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Philosophy Course Outline

Part First 'A'

Year First

Part first 'A' gives an introduction to philosophy through the study of four compulsory papers. These papers are as mentioned below.

  • Ethics
  • Metaphysics and Philosophy of Mind
  • Logic (it is not required to have taken Mathematics at 'A' level for this)
  • Several set texts, such as Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion; Plato's Meno; and J S Mill's On Liberty and The Subjection of Women

Part First 'B'

Year Second

Part first 'B' explores the philosophical aspects of a wide range of issues both theoretical as well as practical. There are two compulsory papers:

  • Logic
  • Metaphysics and Philosophy of Mind

Students need to choose two further subjects from topics mentioned below.

  • Ethics
  • Political Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
  • History of Modern or Ancient Philosophy
  • Experimental Psychology (The Experimental Psychology paper is from the Natural Sciences course that includes practical work.)

Part Second

Year Third

In the part second, students need to choose four from a wide range of subjects. There may be special subject that changes from time to time.

Recommended Reading

Students who wish to apply to study philosophy; they are strongly advised to read some of the books on the subject. Some of the recommended books are:

  • R Descartes, Meditations
  • S Blackburn, Think
  • J S Mill, Utilitarianism
  • D Hume, Enquiries
  • B Russell, Problems of Philosophy


Generally, philosophy exams are traditional written papers. The duration of each paper is three hours. However, there are following exceptions. In part first 'B' and second, students may choose to submit two extended essays instead of sitting one of the subject papers. Part second offers an additional choice of submitting a dissertation on a subject of students' choice.

Changing Course

There are many students who study philosophy for three years but a considerable number merge it with another subject from another course. Therefore, after studying another subject for one or two years such as classics, mathematics or economics students may change it to philosophy. Alternatively, students may move to another subject such as history, economics, psychology, sociology after completing part first 'A' or part first 'B' Philosophy. If students are thinking of such changes, they are advised to consult their college about their plans.

Students must have creativity and precision to think philosophically. It must be noted that a degree in philosophy is not essential qualification for any specific career. However, students develop their critical and analytical skills through the study of philosophy. After completing the degree students get into various professions such as computing, business, law, journalism and administration. The course offers students a wide career prospect. They hone skills required for particular professions.

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