By pursuing a bachelor's degree in philosophy, you will learn about major thinkers, including Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and Kant, and learn to make connections between the ideas and arguments that inform philosophical debates.
A trusted name in global education
Our Philosophy programmes are developed by Birkbeck, University of London. Founded in 1823, Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research universities.
Impress employers with your problem-solving skills
Studying philosophy will prepare you for many careers, including public service, teaching, research, media and journalism. Philosophy is renowned for being excellent preparation for success in fields such as law, administration and business.
Study online anywhere in the world
Fit your studies around your commitments and pursue an internationally recognised degree without putting your life on hold. Continue to build your career momentum while gaining the knowledge and skills to unlock future opportunities. Benefit from comprehensive study materials written specifically for the programmes by leading experts.
A degree recognised around the world
Earn a degree that is internationally valued across the globe and will help you pursue sought-after careers in a variety of fields. The University of London has been a trusted provider of distance and flexible learning for over 160 years and is a reputable name to attach to your qualification.
Access a wealth of resources
You will have access to a range of online resources with materials designed for independent study, delivered by way of a Virtual Learning Environment and online library.
General entry requirements
The programme is available to be studied as a full bachelor’s degree, a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) or a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE).
You complete 12 courses for the BA:
Four courses from Level 4, four courses from Level 5 and four courses from Level 6 including a dissertation.
You complete eight courses for the DipHE:
Four courses from Level 4 and four courses from Level 5.
You complete four courses for the CertHE:
Four compulsory Level 4 courses.
Introduction to philosophy can be studied individually on a stand-alone basis.
The Programme Specification and Programme Regulations contain information and rules regarding what courses you can choose and the order in which they must be studied.
Dissertation (BA only)
Distance learning offers you the flexibility to balance your studies with your existing commitments. You will have access to a range of online resources with materials designed for independent study, delivered by way of a Virtual Learning Environment and online library.
The core study materials you need to complete the programme are provided online. These include a programme handbook of practical information (such study advice and how to enter exams), a subject guide for each course that you choose as well as past exam papers and commentaries, giving you valuable tips for performing well in exams. You will also receive a hard copy textbook, Reading Philosophy: Selected Texts with a Method for Beginners.
When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:
- The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Here, you can access electronic copies of all printed study materials, resources including audio-visual and revision guides, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others.
- The Online Library. As a student at the University of London, you will have access to a range of resources, databases, and journals via the Online Library. You will be able to contact a team of professional and qualified librarians for any help you require.
Senate House Library
If you’re based in the United Kingdom, or are visiting London, make sure to visit Senate House Library. Students studying with the University of London can join the library free of charge. Membership includes a 10-book borrowing allowance, access to all reading rooms and study areas, and on-site access to Senate House Library digital resources.
We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a Recognised Teaching Centre.
You will have access to support through:
- The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
- TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.
- All Level 4 and Level 5 courses are assessed by a two-hour written exam.
- Level 6 courses are assessed by a three-hour written exam,
- The dissertation is assessed by a thesis of 7,500 words.
Exams are held in May each year.
The programme is developed by the Department of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London. Birkbeck is ranked among the leading UK University institutions for its levels of national and international excellence in research in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
Alex Grzankowski is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Birkbeck College and the Associate Director of the Institute of Philosophy at the School of Advanced Studies, University of London. His research is in the Philosophy of Mind and Language with a focus on intentionality and representation. He is an editor of Nonpropositional Intentionality (2018). Alex received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 and taught at Texas Tech University and Cambridge before moving to Birkbeck.
|Programme starts||November 2023|
What qualifications do you need?
For access to the BA Philosophy and DipHE Philosophy, you will usually meet the following criteria:
- Age 17+ by 30 November in the year of registration.
- Satisfy our General Entrance Requirements.
For access to the CertHE Philosophy:
- Age 18+ by 01 September in the year of registration.
- Three GCSEs (at Grade A*-C / 9-4) or equivalent.
For access to individual courses (Introduction to Philosophy):
- Age 18+ by 01 September in the year of registration.
- Passing this course with 50 per cent will normally admit you to the CertHE.
Even if you do not meet the standard requirements, we will consider each application on its own merits. Our Admissions Panel will consider whether any alternative/incomplete qualifications or work experience you have are suitable for entry to the programme. If we are unable to issue you an offer for either the BA, DipHE or CertHE routes then if available we will advise on further alternatives such as our International Foundation Programme or on additional qualifications you need to take in order to meet our minimum entrance criteria.
English Language requirements
You need to demonstrate a good level of English to be admitted to our programmes. We accept a range of evidence, including proficiency test scores. If you don’t have evidence but believe you can meet the standard, we may consider your case.
We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this degree, you will also need to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.
If you have studied material as part of a previous qualification that is comparable in content and standard, you might be exempted from the equivalent course of our degree. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). This is available for the BA degree only.
Please note if you wish to be considered for discretionary recognition of prior learning for the 2023 intake, then you must formally apply and submit your request by: 1 October 2023.
Fees, funding and payment
The fees below relate to new students registering for the 2023-2024 session and are effective from 15 December 2022. On average, fees are subject to a five per cent year-on-year increase.
Students who registered earlier can view their fees on the Course Fees page.
|Application fee (non-refundable)||£107|
|Initial registration fee||£1227|
|Continuing registration fee||£624|
|Recognition of Prior Learning (per course)||£125|
|Examination fee per course||£343|
|Online examination fee*||£10|
|Individual course application fee||£107|
|Individual course composite fee||£649|
|Indicative total: BA Philosophy||£7129|
|Indicative total: DipHE Philosophy||£4801|
|Indicative total: CertHE Philosophy||£2746|
Disclaimer: Currency conversion tool.
The indicative totals reflect average fee increases and assume that you complete the qualification within the minimum time (without resits).
*The online examination administration fee is charged for each examination paper held online, including resits. This does not apply to any coursework submissions. This fee will be charged at the point of exam entry and is in addition to the exam entry fee listed above.
You will also need to budget for:
- Textbooks (could extend to around £300 per year)
- Exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams.
Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.
Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees (if in doubt, please check with them before making a payment).
Without the cost of moving to London, studying for your University of London degree anywhere in the world represents excellent value for money. However, there are additional sources of support depending on where you live and how you choose to study.
The BA Philosophy degree will prepare you for many careers, including public service, teaching and research, media and journalism. While not a vocational subject, the study of philosophy is renowned as excellent preparation for success in fields such as law, administration, and business.
In some countries, qualifications earned by distance and flexible learning may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to explore the local recognition status before you register, even if you plan to receive support from a local teaching institution.
You’ll have access to a wide range of careers and employability support through the University of London Careers Service, including live webinars and online drop-in sessions.
Tailored support for careers in the refugee and humanitarian fields is available through regular programme events, webinars and careers resources.
What our students say
“The content of the courses was broad enough to cover almost every area of my intended career.”