What Will You Study

Our Philosophy degree allows you to study and debate important philosophical questions with academics in the field and your peers, such as: How should we live? Is there a God? Are we free to act as we wish if everything is determined by prior causes? Why should we obey the law? Are goodness and beauty objective features of reality? Can science discover all the facts that can be known?

These are some of the many challenging questions you will engage with in a Philosophy degree. At Lancaster, we approach these through contemporary philosophical debate, through engaging with important figures in the history of philosophy –such as Plato, Descartes, Kant and Nietzsche – and via Continental, Analytic, and non-Western philosophical traditions.

In your first year, you’ll have the opportunity to gain an understanding of some of the core areas of Philosophy by taking the core module ‘Introduction to Philosophy: knowledge and reality’. You will also be strongly encouraged to take the complementary module ‘Moral and Political Philosophy’. In your second and fourth years, you will be able to choose from a broad range of philosophy modules, including for example: ‘Continental Philosophy; Logic and Language; Aesthetics; Moral Philosophy’. For more modules please see the Politics, Philosophy and Religion department website. There is also the option to engage in one-to-one study with a member of academic staff for your fourth year dissertation on a specific philosophical topic of interest to you.

You will have the opportunity to spend Year 3 on a placement with a public, private or voluntary organisation in the UK or overseas. This experience should boost your employment prospects and help you to decide on your career direction and the kind of organisation in which you want to work once you graduate. You will be doing a real, responsible job – with all the satisfaction that brings.

Applying for a placement is a competitive process and our Placements Team will support you in finding and applying for a suitable placement. The preparatory modules you will complete in years one and two are designed to give you the best chance of success in both your placement applications and the placement itself.

One of the aims of the placement year is to enhance your understanding of the connections between theory and practice which could benefit your final year of study. Placements provide an exciting opportunity to build up experience and transferable skills, as well as to make contacts with potential employers, which can place you a step ahead in the graduate recruitment market.

The University will use all reasonable effort to support you to find a suitable placement for your studies. While a placement role may not be available in a field or organisation that is directly related to your academic studies or career aspirations, all placement roles offer valuable experience of working at a graduate level and gaining a range of professional skills.

If you are unsuccessful in securing a suitable placement for your third year, you will be able to transfer to the equivalent non-placement degree scheme and would continue with your studies at Lancaster, finishing your degree after your third year. The University offers a range of shorter placement and internship opportunities for which you would be welcome to apply.