Durham University

Philosophy and Politics Durham University Degree level: Undergraduate


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Course summary

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The study of philosophy at Durham does not follow one particular school. The Department is unique in the UK in its wide-ranging expertise in anglo-american analytical philosophy and continental philosophy. Each of these has its own distinctive set of issues and approaches to resolving them. We also have special expertise in the philosophy of science, and social science, and the history of science and medicine. So at Durham, you will follow one of the widest-ranging philosophy degrees in the country.

At Durham, you will have the opportunity to study Philosophy as a Single Honours degree, or with another subject including: English, Music, Psychology, Politics or Theology. Philosophy can also be combined in a Joint Honours degree within the Natural Sciences course or as part of a Combined Honours degree.

Philosophy is a new subject for many students, so in your first year you will follow a range of introductory courses, introducing the fundamental philosophical subject areas.

Year 1
In their first year, you will take the Philosophy core modules of Ethics and Values, Knowledge and Reality, and Reading Philosophy. The first two of these concern the two broad divisions of Philosophy, into Metaphysics and Theory of Knowledge on the one hand, and Moral Philosophy on the other.

Reading Philosophy is a text-based course which examines in depth classic philosophical works.

You will also take two core modules in Politics, Democratic Political Systems, and Political Theory, and one module from a range of electives. Examples of possible modules include:

International Security, Interdependence and Organisation
Global Regions in International Relations
Introduction to International Relations
Introduction to Comparative Politics.

Years 2 and 3
In the second year, you will take Moral Theory and Political Philosophy.

In the second and third years, you will also have a choice of a wide range of topics within Philosophy. In previous years these have included:
Moral Theory
Modern Philosophy I and II
History of Science and Medicine
Issues in Contemporary Ethics
Philosophy of Religion
Political Philosophy
Language, Logic and Reality
Twentieth Century European Philosophy
Philosophy of Science
The Philosophy of Economics and Politics: Theory, Methods and Values
Applied Ethics
Philosophical Issues in Contemporary Science
History and Philosophy of Psychiatry
Biomedical Ethics Past and Present.

A similarly wide range of modules are available in Politics. In previous years these have included:
International Theory
The Politics of Pacific Asia
Foundations of Western Political Thought
Sovereignty, State and Empire
Global Political Economy
Middle East in the International System
Democracy and Democratic Theory
Class, Nation and British Politics
The Ethics of Violence in International Relations
Culture and Conflict in American Politics
The New Germany
Nations and Nationalism
Israel: Politics and Society
Evolution and Development of Military Occupation.

You will also have the opportunity to study a subject in depth, by writing a substantial Dissertation of your choice.

Study Abroad (Philosophy)
We currently participate in exchange schemes through which you may spend a year of your studies abroad, either with universities in Europe – through the SOCRATES/ERASMUS programme – or with the University of California.

School of Government and International Affairs
Students can apply for a one-year study placement in one of the following institutions: the University of California and Boston College in the USA, British Columbia in Canada, the University of Hong Kong, and the National University of Singapore. In some cases courses are offered in English, while in others teaching is in the local language. We have an ERASMUS/Year Abroad Co-ordinator who will help you prepare for your year abroad, and who will maintain contact with you while you are away

For more information on this course, please see our website.

Course details


Tuition fees displayed relate to 2017/18 academic year. The tuition fees for 2018/19 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved. Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

How to apply

This course has limited vacancies, and is no longer accepting applications from some students. See the list below for where you normally live, to check if you’re eligible to apply.




Northern Ireland



Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Qualification Offer Further information
UCAS Tariff Not accepted
A level AAA Subject specific requirements:
To include at least one accepted social science or humanities subject

Specific subjects excluded for entry:
General Studies and Critical Thinking.

Please see the website for a list of accepted social science and humanities subjects.
Applicants taking Science A-levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This refers only to English A Levels.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) DDD Subject specific requirements:
To include at least one accepted social science or humanities subject
Access to HE Diploma D: 30 credits
M: 15 credits
We require 60 credits with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3 (or equivalent). Applicants may be required to meet additional subject-specific requirements for particular courses at Durham.
Scottish Higher AAAAB Departments will normally make offers based on Advanced Highers. In the absence of 3 Advanced Highers, where these are not offered by the applicant’s school, offers comprising of Advanced Highers and Highers or a number of Highers may be made on a case by case basis.

Subject specific requirements:
To include at least one accepted social science or humanities subject
Cambridge International Pre-U Certificate - Principal D3, D3, D3 Subject specific requirements:
To include at least one accepted social science or humanities subject
Extended Project Not accepted
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme 37 points Specific subjects/grades required for entry:
To include 6, 6, 6 at Higher Level including an accepted social science or humanities subject.
Leaving Certificate - Higher Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017) H2, H2, H2, H2, H2 Subject specific requirements:
To include at least one accepted social science or humanities subject
Scottish Advanced Higher AAA Subject specific requirements:
To include at least one accepted social science or humanities subject
Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015) Not accepted

English language requirements

Durham University welcomes applications from all students irrespective of background. We encourage the recruitment of academically well-qualified and highly motivated students, who are non-native speakers of English, whose full potential can be realised with a limited amount of English Language training either prior to entry or through pre-sessional and/or in-sessional courses. It is the normal expectation that candidates for admission should be able to demonstrate satisfactory English proficiency before the start of a programme of study, whether via the submission of an appropriate English language qualification or by attendance on an appropriate pre-sessional course. Acceptable evidence and levels required can be viewed by following the link provided.

English language requirements


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9,250 Year 1
International £20,500 Year 1
England £9,250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9,250 Year 1
Scotland £9,250 Year 1
Wales £9,250 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.

Provider information

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Durham University
The Palatine Centre
Stockton Road

Course contact details

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