BA Philosophy and History
|Typical offer||AAA-AAB; IB: 36-34|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Entry requirements 2018
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.
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 three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final 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.
A four year ‘with Study Abroad’ degree programme is available. A full year abroad, at one of our partner institutions, is generally taken in the third year of a four year degree programme. 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.