Philosophy BA (Hons)

Course code V500

What is special about this course?

If you're interested in exploring views, ideas, theories, practices and behaviours, BA (Hons) Philosophy is the course for you. Socrates, one of the most famous philosophers of all times, said "I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.": that is a core strength of philosophical studies. In developing your ability to think well, you will be able to spot errors in reasoning, analyse complex issues and arguments, build a strong case and make a point with clarity and precision.

Philosophy seeks to understand, and particularly to question, ideas concerning the nature of reality, value and experience that play a pervasive role in understanding the world and ourselves. The philosophy discipline focuses on problematic concepts, such as existence, reason and truth, which occur in every sphere of human enquiry, but more specifically on problematic concepts that belong to particular areas of thought and practice, such as politics, economics, religion, science and ethics.

In today’s COVID related situation, we regularly see political decision-makers flanked by scientists. The Philosophy of Science is interested in analysing why science seems to be so successful in explaining reality. With scientists playing an ever-increasing role in decision-making processes at all levels we have to ask: are scientists the new priests of society?

Throughout the course you will apply this type of analytical and critical thinking to a range of 21st century issues such as: Is humanity headed in the right or wrong direction? What is the best way for a person to attain happiness? Will religion ever become obsolete? What is the future of artificial intelligence? Is there a meaning to life and, if so, what is it?

Special features

  • Join regular meetings of the philosophy reading group, where you will discuss or present papers with fellow students and staff
  • You will be encouraged to participate in organisations that actively focus on issues in society and to put your views and beliefs into action
  • Tailored modules and curriculum which improve your experience and ability to successfully undertake the course


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above, or
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • At least two of these must be from the list of relevant subjects
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis

Year 1 - CertHE

You will study the following core modules:

  • Thinking and writing for study, work and life
  • Problems in philosophy

Other modules may include:

  • Philosophy and film
  • Logic and philosophy

In addition to these philosophy modules, you will also be able to choose two modules from our range of humanity subjects.

Year 2 - DipHE

Modules at this level might include:

  • Knowledge: a philosophical analysis
  • Moral philosophy
  • Anthropology of religion

In addition to these philosophy modules, you will also be able to choose two modules from our range of humanity subjects.

Year 3 - BA

Modules at this level might include:

  • Philosophy of science
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Continental philosophy
  • Research project

In addition to these philosophy modules, you will also be able to choose an option module from our range of humanity subjects.

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete a philosophy dissertation.

Other modules at this level might include:

  • Scottish tradition in philosophy
  • Philosophy of language
  • Neurons, brains, and minds: a philosophical investigation
  • Existential philosophy and literature

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of scheduled video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors. There is normally a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for each module.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time: 8 years @ 20 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): variable

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI
  • Highland Theological College UHI - you may choose to study at Dingwall or Paisley, subject to availability
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Perth College UHI
  • Shetland UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September


This course will start in September 2022, with applications open in September 2021, fees will be confirmed nearer the application date.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant UHI partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Philosophy graduates are found working for almost every type of employer in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, from arts-based areas like publishing, the media, journalism, advertising and teaching, through to computing and IT.

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in:

  • local government and the Civil Service
  • advertising, marketing and public relations agencies
  • management consultancies
  • secondary schools, further education colleges and higher education institutions
  • law firms
  • publishing companies
  • charities
  • banking and insurance companies
  • accountancy firms
  • recruitment agencies

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Philosophy BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2022

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.