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How you'll learn – University of Reading

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  • Learning and assessment to suit you

    Thrive in our exam-free environment

How you'll learn

We teach through a variety of methods designed to be flexible, engaging and inclusive, in order to support your learning preferences.

Whether debating in a seminar, completing an individual learning activity, or being led by one of our world-class academics in a lecture theatre, philosophy is made accessible and immersive for all.

structured learning

Our philosophy degrees are carefully designed to provide a clear pathway from entry to graduation.

Part 1 modules introduce you to the core topics of philosophy and to the basic concepts and methods of critical thinking, logic, and the psychology of reasoning. They focus on developing your oral and written skills through small group discussion. You will undertake research to produce coursework essays and learn how to critically appraise what you discover.

Part 2 modules provide you with deeper awareness of philosophical issues, skills of argument and presentation, and the methodology of philosophy. They focus on developing your skills of research and enquiry. You will learn how to present arguments in public meetings in an effective way, by anticipating and responding to questions, and by using a range of means, such as: speaking, summary-writing, essay-writing, presenting, and designing slides.

Part 3 modules give you the opportunity to develop full mastery of the discipline of philosophy, encounter current research, and develop your own research. They focus on developing independent learning, personal effectiveness and self-awareness. Our programmes are structured to enable you to become a fully independent learner, with the ability to reflect effectively on your progress and strengths and on the goals you wish to achieve.

"The philosophy classroom is so vibrant, with lively debates to the point where boredom of the subject is never a possibility. Philosophy's versatile nature sets you up for the future with strong, valuable skills for all walks of life and areas of work."


BA Philosophy graduate

assessment which plays to your strengths

We have replaced the exam system, which can put students under unnecessary stress and fail to assess the breadth of a student's skills in philosophy. Instead, we offer a wide variety of different assessment methods, providing all students with opportunities to reach their highest potential. This range enables us to develop and assess skills in broader ways, and to encourage individual responsibility for learning outcomes.

thought-provoking modules

Our vast breadth of philosophy modules ranges from applied philosophy, to biomedical ethics, climate justice, philosophy of crime and law, and traditional Western and Indian philosophy. Our wide selection of modules enables you to explore the subject and make an informed choice as to how to specialise as you progress through your degree. In addition to our brilliant degree options, we are also one of the only universities to offer BA Ethics, Value and Philosophy, which gives you the opportunity to specialise in modules on ethics if this is where your passion lies.

"Philosophy is such a diverse subject that you can never lose interest, as there is always another subject to catch your attention."


BA Philosophy

We offer modules which span a wide range of expertise, including: Colour, Experimental Philosophy, Fairness, Death, Future People and Climate Ethics, Speech Attacks, Rhetoric and Lies.

Watch Dr Jumbly Grindrod discuss the module -  Ignorance, Doubt, and Relativism

research-led teaching

Passionate individuals with extensive knowledge of the subjects will guide you throughout your studies. Our staff are actively researching and contributing to current academic debates, staying at the forefront of their disciplines and furthering understanding in many philosophical theories and topics. As such, you will be exposed to cutting-edge research throughout your degree, and will benefit from a dynamic learning environment which aims to create confident, inquisitive and independent individuals.

a thriving, friendly community

Join our inclusive, dynamic community of students and staff, who will welcome you to the University and support you throughout your time with us and beyond. Students and staff frequently come together to socialise and get to know each other in a relaxed setting, through a variety of social events including the Summer Philosophy Day and film screenings.

Our flourishing student-run Philosophy Society provides opportunities to build great friendships, and will welcome you warmly through a range of social events, from staff vs. student rounders and study advice sessions, to film nights and meals out.

one-to-one support

Supported by friendly, approachable staff – including your academic tutor – you can be assured of the help you will receive throughout your time with us. From overcoming obstacles to pursuing ambitions, we will help you to make the most of your experience.

You will meet with your academic tutor at least once a term, although you are encouraged to drop in at any time. Your meetings will be informed by your goals and aspirations, with your tutor supporting you to lay the foundations for achieving these. A high level of staff-student interaction underpins our learning culture, and small class sizes offer numerous benefits, including closer relationships with academics and confidence to engage in debates.

"All of my lecturers were really approachable, and all the lectures were always so informative and engaging. I knew that if I ever needed extra support or advice on coursework, there was always someone willing to help. In particular, my academic tutor was brilliant, always happy to help me at any point."


BA Philosophy and English Literature graduate



a degree course tailored to you

We care about your progress and offer full support throughout your philosophy degree. Come and find out more at our next Open Day event.

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