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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2024/5 academic year

BA (Hons) Philosophy with Study Abroad

1. Programme Details

Programme nameBA (Hons) Philosophy with Study Abroad Programme codeUFA4HPSHPS28
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2024/5
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award6 (Honours)

2. Description of the Programme

This programme allows you to study philosophy in depth, in its many different facets. You will have the opportunity to discuss long-standing questions about the nature of knowledge (how do we know what we know?); science (does science provide us with a special kind of knowledge?); reality (does the world out there really exist?); ethics (how should we act?); art and beauty (who decides what counts as beautiful?); the mind-body relationship (how can the brain produce the mind?); the meaning of life (why is there something rather than nothing?); and more. From the beginning you will be encouraged to develop your own views on all these topics and to assess other philosophers’ views. Studying philosophy 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.

You will spend the 3rd year of study in a partner University. The year abroad comprises 120 credits. Assessment is normally based on the credits gained at the partner institution abroad.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. To produce graduates who are grounded in the main themes of Philosophy through a combination of modules which develop a deep understanding of some pervasive and problematic features of the world and of ourselves.
2. To develop students' competence in the specific skills required in Philosophy, and in core academic and personal and key skills.
3. To engender a sense of belonging to a community of enquiry, encourage intellectual development and prepare students, where appropriate, for possible postgraduate study.
4. To offer a wide range of choice within the programme of study, insofar as this choice is consistent with the coherence and intellectual rigour of the degree.
5. To provide a programme of study which introduces progressive intellectual challenges and consolidates previous experiences at each new level.
6. To provide a supportive learning environment with full access to welfare, pastoral and careers support.
7. To offer students the opportunity to develop their skills and capabilities (including linguistic skills, where appropriate) through the pursuit of study in another University in a different geographical and cultural setting.

The programme aims:

4. Programme Structure

This Single Honours degree programme is studied in four 'stages'. Each 'stage' is divided into two 'terms' and is equivalent to one year of full-time study. The programme is University-based throughout. The programme is divided into units of study called 'modules'. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work. The 'level' of a module indicates its position in the progressive development of academic abilities and skills during the programme. Overall the programme consists of 360 credits, with 120 credits taken at each stage. Normally not more than 75 credits would be allowed in any one term. In total, students must take at least 90 credits of level 3 modules. Under the University's rules on modularity the degree programme contains compulsory and optional modules as part of the degree programme. Students may take up to 30 credits a year outside their main degree subject after they have met the compulsory requirements of their main subject.

The pass mark for award of credit in an individual module is 40%. The University regulations allow students to progress to the next stage (or in the final year to proceed to the award of an honours degree) once at least 90 credits have been passed in a stage and provided that a credit weighted average of at least 40% has been achieved over the 120 credits of assessment for that stage. Therefore up to 30 credits of failure can be condoned in a stage conditional on a stage average of at least 40%.

Assessment at Stage 1 is formative and does not contribute towards the overall mark for the degree programme, although an overall pass is necessary for progression to Stage 2.

Assessment Conventions which can be found at:

5. Programme Modules

The full list of modules is available (with module descriptions) for Philosophy at

The Philosophy 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 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.

Stage 1

60 credits of compulsory core modules, 60 credits of optional modules

The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of philosophy theory and concepts. You will also be introduced to important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.


Compulsory Modules

You should choose 60 credits of ‘core’ modules, listed as compulsory

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
PHL1002A Knowledge and Reality 1 15No
PHL1002B Knowledge and Reality 2 15No
PHL1005A Evidence and Argument 1 15No
PHL1006 Introduction to Philosophical Analysis 15No
PHL1013 Philosophy of Morality 15No

Optional Modules

Choose 30 credits of Philosophy option modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
PHL Stage 1 SH Philosophy option modules 2023-4
PHL1004 Philosophical Problems 1 15 No
PHL1009 Philosophies of Art 15 No
PHL1010 Introduction to Asian Philosophy 15 No
PHL1013 Philosophy of Morality 15 No
PHL1112 Philosophy of Film 15 No

Stage 2

You should take choose 60 credits of ‘core’ modules, listed as compulsory

Up to 60 credits of module choices from available PHL2*** coded option modules. You may take up to 30 credits of these options from outside of the department."

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
PHL S2 BA Philosophy SH comp 2024-5
PHL2010A Philosophy of Mind 1 15 No
PHL2043 Philosophical Research 15 No
PHL2118 Moral agency in social context 15 No
PHL2015 Body and Mind 15 No
PHL2016 Metaphysics 15 No
PHL2018 Philosophy of Language 15 No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
PHL S2 BA Philosophy SH opt 2019-0 [Up to 60 credits]
PHL2001 Phenomenology 15 No
PHL2002 Existentialism 15 No
PHL2021 Symbolic Logic 15 No
PHL2022 Sex and Death: Introduction to the Philosophy of Biology 15 No
PHL2024A Philosophical Readings 3 15 No
PHL2025A Philosophical Readings 4 15 No
PHL2026 Philosophy of Science 15 No
PHL2027 Feminist Philosophy 15 No
PHL2035 Critical Bioethics 15 No
PHL2038 The Self 15 No
PHL2045 Aesthetics 15 No
PHL2046 The Holocaust and Society 15 No
PHL2051 The Human Condition: Classic Readings in Anthropology 15 No
PHL2052 Epistemology 15 No
PHL2053 History of Philosophy 15 No
PHL2054 Philosophy of Psychiatry 15 No
PHL2060 Philosophy of Emotion 15 No
PHL2061 Philosophy of Law 15 No
PHL2096 Cyborg Studies 15 No
PHL2100 Knowledge and History: Theories of Scientific Change 15 No
PHL2105 Contemporary Capitalism, Critique and Resistance 15 No
PHL2108 Fundamental Ontology 15 No
PHL2109 Philosophy with Children 15 No
PHL2111 The Deep Past, History and Humanity 15 No
PHL2112 Practical Ethics 15 No
PHL2055 Ecology, Environment and Conservation 15 No

Stage 3

Students spend this stage in a partner University on an Erasmus/Socrates exchange or other approved programme of study. The year abroad comprises 120 credits. Assessment is normally based on the credits gained at the partner institution abroad.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
HAS3999 Study Abroad (HASS) 120No

Stage 4

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 other specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.

30 credits of compulsory modules, 90 credits of optional modules.

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
PHL3040 Philosophy Dissertation 30No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
PHL SF BA Philosophy SH opt 2019-0 [90 credits]
PHL3002 Existentialism 15 No
PHL3014 Symbolic Logic 15 No
PHL3018 Sex and Death: Introduction to the Philosophy of Biology 15 No
PHL3024A Philosophical Readings 3 15 No
PHL3025A Philosophical Readings 4 15 No
PHL3026 Philosophy of Science 15 No
PHL3035 Critical Bioethics 15 No
PHL3038 The Self 15 No
PHL3041 Feminist Philosophy 15 No
PHL3045 Aesthetics 15 No
PHL3051 The Human Condition: Classic Readings in Anthropology 15 No
PHL3052 Epistemology 15 No
PHL3053 History of Philosophy 15 No
PHL3054 Philosophy of Psychiatry 15 No
PHL3060 Philosophy of Emotion 15 No
PHL3061 Philosophy of Law 15 No
PHL3096 Cyborg Studies 15 No
PHL3100 Knowledge and History: Theories of Scientific Change 15 No
PHL3108 Fundamental Ontology 15 No
PHL3111 The Deep Past, History and Humanity 15 No
PHL3113 Practical Ethics 15 No
PHL3056 The Nature of Normativity 15 No
PHL3112 Ecology, Environment and Conservation 15 No
POL3247 Politics of Biology 15 No
PHL3013 Virtues and Vices 15 No
PHL3042 Philosophical Anthropology 15 No
PHL3075 Philosophical Readings 6 15 No
PHL3110 Philosophy of Emotion 30 No
PHL3114 Aristotle's Ethics 15 No
PHL3115 Introduction to Critical Theory 15 No
POL2050 Political Philosophy 15 No
POL2059 Political Thought of Modernity 15 No
THE3185 Incarnation: Topics in Philosophical Theology 30 No
SPA3001 Debates, Issues and Practices 15 No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Demonstrate a familiarity with philosophical ideas about various topics such as the nature of reality and value, the possibility and nature of knowledge, the relation between mind and body, the structure of the natural world and the place of man in it, and moral issues.
2. Familiarity with the history of modern philosophy, with basic concepts in epistemology and metaphysics, the philosophies of mind and nature, and moral philosophy.
3. Awareness of different philosophical traditions and methods.
4. The ability to analyse and criticise concepts and substantial works in ethics.
5. Awareness of major issues that are currently debated in philosophy.
6. An ability for logical and conceptual analysis and reasoning about abstract matters.
7. Understanding (at increasing depth, according to level) of issues (increasingly complex according to level) arising from the subject matter of the elective modules taken

The skills are mainly developed through lectures, seminars, and formatively and summatively assessed essay work (on different topics and in different areas of philosophy: Knowledge and Reality, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Nature, and Ethics), practical exercises (Evidence and Argument, Introduction to Philosophical Analysis) and special close reading seminars (Philosophical Reading 1-4) which are designed to improve not only the philosophical knowledge but also analytic skills and depth of understanding.

The assessment of these skills is through a combination of term-time essays, ILOs 1-7
oral presentations, ILOs 1-7
and examinations ILOs 1-7
(and, where applicable, Research Methods Project and Dissertation work). ILOs 1-7
The criteria of assessment pay full recognition to the importance of the various skills outlined.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

8. Demonstrate articulacy in identifying underlying issues in all kinds of debate.
9. Precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex and controversial problems.
10. Sensitivity in interpretaton of texts drawn from a variety of ages and/or traditions.
11. Clarity and rigour in the critical assessment of arguments presented in such texts.
12. Ability to use and criticise specialised philosophical terminology.
13. Ability to abstract, analyse and construct sound arguments and to identify logical fallacies.
14. Ability to recognise methodological errors, rhetorical devices, unexamined conventional wisdom, unnoticed assumptions, vagueness and superficiality.
15. Ability to move between generalisation and appropriately detailed discussion, inventing or discovering examples to support or challenge a position, and distinguishing relevant and irrelevant considerations.
16. Ability to consider unfamiliar ideas and ways of thinking, and to examine critically pre-suppositions and methods within the discipline itself.
17. Ability to conduct arguments about matters of the highest moment without recourse to insult or susceptibility to take offence.
18. Willingness to evaluate opposing arguments, to formulate and consider the best arguments for different views and to identify the weakest elements of the most persuasive view.
19. Honesty in recognising the force of the conclusions warranted by a careful assessment of pertinent arguments.
20. Ability to cross traditional subject boundaries, examining the limitations and virtues of other disciplines and practices, and recognising philosophical doctrines in unfamiliar places.
21. Where stage 3 is to be spent at a non-English speaking university, work at an advanced level, both orally and in writing, in a foreign language

Skills are developed throughout the Philosophy degree programme by lectures and seminars, written work and oral work (both oral presentations and class discussion). A more sophisticated use of these skills is developed in the second and third stages; in the third stage, independent use of these skills is developed through the dissertation and level 3 optional modules selected by the student

Skills are assessed through course essays, assessed oral presentations and examinations at stages 1-2 and through the dissertation at stage 3. Skill 21 is developed through accredited language tuition at stages 1 and 2 and in the year abroad, and assessed in all work done in year abroad

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

22. listen attentively to complex presentations;
23. read carefully a variety of technical and non-technical material;
24. use libraries effectively;
25. reflect clearly and critically on oral and written sources, employing powers of imagination as well as analysis
26. remember relevant material and bring it to mind when the moment of its relevance arises;
27. marshal a complex body of information
28. construct cogent arguments in the evaluation of this material;
29. present, in both oral and written forms, a clear and well-structured assessment of relevant considerations
30. motivate oneself
31. work autonomously;
32. manage one's own work to time limits;
33. be flexible and adaptable in facing new situations;
34. think creatively, self-critically and independently.
35. advance linguistic competence independently

All skills are developed through the preparation and delivery of oral presentations in many modules at all levels in both sides of the programme, and through the oral discussion of challenging material in all modules in the programme. They are further developed through meetings with personal tutors, one-to-one or small-group tutorials giving feedback on written work, discussion in seminars, written assignments (essays) in most modules and examinations in many modules at all levels.

Skills 34 is also promoted through the student Self-Appraisal system in the mid-semester break.

Skills 30-32 are particularly developed through assessed essays and the dissertation.

Skill 35 is developed through language tuition at stages 1 and 2 where one module (normally for 30 credits) in each of the first and second years is normally replaced with language modules appropriate to the host university, and in the year abroad.

Skills are assessed through formatively assessed seminar presentations, written work at all levels and in all modules, examination in many modules, and the dissertation. Skill 14 is assessed by oral and written work on the Exeter-based language modules, and through the modules taken during year abroad.

The educational aims of the programme and the projected outcomes are all in accordance with the QAA philosophy benchmarks statements (18, 23-27).

7. Programme Regulations

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.


8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic tutoring: It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

As an undergraduate or postgraduate taught student in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies you will be allocated a Personal Tutor at the commencement of your studies. In normal circumstances your Personal Tutor will remain your tutor throughout your study programme. Your Personal Tutor is normally available through scheduled office hours, but should also see you as a matter of course three or four times a year (depending on your year of study); these meetings may typically commence soon after registration. These meetings will take place once or twice mid-year to discuss your progress and to perhaps consider Personal Development Planning (ePDP) and once to discuss your overall performance. The ePDP is a particularly useful developmental tool which you are encouraged to utilize and which is accessible though the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE).

You should feel that you are able to approach your personal tutor for advice, pastoral support or academic support in a wider sense.

Library, ELE and other resources provided to support this programme:
The Library offers you core services for learning and research. Whilst the various locations house a large collection of materials and services, many of our resources are available online through this website for you to use at home, work or wherever you are located for your study. Each discipline has a subject librarian on hand to help you to find resources and we also work with tutors to digitize reading lists for inclusion in the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE).

Exeter Learning Environment (ELE) is used throughout the University to make course materials available online. You will be able to access module information, presentations, handouts, reading materials as well as interacting with other students and your tutors. Many tutors use ELE to run assessments and set coursework assignments. In addition to the materials provided by your tutors, there are various other resources available on ELE to help you in your studies, for example, you will be able to access your ePDP, the University’s online PDP system, which has been developed to help you keep an ongoing record of your academic, work and extra-curricular experiences, and help you develop action plans and personal statements.

The University provides a range of IT services, including open and training clusters of PCs (available on a 24/7 basis). In the Social Sciences and International Studies College this includes a 24/7 suite in Amory, based in the Law Library and a second one in the St Luke’s Campus Library. These suites are accessible by swiping your university card. The majority of the College also has access to the university’s wireless network. Network access is available from the majority of rooms in University halls of residence through the ResNet system.

At St Luke’s there is also a college-based open access suite (South Cloisters 14) providing access to another 20 machines. Entry is again made by use of your university card and it is open from 8.30am to 7pm Monday to Friday.

All of these suites have the standard ‘palms’ printing systems in them (printing from credit held on your university card). At the St Luke’s Campus there is also a cash-based printing service at the GSE Print Unit based in South Cloisters.

Please see link below for further information on the IT Services facilities on the Exeter Campuses:

Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham and Cornwall campuses.

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

10. Admissions Criteria

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

The programme is not subject to accreditation and/ or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by


18. Final Award

BA (Hons) Philosophy with Study Abroad

19. UCAS Code


20. NQF Level of Final Award

6 (Honours)

21. Credit

CATS credits


ECTS credits


22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

[Honours] Philosophy

23. Dates

Origin Date


Date of last revision