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Philosophy

Explore fundamental and important questions 
Philosophy is the systematic study of questions that are among the most important to us as human beings.

Philosophy is about learning to think for yourself — in a rigorous way, so that you can defend your positions with considered reasons and cogent arguments. Through studying philosophy, you will develop a suite of transferable skills, including the ability to think critically and logically, analyse complex problems, weigh evidence, argue a case, write clearly and communicate effectively.

In studying philosophy, you will investigate questions at the core of politics, history, law, business, science, medicine and technology. Our areas of expertise include philosophy of science, history of philosophy, logic, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology, decision theory, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of law, pragmatism, and moral, social and political philosophy. 

Why study philosophy with us?

  • We are ranked 2nd in Australia for philosophy.*
  • We offer a broad range of student placements, allowing you to gain hands on, workplace experience. 
  • We have leading thinkers in a wide range of areas of Philosophy.
  • As an undergraduate student you can choose from our arts and social sciences of majors as well as over 100 majors from the University’s shared pool, allowing you to gain expertise in a range of disciplines.
  • We offer a wide range of scholarships and prizes designed to recognise potential, assist those in need and reward high achievement.  
  • Join our community, which includes notable alumni including Managing Director and co-founder of popular fashion retailer The Iconic, Adam Jacobs. 

*QS World University World Rankings by Subject 2018

Our study offering

Philosophy formulates and explores questions of fundamental importance to us as human beings.  For example: What is consciousness? Are we free agents? What makes an action right? What makes an action 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? Studying philosophy will equip you with a disciplined capacity for critical analysis and dramatically enhance your communication skills.

Undergraduate 

*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.

Research 

Where can studies in philosophy lead you?

By studying philosophy, you will gain a diverse range of transferable skills that can be applied to many disciplines. With an emphasis on reason and argument, philosophy will prepare you for various careers and, with further study, careers across law, business, social work, politics and religion. Career pathways include: 

  • Academic
  • Banker (with further study) 
  • Counsellor
  • Journalist 
  • Lawyer (with further study) 
  • Roles in government and non-for-profit organisations 
  • Social worker (with further study) 
  • Teacher (with further study) 

Headshot of Adam Jacobs
Adam Jacobs – Philosophy graduate, co-founder and Managing Director, The Iconic
“My arts degree afforded me strategic life skills. I always wanted to build a business and to create something new. Study in philosophy gave me the tools and mindset to build and manage a business effectively. I don't think I'd have the competency or wisdom to do what I'm doing now without my learning experience at the University of Sydney.”
Download the undergraduate course guide (pdf, 4.8MB)

Headshot of Kin Pan
Kin Pan – Philosophy graduate
"Philosophy has challenged me to think critically and autonomously. The unique critical thinking and problem-solving skills I gained are rewarding both professionally and intellectually. I’m not surprised when something I studied in philosophy becomes useful in my media and communications and law studies."
Download the undergraduate course guide (pdf, 4.8MB)

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