Philosophy is the systematic attempt to arrive at clear answers to profound questions by studying and assessing the arguments and answers that have been offered in 2,500 years of philosophical speculation.
In the first year, you will be introduced to key problems in moral and political philosophy, and in philosophy of mind and knowledge. In moral philosophy you will consider questions such as the objectivity of morality and the application of ethics to the study of difficult practical problems.
In political philosophy you will consider the nature of our obligation (if any) to obey the government and where this obligation comes from. You will also consider theories concerning the relationship between the mind and the world: how do we come to know about the existence of a reality outside of the mind? Is the mind distinct from the body? The course will also examine how we can distinguish between good and bad arguments.
You will also study two other subjects of your choice in year 1: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
In second year you will focus on two courses: one broadly based on theory of knowledge, the other on moral and political philosophy:
• Philosophy 2M – morality, politics and religion
• Philosophy 2K – knowledge, meaning and inference.
You will also begin the study of logic and of the way in which questions of language and meaning enter into philosophy.
You will also study two other subjects in year 2: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
Years 3 and 4
If you successfully complete the courses in first and second year, you may progress to Honours (years 3 and 4).
You will choose courses covering in more depth the core areas of philosophy studied in first and second years, as well as a wide range of options taught by specialist researchers.
In fourth year you have the opportunity to write a dissertation.
Philosophy at Glasgow hosts reading parties for students in third year and fourth year, usually in the Highlands, and has a flourishing undergraduate philosophy society.
We encourage our students to study abroad (usually during year 3). We have Socrates/Erasmus exchange schemes with the Universities of Barcelona, Augsburg and Helsinki. Our Philosophy students have also studied in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark and Finland.
You will develop many transferable skills and attributes which will be valuable in your future career. These include evaluating arguments and interpreting texts, the ability to be analytical, precision of thought and expression, and the capacity to question assumptions.
Some of our graduates go on to study for postgraduate degrees in Philosophy and some of these progress to teach in universities.
Our recent Philosophy graduates have been employed by
- Hydrogen Group, recruitment consultant
- Beijing School, English teacher
- Hop Scotch Films, TV researcher.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2014
Highers: AAAA or AAABB (including English and a humanities subject or a language (including Gaelic) at grades A/B or B/A) in first sitting = unconditional offer.
Applicants who achieved AAAB or AABBB at their first sitting may receive a conditional offer dependent upon them attaining enough Highers and/or Advanced Highers to bring their total attainment to six or more Highers/Advanced Highers by the end of their second sitting. Please note that Advanced Highers in subjects where grades A or B have already been attained at Higher will not be double-counted. English and a humanities subject/language at grades A or B, if not attained at first sitting, will be required.
Additional offers, either conditional or unconditional, MAY be made to applicants who achieved AABB or ABBB at their first sitting. A decision re these applications will be made in March 2014 once all applications have been reviewed.
Higher applicants to Arts MA degrees must attain, or have attained, grades A/B or B/A at Higher in English Higher AND another humanities/language Higher subject at their first sitting to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages Higher subjects are listed below.
- Art & Design
- Business Management
- Chinese Language and Culture
- Classical Greek
- Classical studies
- English for Speakers of Other Languages
- Media Studies
- Modern Studies
- Personal and social education
- Religious Education
- Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
A-levels: Applicants will receive an offer conditional on attaining AAB. Applicants who achieve AAB are guaranteed entry. Applicants who achieve grades less than AAB but higher than BBB will be considered for entry once all results have been received and reviewed in August 2014.
IB: A minimum of 34 points is required to be considered for an offer. Actual offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
my academic qualifications are below the requirements?
Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please contact the Language Centre.