Undergraduate Study

Why study Philosophy?

Philosophy explores fundamental and important questions such as ‘What is consciousness?’, ‘Are we free agents?’, ‘What makes an action right (or wrong)?’, ‘What is truth – and how can we come by it?’, ‘How should we form beliefs about the world?’, ‘Is it possible for machines to think?’ and ‘Can we reconcile the scientific picture of reality with our ordinary experience?’

Philosophy stands in a complex relationship to other disciplines: it draws on results from those disciplines and sometimes creates and then spins off whole new disciplines; but always, Philosophy formulates and explores questions that are of fundamental importance to us as human beings and which no other discipline is equipped to answer.

Learning to think philosophically about things that perplex us develops a disciplined capacity for critical reflection and dramatically enhances one’s reading, writing and communication skills. Studying philosophy also teaches one how to engage with different views in a robust but constructive manner – a skill that is immensely valuable in any walk of life.

Philosophical skills are very useful in any career that puts a premium on independence of thought, superior communication, and the ability to assess evidence and construct arguments. Training in philosophy is therefore highly valued by a range of professions including business, law, journalism, politics and education.

Structuring your study

Under the new degree requirements, which apply to students enrolling in 2018 (and to students who enrolled in 2017, if they wish to switch to the new curriculum) a Major in Philosophy comprises two 1000-level Philosophy units, two 2000-level Philosophy units, and four 3000-level Philosophy units. One of the 3000-level units must be an Interdisciplinary Project unit. A Minor in Philosophy comprises two 1000-level Philosophy units, two 2000-level Philosophy units, and two 3000-level Philosophy units. (An Interdisciplinary Project unit is not required for a Minor.)

Under the previous degree requirements, which apply to students enrolling in 2017 or earlier (except for students who enrolled in 2017 and who wish to switch to the new curriculum), a Major in Philosophy requires at least six senior (i.e. 2000-level or 3000-level) Philosophy units. At least one of these units must be at 3000-level.

Please see below for more detailed information relevant to you, depending on which of the three categories you fall under:

New students commencing in 2018 continuing students  Transfer to the new curriculum