Undergraduate open days 2023
Our summer open days give you Lancaster University in a day. Visit campus and put yourself in the picture.Undergraduate Open Days
14th for Theology and Religious Studies
The Complete University Guide (2024)
16th for Philosophy
The Complete University Guide (2024)
Expand your horizons through travel opportunities
What is the nature of human existence? How do different cultures and faiths grapple with issues of ethics, meaning and knowledge? Our exciting programme will equip you with a global perspective on the fundamental questions that have gripped thinkers from ancient to modern times.
An intellectual world within your reach
You’ll become familiar with the thought of key historical and modern-day thinkers in philosophy and religion, from well-known authors like John Stuart Mill and Friedrich Nietzsche, to contemporary authors like Elizabeth Anderson and Iris Marion Young.
You’ll build upon this by constructing a degree from module choices that span the global intellectual landscape. From Islamic ethics, to Indian philosophical and religious thought, to Chinese philosophy. Our department’s experts cover a vast and varied terrain, and will support you to specialise in whichever areas of religion and philosophy you choose.
From thinking to practice
You’ll benefit from the opportunity to apply for an internship with our department’s Richardson Institute. Here, you’ll have the chance to apply the knowledge and skills you develop on your studies to a real-world research project with external bodies such as think tanks and faith-based organisations, working in a research centre known for its innovative output.
You’ll be able to bolster the global outlook you build on this programme by joining one of the short, overseas trips run by the University. Past visits have seen students travel to India, Ghana and the USA.
You’ll graduate with excellent critical thinking skills, and the ability to judge evidence in a logical manner and communicate a strong case for an argument. These attributes are highly sought-after by employers in today’s graduate job market, and will open up a rich and varied range of career paths to you.
The international awareness and knowledge of world cultures you will build through undertaking a globally-oriented programme will equip you to enter exciting, internationally-focussed roles.
Some of the careers you might choose to pursue include:
Many graduates from our department also choose to go onto further study, taking a Master’s degree or PhD.
Find out more about the support the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion offers to improve your employability, and learn about the careers of some of our alumni.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring that you gain a highly reputable degree. We are also dedicated to ensuring that you graduate with relevant life and work-based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award, which offers you the opportunity to complete activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development.
Visit our Employability section for full details.
A Level ABB
IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 32 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects.
BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Merit
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via email@example.com
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and some which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme to complement your main specialism.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, and the University will make every reasonable effort to offer modules as advertised. In some cases changes may be necessary and may result in some combinations being unavailable, for example as a result of student feedback, timetabling, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.
This module introduces students to key themes in the study of philosophy. Consciously drawing on a broad range of philosophical traditions -- Continental, Analytic, and non-Western -- it aims to present a comprehensive overview of various theoretical sub-disciplines within philosophy, but also to equip students with the ability to reason and think clearly about the most fundamental questions of human existence. The course, though designed as an introduction to the advanced degree-level study of philosophy, will also function as a self-standing introduction to philosophy suitable for those seeking to broaden their understanding of philosophy as it has been practiced throughout various traditions.
The module will involve the study of European and non-European sources, and areas of study will typically include:
1. Epistemology: the study of the nature of knowledge, belief, and the mind's ability to apprehend the world.
2. Metaphysics: the study of the nature of matter, causation, freedom, and being.
3. Phenomenology: the study of the nature and structure of consciousness.
4. Philosophy of Religion: the study of the nature and existence of God and of religious faith.
5. Philosophy of Mind: the study of the nature of mind and the mental.
This module is a study of fundamental ideas and texts of the classical philosophical and religious traditions of India. Topics typically covered include the origins and nature of inquiry and the evolution of a tradition of epistemology, debates about the nature and existence of the self, questions about the nature of ethics and ethical dilemmas, competing theories of the nature of reality, and the existence and nature of the divine. The aim is to introduce you to some of the varied intellectual debates from Indian traditions, and widen your understanding of the nature of religious and philosophical thought. Discussions will proceed through reading passages from key texts in translation.
This module will consider some of the major issues currently being debated by political philosophers and political theorists. Specific topics may change from year to year, but issues usually covered include some of the following:
In this module we will be looking at a variety of views about the nature of mind and mental phenomena and how they fit into the natural world. We begin with the classic Cartesian account of mind: substance dualism. We then turn to current behaviourist, materialist, and functionalist theories of mind. Some of the larger questions we will be considering are: How are behaviour and mental states related to each other? Are minds really just brains? Or are minds more like computers? Next we consider some of the most perplexing problems about the nature of mind, currently occupying philosophers. How do our thoughts manage to reach out to reality and be about anything, especially when many of the things we think about don’t exist? Do mental states have causal powers of their own or do they somehow inherit them from the causal powers of brains? And finally, can we explain the mystery of consciousness?
Moral philosophy is the systematic theoretical study of morality or ethical life: what we ought to do, what we ought to be, what has value or is good. This module engages in this practice by critical investigation of some of the following topics, debates, and figures: value and valuing; personhood/selfhood; practical reason; moral psychology; freedom, agency, and responsibility; utilitarianism and its critics; virtue ethics and its critics; deontology and its critics; contractarianism and its critics; the nature of the good life; the source and nature of rights; the nature of justice; major recent and contemporary figures, such as Bernard Williams, Martha Nussbaum, Peter Railton, Christine Korsgaard, Philippa Foot, Allan Gibbard, Simon Blackburn; major historical figures such as Aristotle, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, G. E. Moore.
Our aim in this module is to consider some of the big philosophical questions underlying social sciences. Economics and politics raise both deep philosophical questions about society and subjectivity; for example: Who gets what? Who rules whom? Who, or what, decides? In this module we will investigate a variety of methods that attempt to address these questions, and what answers might be possible. In sum, the aim is to examine methods and assumptions across central movements in the social sciences, politics and economics, from a philosophical perspective to see the troubles and possibilities in each.
Religions may take on partly distinctive forms due to the history and traditions of particular regions or modern nation states. Islam is no exception. This module will examine varieties of Islam in a range of modern areas and countries such as Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Britain. It illustrates the socio-political contexts which have contributed to these variations both historically and in today’s world.
The module will look at philosophical issues that arise out of Darwin’s theory of evolution. These include questions about how best to understand the theory of evolution, and questions about what evolution implies for our view of the world, and in particular of ourselves. The module breaks down into three broad areas:
This module provides you with an opportunity to choose a topic related to some aspect of Politics and International Relations, Philosophy and Religious Studies which particularly interests you, and to pursue it in depth. The topic may be related to work that is being done on a formally taught course, or it may be less directly linked to course work. We encourage you to develop your research skills, and your ability to work at length under your own direction. You submit a 9,000 - 10,000 word dissertation by the end of the Lent term in your third year. To help you prepare for work on the dissertation, typically there is an introductory talk in second year on topics relating to doing one's own research and planning and writing a dissertation
The aim of this module is to allow you to pursue independent in-depth studies of a topic of your choice, within the scope of your scheme of study. The topic will be formulated in dialogue with one or more external collaborator(s) and may be related to work that is being done on a formally taught course, or it may be less directly linked to course work. You will have the opportunity to develop your employability and research skills, and your ability to work independently at length under your own direction with input from external and an academic supervisor. The external collaboration will give you the chance to enhance your ability to reflect on the impact of academic work. One option is to incorporate work done through the Richardson Institute Internship Programme, but you may also discuss other forms of collaboration with their supervisor. The completed dissertation is usually submitted at the start of Summer Term in the third year. To help you prepare for work on the dissertation, typically there is an introductory talk in second year on topics relating to doing one’s own research and planning and writing a dissertation.
What moral obligations do we have towards future generations – to people who are yet to be born, and to merely possible people whose existence (or non-existence) depends on how we decide to act now? In this module, we explore this question in detail by examining both a series of case studies and some of the main concepts and theories that philosophers use when thinking about these issues
The questions considered normally include:
This module aims to introduce and familiarise you with the interplay between politics, society and religion in the world’s largest democracy, India. At a time when India is emerging as a global power and economic powerhouse despite persistent poverty and various socio-political fissures, a critical balance must be struck in our understanding between its potential and its problems. India offers powerful lessons on the challenges and achievements of democracy in a deeply pluralistic and unequal society. An examination of these issues opens up our conceptual preconceptions about democracy, competing political philosophies, religion, secularism, discrimination, globalization and political mobilization, which tend to be structured by knowledge of Western polities. The particular issues concerning large populations of many different religions and huge social differences offer pathways of understanding to many pressing global issues.
The module provides an introduction to formal logic together with an examination of various philosophical issues that arise out of it. The syllabus includes a study of the languages of propositional and quantificational logic, how to formalize key logical concepts within them, and how to prove elementary results using formal techniques. Additional topics include identity, definite descriptions, modal logic and its philosophical significance, and some criticisms of classical logic.
The aim of this module is to examine and evaluate some of the most central issues in Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment Western religious and atheistic philosophical debates. The module will begin by looking at the philosophy of G W F Hegel and its implications for subsequent religious and atheistic thought. We will then proceed to consider the thought of the post-Hegelian ‘masters of suspicion’: Feuerbach, Marx, Freud and Nietzsche. After this, we will look at ways in which religious and atheistic thought have been brought together, as manifested in various forms of ‘Christian atheism.’ Finally, we will consider postmodern critiques of modern atheism and the nature of the associated ‘return of religion.’
The aim of this module is to provide you with a through grounding in some of the central issues in philosophical aesthetics within the continental European tradition. The module introduces these issues by looking at the work of some of the most important philosophers who have written in this tradition. These philosophers are not only important in their own right and because of the influence that they have had and continue to have, but also because their work provides a way in to key debates and issues in aesthetics, as well as to enrich experience of and critical engagement with contemporary art in all its forms.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2024/25 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2023/24 were:
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small college membership fee which supports the running of college events and activities.
For students starting in 2022 and 2023, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2024 have not yet been set.
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
In addition to travel and accommodation costs, while you are studying abroad, you will need to have a passport and, depending on the country, there may be other costs such as travel documents (e.g. VISA or work permit) and any tests and vaccines that are required at the time of travel. Some countries may require proof of funds.
In addition to possible commuting costs during your placement, you may need to buy clothing that is suitable for your workplace and you may have accommodation costs. Depending on the employer and your job, you may have other costs such as copies of personal documents required by your employer for example.
Details of our scholarships and bursaries for 2024-entry study are not yet available, but you can use our opportunities for 2023-entry applicants as guidance.
Check our current list of scholarships and bursaries.
Our summer open days give you Lancaster University in a day. Visit campus and put yourself in the picture.Undergraduate Open Days
Join Meenal and Vlad as they take you on a tour of the Lancaster University campus. Discover the learning facilities, accommodation, sports facilities, welfare, cafes, bars, parkland and more.Undergraduate Open Days
The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.