Choose philosophy for a rigorous exploration into questioning, analysis, and the development of sharp, independent thinking skills that navigate the complexities of our world.

Philosophy navigates human thought, offering an understanding of fundamental questions about existence, morality, and knowledge.

Beyond fostering critical thinking and intellectual curiosity, a degree in philosophy cultivates skills highly sought after in lots of professions. Graduates often find themselves in careers such as law, journalism, education, business, and public policy.

The ability to analyse complex issues, articulate compelling arguments, and engage in interesting discussions help philosophers to thrive in roles that demand clarity of thought and effective communication. The adaptability and broad perspective gained through philosophical studies set people up for success in a rapidly evolving job market, making philosophy not just a field of study, but a foundation for a choice of careers.

The impact you could make
  • Actively engage in public discourse, advocating for social justice, human rights, and political reform.
  • Instil critical thinking skills and nurture future generations with a deeper appreciation for knowledge and inquiry.
  • Play a role in environmental advocacy, promoting sustainable practices and ethical considerations in ecological decision-making.
What you could study
  • Symbolic logic
  • Reason, argument, and analysis
  • History of philosophy
  • Sartre and existentialism
  • Metaphysics
  • Social and political theory
  • Engaging with the humanities

Study options

Options to study in this field include:

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Example module
"Philosphy and politics as well as philosophy and history. Both of these modules correlate with each other in terms of changes of policies over time and changes of technology."
Second year philosophy student Birkbeck, University of London
Example assignment
“My favourite assignment has been writing a piece of coursework on whether the problem of evil is a compelling reason to doubt the existence of God, or not.”
Second year philosophy student, King’s College London

Second year philosophy, politics, and economics student, University of Oxford

I love learning to reason well, to think well, to read well. I love learning about how the world is, how it works, how it should be.

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some philosophy courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.
Humanities
English
Religious studies
Psychology
Sociology
Hard skills you'll develop
  • Analytical reasoning skills
  • Accessing and evaluating academic sources
  • Historical understanding
  • Precision and attention to detail
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Open mindedness
  • Cultural awareness
  • Flexibility in thinking
78% of students
studying philosophy would recommend the subject to others
(UCAS subject guide survey 2023)

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying philosophy. The following information is based on a typical solicitor role.

Available jobs
117,281 vacancies in the past year
2.55% growth over next eight years
Average salary
£48,317
Up to £87,497

Career options

Media, publishing and information services

What is a….. cybersecurity consultant

Also known as ‘ethical hackers’, cybersecurity consultants take a philosophical approach to apply their analytical and ethical reasoning skills to address critical issues related to digital security and privacy. They often work for government agencies, private companies, or cybersecurity firms.

Getting in: Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study philosophy at university or as an apprenticeship.

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from philosophy applicants.
 

A levels
BBB
Scottish Highers
AABB
Vocational
BTEC DDM

Other subjects you may be interested in

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around philosophy with the following:
  1. Know your philosophers

    From Aristotle to Karl Marx, research the world’s most famous philosophers and the questions and ideas they brought to the world. 
  2. Choose your own philosophy adventure

    A free activity on OpenLearn that explores key questions in philosophy.
  3. Do you have a local debate club?

    Consider joining them to develop your critical thinking skills and open mindedness to others’ opinions. 

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter, our application advice will help you get ahead in your philosophy journey.
Skills, experiences, and interests to mention
  • Are there any books, articles or philosophers that have influenced your thinking?
  • Perhaps there are philosophical questions that you find intriguing – mention why it’s interesting and any conclusions you’ve come to.
  • Demonstrate your ability to engage with difficult questions and uncertainties. Are there examples you can share from school or personally?
  • It’s essential to have an open mind in philosophy, so be sure to show examples of where you’ve considered diverse perspectives on a particular topic.
  • If there’s a particular area in philosophy that you love, such as ethics or metaphysics, talk about why that’s especially interesting to you.

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