
PHL3100Knowledge and History: Theories of Scientific Change15
HIH2092AEurope in the Tenth Century: Continuity and Change30
HIH2108AStuart England30
HIH2179AThe American Empire30
HIH2180AThe Making of Modern China: War, Revolution, and Reform30
HIH2181AThe Witchcraze in Europe and its Colonies c.1300-180030
HIH2182AThe Re-Birth of Europe? Renaissance and Renewal in the Long Twelfth Century30
HIH2183AThe History of the British Conservative Party in the 20th Century30
HIH2184AFrom Conquest to Communism:Central Asia under the Russian and Soviet Empires, 1730-194530
HIH2202ASexuality in C19th and C20th Britain30
HIH2203ACrime and Society in England, 1500-180030
HIH2206ABritish Naval Power 1660-1815: Ideology and Conflict30
HIH2208AMedieval Paris30
HIH2221ABritain, the Mandates and the Modern Middle East30
HIH2229BCulture, Class and Gender30

Year 3

The centre-point of the final year is the dissertation. This provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous years of your degree. You will also take up to three other specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.

You will choose one of two pathways. You only write one dissertation in either History or Philosophy.

Compulsory modules

PHL3040 Philosophy Dissertation [Pathway A]30
HIH3005 General Third-Year Dissertation [Pathway B]30

Optional modules

Pathway A
  • Philosophy Dissertation
  • 2 x History Co-Requisites Special Subject Modules 2 x 30 credits (60 credits)
  • 30 credits of Level 3 Philosophy modules
Pathway B

[Students may only opt for Pathway B if they have taken HIH2001 Doing History at level 2]

  • History Dissertation
  • 30 credits of Comparative Histories module
  • 60 credits of Level 3 Philosophy modules
History (Special Subjects)
HIH3132The Body in Early Modern England: Sources30
HIH3133The Body in Early Modern England: Context30
HIH3180The Spanish Civil War: Sources30
HIH3181The Spanish Civil War: Context30
HIH3206A New Jerusalem? Being Protestant in Post-Reformation England: Sources30
HIH3207A New Jerusalem? Being Protestant in Post-Reformation England: Context30
HIH3208Child Soldiers - War, Society and Humanitarianism in Africa: Sources30
HIH3209Child Soldiers - War, Society and Humanitarianism in Africa: Context30
HIH3257The Russian Revolution: Sources30
HIH3258The Russian Revolution: Context30
HIH3266Magic in the Middle Ages: Sources30
HIH3267Magic in the Middle Ages: Context30
HIH3283Nazism on Trial: Sources30
HIH3284Nazism on Trial: Context30
HIH3296Street Protest and Social Movements in the Modern Era: Sources30
HIH3297Street Protest and Social Movements in the Modern Era: Context30
HIH3298Law, Politics and Society across the British Empire, 1750-1960: Sources30
HIH3299Law, Politics and Society across the British Empire, 1750-1960: Context30
HIH3410The Great War: A Comparative History: Sources30
HIH3411The Great War: A Comparative History: Context30
HIH3597Consumer Revolution? Food, Things and Fashion in England 1500-1800: Sources30
HIH3598Consumer Revolution? Food, Things and Fashion in England 1500-1800: Context30
PHL3011Philosophy of Science30
PHL3013Virtues and Vices15
PHL3014Symbolic Logic15
PHL3018Sex and Death: Introduction to the Philosophy of Biology 15
PHL3029Sociology and Philosophy of Globalisation15
PHL3035Critical Bioethics15
PHL3037Aristotle's Politics15
PHL3038The Self15
PHL3040Philosophy Dissertation 30
PHL3046AThe Holocaust, Genocide and Society30
PHL3074Cyborg Studies 30
PHL3075Philosophical Readings 615
PHL3100Knowledge and History: Theories of Scientific Change15
History (Comparative Histories)
HIH3618Power Elites: Ruling Groups across Space and Time30
HIH3626Heroes: Conceptions, Constructions & Representations30
HIH3628Civil Wars30

Entry requirements 2018

Typical offer

AAA-AAB; IB: 36-34

Additional selection criteria

We are looking for well-qualified students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.

We receive a large number of applications from well-qualified applicants and may not be able to make offers to all those applicants who have achieved or are predicted to achieve grades in line with the typical offer shown above.

In addition to the specific requirements listed above, we look for excellent A level* results/predictions and we may also take into account results up to and including GCSEs* and AS Levels* as part of our holistic assessment of an application.

*Equivalent qualifications will be considered. For more information about our equivalencies for specific qualifications please contact our Admissions Office.

Programmes with Study Abroad

Entry for programmes ‘with Study Abroad’ is offered on the basis that you will spend your time abroad at an institution where the teaching and examining is delivered in English. However, we also have partners that teach in French, Spanish and German. Should you wish to study at one of these institutions you will need to take modules through the Foreign Language Centre up to ‘Advanced’ standard in the appropriate language. In order to reach this standard before the year abroad, students usually need to have entered the University with the equivalent of a good GCSE or AS level (or higher) in that language.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

Learning and teaching

You’ll study Philosophy and History through a combination of lectures and small-group seminars, with an increasing emphasis on small group seminar discussion and project work in the second and third years. 

You will be encouraged to develop your writing and presentation skills in a supportive atmosphere. You’ll have regular tutorials in which you meet to discuss essays with your tutor, together with a small group of other students. These personal contacts are very important in developing staff-student relations and for getting to know your fellow students.

Through our system of personal and subject tutors, you will find the individual help and guidance you need to succeed and you'll have a chance to make your mark on the programmes through regular student evaluations and participation in the Student-Staff Liaison Committee and student societies.


You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For four-year programmes, the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree classification.

Assessment includes formal exams and assessed coursework, including essays and projects as well as practical assignments.

Study abroad

A full year abroad, at one of our partner institutions, is taken in the third year. You can apply directly for the four-year ‘with Study Abroad’ programme, or transfer from another programme once you are at the University of Exeter. More details about study abroad options and destinations can be found on the College of Social Sciences and International Studies study abroad web pages.


A degree from the University of Exeter will provide you with a range of professional, academic and personal skills that will prepare you for future employment.

Our programmes not only give you an understanding of your subjects but also give you an excellent all round education. You will learn to understand other people's points of view, communicate your own position clearly and argue effectively. You will also learn to collect, assess and present evidence and to work independently and in groups.

Studying Philosophy and History is good preparation for a number of careers including the media, public sector, legal profession, business, and management. 

Developing your skills and career prospects

We provide a range of support to help you develop skills attractive to employers. You will be able to access a range of specific activities such as careers skills sessions and employer-led events, or seek bespoke advice and support from Employability Officers based within Colleges.

The University of Exeter’s Employability and Graduate Development Service also organises a busy schedule of activities including careers fairs, skills workshops, and training events, and can advise on graduate opportunities and volunteering.

Contact us

Streatham Campus, Exeter

Phone: +44 (0)1392 723192

Website: Visit the Philosophy website