Philosophy at Kent is taught within the School of European Culture and Languages. We have a thriving research culture with internationally recognized experts. Our staff interests range from philosophers such as Aristotle, Kant, Wittgenstein, Arendt, and Anscombe to topics such as philosophy of mind, ethics, aesthetics, logic, political philosophy, metaphysics and artificial intelligence.
Our degree programme
Your programme begins with an introduction to philosophy, including ethics, knowledge and metaphysics, logic and reasoning. You are taught to read and write as a philosopher. If you are keen to widen your field of interest further, you can study modules from other subjects.
In your second and final years, you focus in greater depth on subjects such as the philosophy of language, medicine, religion, work, mind and action, feminist philosophy, logic, metaphysics, ethics, and politics.
In the final year of study, you can choose to write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, based on your own research. You also have the option to gain practical teaching experience with a classroom-based module.
Year abroad/placement year
We offer a specific four-year programme where you spend the third year in Paris studying Philosophy in French. For more details, see Philosophy with an Approved Year Abroad.
You can also apply to spend a year abroad as part of your degree programme. Studying abroad is a great opportunity to discover a new culture and demonstrates to future employers that you have the enthusiasm to succeed in a new environment. It is possible to spend a year or a term abroad at one of our partner institutions. You don’t have to make a decision before you enroll at Kent but certain conditions apply. It is also possible to undertake a placement year in industry.
See Kent’s Go Abroad pages for more details, or the Placement Year information from the Faculty of Humanities.
In the University’s Templeman Library, you have access to a number of relevant databases, including Academic Search Premier, British Humanities Index, The Philosopher’s Index and Web of Science.
The Philosophy Society is run by Kent students to promote philosophical discussion. The society hosts a series of activities including lectures, film nights, pub walks and social events.
The Philosophy Department runs an active events programme that you are welcome to attend. These may include:
- invited lecturers
- reading groups
- seminars and conferences.
Philosophy at Kent was ranked 14th for teaching quality and 19th overall in The Times Good University Guide 2018.
In the National Student Survey 2017, over 94% of final-year Philosophy students who responded to the survey were satisfied with the overall quality of their course. Philosophy at Kent was ranked 12th for overall satisfaction.
Teaching Excellence Framework
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning, and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Teaching and assessment
Teaching is by lectures, seminars, class discussions, and individual and group research, which is discussed in class.
All modules are assessed by 100% coursework (essays, in-class assignments, seminar participation) throughout the year.
This programme aims to:
- promote the study of philosophy within a strongly multidisciplinary context
- produce graduates with knowledge in the main themes and texts of the Western tradition in philosophy
- produce graduates equipped with the skills and abilities characteristic of philosophers
- produce graduates equipped with generic skills for study in the humanities
- enable students to develop more general skills and competencies so that they can respond positively to the challenges of the workplace or of postgraduate education.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding in:
- the ideas of the major philosophers as encountered in their own writings, from the ancient Greek philosophers to the present day
- central theories and arguments in the fields of logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind, including such topics as existence, truth, certainty, meaning, causality, free will, and the relation of mind and body
- central theories and arguments in the fields of moral, political and social philosophy, including such topics as the nature of judgments about right and wrong, human rights, duties and obligations, the relation between the individual and society, freedom, and justice
- the relevance of philosophical ideas to other disciplines and areas of inquiry such as literature, the arts, religion, law, politics and social studies.
You gain intellectual skills in:
- following complex presentations
- reading a variety of technical and non-technical material
- using libraries effectively
- reflecting clearly and critically on oral and written sources, using powers of analysis and imagination
- marshaling a complex body of information
- remembering the relevant material and bringing it to mind when needed
- constructing cogent arguments in the evaluation of this material
- formulating independent ideas and defending them with cogent arguments.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following areas:
- articulacy in identifying underlying issues in philosophical debates
- the precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex and controversial philosophical problems
- sensitivity in the interpretation of philosophical texts drawn from a variety of historical periods
- clarity and rigor in the critical assessment of arguments presented in such texts
- the ability to use and criticise specialized philosophical terminology
- the ability to abstract, analyze and construct sound arguments and to identify logical fallacies
- recognizing methodological errors, rhetorical devices, unexamined conventional wisdom, unnoticed assumptions, vagueness, and superficiality
- the ability to move between generalization and detailed discussion, inventing or discovering examples to support or challenge a position, and distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant considerations
- the ability to consider unfamiliar ideas and ways of thinking, and to examine critically presuppositions and methods.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- communication – producing focused and cogently written presentations summarising information and assessing arguments; giving oral presentations, using visual aids where appropriate
- problem-solving – identifying problems; assessing the strengths and weaknesses of different solutions; defending your own solutions
- improving your learning – identifying your strengths and weaknesses; assessing the quality of your own work; managing your time and meeting deadlines; learning to work independently
- working with others – participating in seminar discussions, responding to the views of others and to criticisms of your own views without giving or taking offense; engaging in independent group work, including the preparation of group presentations
- using information technology – wordprocessing essays; using online information sources; using e-mail for receiving and responding to communications.
Our graduates have gone on to work in:
- the civil service
- the legal profession.
Help finding a job
The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:
- apply for jobs
- write a good CV
- perform well in interviews.
Studying Philosophy at Kent equips you with the skills to analyse arguments, to express yourself clearly, verbally and in writing, and to present a case rigorously.
To help you appeal to employers, you learn transferable skills that are useful in any career. These include the ability to:
- think critically
- express yourself clearly and logically
- solve problems
- work independently or as part of a team.
You can also gain extra skills by signing up for our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
For graduate prospects, Philosophy at Kent was ranked 8th in The Times Good University Guide 2018.
Of Philosophy students who graduated from Kent in 2016, over 97% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).
According to Which? University (2017), the average starting salary for graduates of this degree is £18,000.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.