Classical and Archaeological Studies and Philosophy - BA (Hons)

Overview

Trace the development of thought from philosophies of the ancient world to the modern day on our joint honours programme in Classical & Archaeological Studies and Philosophy. You gain a comprehensive understanding of architecture, art, literature, history, and philosophy and the relationship between antiquity and modernity.

You are based in Kent’s School of European Culture and Languages (SECL) which is home to the Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies and the Department of Philosophy.

In SECL, you benefit from the wide range of expertise and the interdisciplinary culture within the School.

Our degree programme

In your first year of study, you are introduced to ancient Greek and Roman civilisations and to the principles of archaeological research. Further, you explore some of the foundational concepts of philosophy such as logic, ethics and metaphysics.

You also have the opportunity to learn Latin or Ancient Greek, which are taught at all levels.

During all stages of your studies you may choose specialist modules that suit your interest. Our broad range of modules includes topics like ancient Egypt, everyday life in antiquity, political and feminist philosophy, and metaethics .

In your final year of study, there is an option to take a dissertation module on a subject of your choice or you can complete an archaeological project. This allows you to focus in detail on an area you are particularly passionate about.

Dr Christopher Burden-Strevens asks whether Roman politicians of the Late Republic would have regarded Boris Johnson as a great statesman, or a populist tribune?

Study resources

You may use our specialist laboratory for cleaning and sorting archaeological finds. We also provide specialist equipment for geophysical surveys, photography, 3D laser scanning and microscopy. Our archaeology technician is on hand to help you as you work.

Through Kent’s Templeman Library, you have access to a wide range of topical journals and books in hard copy and digital format. You can also gain easy access to international collections in London and local collections such as the Canterbury Cathedral Library.

Your designated academic advisor provides guidance for your studies and academic development. Our Student Learning Advisory Centre offers useful workshops on topics like essay writing and academic referencing.

Extra activities

You may want to join one of the many student-led societies at Kent, including:

  • Philosophy Society
  • Classics and Archaeological Society.

We work closely with external organisations, such as the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, and you may have the opportunity to take part in fieldwork activities.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

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. 

Please note that meeting this typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee an offer being made.Please also see our general entry requirements.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

  • Certificate

    A level

    BBB or ABC

  • Certificate

    Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

  • Certificate

    BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances. A typical offer would be to achieve DDM.

  • Certificate

    International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 15 points at HL

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time (4 with a year abroad), 6 years part-time (7 with a year abroad)

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

The module will introduce archaeology as an academic discipline, providing grounding in basic concepts and methodology and techniques of analysis relating to archaeological evidence. It will provide background relevant to other archaeological and historical modules in the Classical & Archaeological Studies and related programmes, through examining aspects of the archaeological process and examples in prehistoric, Roman, medieval and post-medieval contexts. It will enable students to make an informed choice of subsequent modules. Topics will include ceremonial, religious and burial sites, the emergence of settlement sites, the creation and development of towns, trade and exchange, artefactual and landscape studies using cases through time. Seminars will focus on methods and approaches, and the presentation of data and its interpretation.

Find out more about CL329

The history will centre on Athens in the 5th century B.C. We begin with early Athens, then after considering the period of the Persian invasions, we study the developed democracy with its empire under Pericles and its destruction in the Peloponnesian War. After looking at the historical events of this period, we study a range of Greek literature. You will be introduced to the different literary genres of the time, including tragedy and comedy, and will be asked to consider the role of literature as a vehicle for public debate in the democracy, and its treatment of justice, religion, rationalism and patriotic themes.

Find out more about CL368

In this module, we shall begin by examining the history of the last century of the Roman republic. Our focus will be on how that republic fell and was replaced by the empire whose founder was Augustus. Among the themes examined will be political violence, the intrusion of the army into political life and the rise of the warlord. The second half of the module is concerned with the patronage of the arts (poetry, history writing, art and architecture) under Augustus, with the role of the arts as propaganda, and the thesis that writers were recruited to act as spokesmen for the policies and ideals of the principate. The central theme is the creation of enduring images of Rome and Empire, using traditional historical and mythological materials; alongside this, the module treats areas of public policy such as moral legislation, festivals, religious reform and the position of women. The module is also concerned with the responses of the writers, whether as supporters of public policy, or as commenting on and reacting against it. Thus, its content is much better understood as a result of the historical development outlined in the first part of term.

Find out more about CL369

This module begins with a critical examination of Rene Descartes' justly celebrated Meditations on First Philosophy (published, originally, in 1641). This work not only provides a comprehensive account of Descartes' philosophical system, but also constitutes an admirable introduction to The Theory of Knowledge and to Metaphysics. Thus, Descartes' fundamentally Rationalist account of our knowledge of the external world is duly contrasted with the Empiricist accounts offered by such Twentieth Century Philosophers as Bertrand Russell and A.J.Ayer; while Descartes' Dualism is compared with the other major metaphysical doctrines, namely, Idealism, Phenomenalism and contemporary Physicalism. The module concludes with a survey of what is, perhaps, the most perplexing of metaphysical problems, namely, The Problem of Freewill and Determinism.

Find out more about PL302

This module will introduce students to a number of big questions in ethics. The questions may include the following: What makes a life good? Is it happiness? Or is it something else? Another big question is: What makes actions right or wrong? Is it God demanding or forbidding them? Or are actions perhaps right to the extent that they serve to make lives better off, and wrong to the extent that they make lives worse off? Some philosophers have thought so. Others wonder: What if I steal money from someone so rich that my act in no way makes their life go any worse. Might it still be the case that I have acted wrongly—even if I haven't made anyone worse off? A third bit question is this: What’s the status of morality? Is it, for example, the case that what’s right for me might be wrong for you? Does it make any sense at all to talk about moral claims being true or false, even relative to moral communities? Might moral judgments be nothing but expressions of sentiments? Throughout the course, students will be examining these and similar questions from the point of view of a variety of philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, and David Hume.

Find out more about PL303

Since Plato's Dialogues, it has been part of philosophical enquiry to consider philosophical questions using logic and common sense alone. This module aims to train students to continue in that tradition. In the first part students will be introduced to basic themes in introductory formal logic and critical thinking. In the second part students will be presented with a problem each week in the form of a short argument, question, or philosophical puzzle and will be asked to think about it without consulting the literature. The problem, and students’ responses to it, will then form the basis of a structured discussion. By the end of the module, students (a) will have acquired a basic logical vocabulary and techniques for the evaluation of arguments; (b) will have practised applying these techniques to short passages of philosophical argument; and (c) will have acquired the ability to look at new claims or problems and to apply their newly acquired argumentative and critical skills in order to generate philosophical discussions of them.

Find out more about PL310

What do philosophers do? How do they think? What do they typically think about? How do philosophers write? What sorts of writing are acceptable in philosophy? How should you write? How should philosophy best be read in order to be understood and assessed?'

In this module we will introduce you to some of the most interesting questions in philosophy, both from its history and from current debates. As we do this we will show you how to think, read and write as a philosopher.

Find out more about PL315

Optional modules may include

This module is intended as an introduction for those new to studying Egyptology, but also those who want to pursue the subject mainly from an archaeological point of view. It will explore the diversity of methodologies and debates concerning Egyptian archaeology. In doing so, it will introduce students to aspects of anthropological and archaeological theory, as well as the relationship between theory, fieldwork, and the resulting interpretation. The aim is to introduce the archaeology of ancient Egypt and its culture, monuments, and civilisation.

The course will develop an understanding of the wide range of archaeological material encountered at Egyptian sites, demonstrating how the study of material culture greatly contributes to the understanding of important aspects of ancient Egyptian culture (history, geography, material remains and society). The history of Egyptology and Egyptian archaeology will also be examined, including discussion of new excavations in Egypt, connecting recent work with the results of projects spanning the late 19th and 20th centuries.

Find out more about CL372

Whether cruel or funny, hostile speech has a pervasive presence in the wealth of textual evidence from classical antiquity. Insulting communications, both formal and informal, reveal social values in an unusually succinct way, while their dependence on situation and context presents complex interpretative challenges.

In this module, insults form the basis for a wide-ranging investigation of classical literature inviting comparison of their literary treatment in different works and/or genres. The module is designed to accommodate various selections of material, which may include Greek literature, Roman literature, or a combination of both. It provides a variety of examples of invective to show the diversity of classical literature and, through the analysis of these examples, raise current debates in classical literary studies. So, for example, the insults found in Catullus may be used to explore the issue of authorial persona and 'sincerity'. Topics covered may include obscenity, debate and competition, laws governing slander and treason, the aesthetics of beauty and ugliness, construction of social categorisations (gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and status), and the conventions of specific genres.

Find out more about CL358

Stage 2

Optional modules may include

This course is designed to introduce students to a number of philosophical issues arising from medical research and medical practice. Students will consider attempts to define the following terms – health, illness, and disease – and discuss what rests on their definition. Much medical practice proceeds as though medicine were a natural science. This module will probe the limitations of this conception. The placebo effect demonstrates the powerful influence of suggestion on the body and students will consider its relevance to philosophical ideas of the mind-body relation. Finally, students will consider ethical issues arising in medical practice, such as 'medically assisted death'.

Find out more about PL596

This module introduces some of the major works in ancient philosophy in relation to ethics, aesthetics, political theory, ontology and metaphysics. Students will study substantial portions of primary texts by the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle the Epicureans, Stoics and/or the Skeptics. The emphasis throughout will be on the philosophical significance of the ideas studied. The module will concentrate on understanding key philosophical arguments and concepts within the context of the ancient intellectual tradition. This means that students will gain a critical distance from normative and modern definitions of philosophical terms in order to understand how ancient philosophy generally approached questions and problems with different suppositions and conceptions of reality, reason and the purpose of human existence.

Find out more about CL708

This module will explore Mediterranean life in the period 283-650, from the time of Diocletian and Constantine to the Arab Conquests covering the world of major figures such as Julian, Augustine, Justinian, and Mohammed. It will separate the complex changes of this period, which have often been lumped together in a single misleading model of 'decline'. Long-term phenomena, such as the centralisation of imperial power, the emergence of a Christian state, the collapse of the Eastern Empire, and the rise of Islam, remain legitimate topics of interest.

Different aspects of society will be explored, using textual, archaeological and iconographic evidence, covering such themes as the emperor and court, war, cities, the countryside, the economy, the end of paganism, and the rise of Christianity. These portraits will draw on the extraordinary preservation of sites and landscapes in North Africa and the East Mediterranean, where cities, villages and monasteries often stand as if they had only recently been abandoned. Rich stratigraphic evidence, from earthquake and abandonment deposits, also makes it possible to perceive the everyday life of the period in a way that is only true of Pompeii in earlier centuries. Students taking this course will develop an understanding of both the last flowering of Greek culture and the cultural foundations of the Middle Ages (in Europe, Byzantium and Islam), revealing an important chapter in our history, which is often ignored but is vital to grasp, to understand the legacy of Antiquity.

Find out more about CL640

This module explores 5th-century Athenian history through the plays that were put on stage during this period of war and political upheaval. Greek tragedies and comedies produced during this tumultuous period (472-405 BC) offer us some of the most enticing, yet challenging, evidence for the state of Athenian politics and attitudes to contemporary events (especially war and empire). In this module, the evidence of key plays will be set against other forms of historical evidence to illuminate the complex relationship between the types of evidence that survive and the nature of 'making history'.

Find out more about CL713

This module examines in detail the history of the Roman Republic from 350 BC through to 100 BC, and provides both a survey of a major period of Roman history and an opportunity to study in greater depth the political, social, and economic consequences of the development of Rome's imperial ambitions in the Mediterranean. Students will read widely in the ancient sources, historical, literary and documentary. Students will read widely from a range of works including Polybius, Plutarch, Livy, Appian, Cicero, and Sallust.

Find out more about CL732

This module is concerned with the Hellenistic period, which saw an expansion of the Greek world into the Near East and, as a result, the profound political and cultural transformation of the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean. The Hellenistic world played a crucial role not just in the transmission of classical Greek civilisation but also in the shaping of the Roman Empire and its culture, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean. For these reasons, it is a key period in the development of Greek, Roman and later European civilisations. The module intends to provide a general survey of the political, social, economic and cultural history of the Eastern Mediterranean in the period between 336 and 30 BC, following on from the classical Greek and in part dovetailing with and in part preparing the ground for the Roman historical modules. The module will be taught from a range of sources, historical, literary, papyrological, epigraphic and archaeological. Particular attention will be paid to the interaction between the incoming Graeco-Macedonian and indigenous local populations and the formation of new states and cultures.

Find out more about CL737

The module focuses on solidifying students' knowledge of Ancient Greek grammar and vocabulary through exercises and by reading texts in the original. Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Greek literary texts through translation. This enhances their understanding of the key themes and ideas in the text.

Find out more about CL755

In addition to consolidating intermediate knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, this module emphasises close reading and interpretation of Ancient Greek literary texts in their literary and cultural contexts.

Find out more about CL756

This module examines in detail the history of the Roman Empire from the commencement of the Principate of Augustus in 30 BC to the death of the Emperor Domitian in AD 96. It will also provide both a survey of a major period of Roman imperial history and an opportunity to study in greater depth the administrative, social, economic and religious developments of this period. Students will read widely from the ancient sources, historical, literary and documentary, and will be introduced to the inscriptional evidence for imperial history. This module will concentrate on the main administrative, social, economic and religious developments throughout the period rather than on the details of political and military history. Students will read widely in the major ancient sources, including Tacitus, Pliny and Suetonius, and will be introduced to the inscriptional and documentary evidence for imperial history.

Find out more about CL587

This module consists of an introduction to the study of the various indigenous languages and scripts of ancient Egypt from the earliest times to the Arab conquest (641 AD). During this period of approximately four thousand years the development of the native Egyptian tongue may be divided into five distinct phases, each of which may be called a separate language in its own right, Old Egyptian, Middle Egyptian, New Egyptian, Demotic and, finally, Coptic. A variety of writing systems were developed to record texts in these languages, depending on the function, social and presentational context and time period of the text: hieroglyphic, hieratic, abnormal hieratic, demotic and Coptic.

The module will first examine the origins of the ancient Egyptian language and its genetic relationship with other North-East African and Western Asian languages based on the latest results of historical linguistics. It will then focus on the development of Egyptian itself through the ages, highlighting its different stages and their particular characteristics. It will also examine the earliest uses and functions of writing in Egyptian society and the role played by writing in the social, economic and cultural development of this unique ancient civilisation. Finally, the module will concentrate on the Middle Egyptian language written in the hieroglyphic writing system and students will be taught to read and translate simple texts in this tongue and script.

Find out more about CL5001

The module covers the study of Roman art and architecture, including the close interpretation of works of art and buildings, and an investigation of the role of art and architecture within the wider Roman world. The geographical area covered will include both Rome and Italy, and provincial Roman sites and material. Aspects to be examined include context, dating, technique, styles and subject matter, and ideology including the role played by art in Roman society. Arranged broadly in chronological order, from the Republican to the late Roman period, the course gives an overview of the varied media and techniques used in Roman art and architecture and the changes in art style that occurred throughout the Roman period.

Find out more about CL609

This module is concerned with the impact of the Classical World on ancient Egypt between Alexander's invasion and the Arab conquest, and on the nature and permanence of the brilliant hybrid civilisation which emerged under Greek and Roman rule.

Alexander entered Egypt as a liberator, but he and his successors created a colonial regime with Greek as the ruling language and Greeks as the ruling elite under their own law. Mercenaries were settled on reclaimed land, Greek cities were founded, especially Alexandria, one of the glories of the ancient world. An elaborate system of economic regulation maximised production to support warfare, city-building and display. The temples became a department of state. New cults were created to unite the two peoples and strengthen the regime. Native Egyptians showed their resentment in disaffection and rebellion. Roman rule (after the spectacular end of the Ptolemaic dynasty) was if anything harsher and more remote, and the rise of the Copts is often interpreted as an anti-Roman, anti-Classical movement.

Yet it is a mistake to see the relationship as wholly negative. Art and architecture flourished – most temples surviving today are the work of the Ptolemies. In civil service, army, business the new regime offered avenues to advancement for native Egyptians. A genuinely bilingual upper class emerged, able to make significant contributions to Classical culture. The ancient religion retained its prestige and was adopted by many Greeks, spreading far outside Egypt. Coptic culture was as much Classical as Egyptian, and Greek language long survived the Arab conquest. Sources for this vivid, complex and often neglected phase of Egyptian history are rich and varied: temples, tombs, remains of cities and villages, mummies, inscriptions, sculpture, coins, and an extraordinary range of papyrus documents, able to offer unique insights into an ancient civilisation.

Find out more about CL650

Across much of Britain by the Late Bronze Age (from c. 1000 BC), economic and social organisation was beginning to assume forms that provided the foundations for subsequent fundamental transformations seen through the First Millennium BC: in population, in agriculture, in technology, in land holding and power and cultural forms. The period saw the emergence of technologies, manufacturing and craft skills, social structures and belief systems, husbandry and movement of enduring influence. The unfolding of this formative period, with its efficiently managed landscape dotted with farmsteads and hillforts, lavish metalwork and occasionally exotic burials, and its fluctuating and enigmatic relationships with mainland Europe, is accessible mostly through archaeological study alone: and what a rich resource that has proved to be, especially through recent studies and techniques. Only at the very end does limited historical information become available when we are told of the presence of chariot borne warriors, kings, queens and Druids.

This module spans the late Bronze and Iron Ages, presenting the often dramatic and striking archaeological and historical data within current interpretative frameworks. All parts of the British Isles will come into focus. Settlements, burials, material culture, environmental remains and monuments are explored revealing a richly nuanced matrix of cultural evidence that inspires interrogation and interpretation.

Find out more about CL666

This module reviews texts relating to sexual behaviour attitudes and relationships throughout Latin Literature, raising questions about both the perception of sexuality in antiquity and how perception was translated into social and political relationships. Because of the nature of its coverage, it can be counted as either a literature or a social history course, and is intended as a wide-ranging complement to both. The module relies on primary texts from a variety of literary genres, from Epic and poetry to private letters, legal texts and inscriptions.

Find out more about CL667

How do you imagine Roman Antiquity? How do the images produced for film, TV and popular fiction reflect the lives of those in antiquity? Can we see the everyday experience of Pliny, Juvenal or Augustine or of those who were killed in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79? This module will explore everyday life in the Roman world, from haircuts, tattoos and gestures, to everyday rites and rhythms, whether domestic, social, political or religious, focusing on human experience, with its culturally specific organisation rather than abstract scholarly constructions. It will range from Augustan Rome to Late Antique Constantinople, and will draw on depictions, literary evidence (such as poems), original documents (from personal letters to minutes of meetings), inscriptions and especially archaeology, focusing on key sites where preservation is good, such as Pompeii, Ostia, Sardis and Petra. Here buildings, graffiti, occupation deposits and other traces will allow snapshots of everyday life to be constructed: of the houses, workshops, taverns, temples, theatres and churches of Antiquity. Students will be encouraged to undertake both empirical studies and imaginative reconstructions as part of their assessment, so that they understand the importance not only of describing what evidence remains of everyday life, but of actively reconstructing the past, and of engaging different types of evidence in a critical dialogue.

Find out more about CL674

Virgil composed the Aeneid in order to provide Rome with an epic equal to any that Homer produced. Commonly regarded as one the greatest epics of the ancient world, the Aeneid is the story of the foundation of Rome; a tale of exile, war, passionate love and the deepest humanity. We will analyse, comment on and explore the epic, book by book. This will be intertwined with a thematic approach, investigating issues concerning the gods, fate, morality, art and gender.

Find out more about CL739

The module focuses on solidifying students' knowledge of Latin grammar and vocabulary through exercises and by reading texts in the original. Students will participate in the close reading and interpretation of Latin literary texts through translation. This enhances their understanding of the key themes and ideas in the text.

Find out more about CL760

In addition to consolidating advanced knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, this module emphasises close reading and interpretation of Latin literary texts in their literary and cultural contexts.

Find out more about CL761

The module will allow the student to acquire knowledge and critical understanding of the fundamental principles related to collecting and interpreting objects within museums and managing these institutions. Students will be required to become familiar and engage critically, during the seminars, with the key references on these topics. Students will then be required to apply concepts and principles learnt in class in the context of their internship.

As part of their internship, each student will devise a special project in consultation with the mentor and the module convenor. Precise objectives and skills to be learnt will be recorded and tracked regularly. Students will keep a weekly log of their activities. The placement may take place either at a set period during the Easter vacation or at regular intervals over the Autumn and Spring terms.

Find out more about CL700

The module will enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of Wittgenstein's approach to philosophy, and to acquire familiarity with major themes especially in the areas of epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. The module will give students practice in deploying their critical philosophical skills.

Find out more about PL599

Groups of marks or bursts of sound are just physical entities but, when produced by a writer or a speaker, they are used to point beyond themselves. This is the property of aboutness or intentionality. Other physical entities generally do not have this property. When you hear a sentence, you hear a burst of sound, but typically you also understand a meaning conveyed by the speaker. What is the meaning of a word – some weird entity that floats alongside the word, a set of rules associating the word with objects, an intention in the mind of the speaker….? What is the difference between what your words imply and what you convey in saying them? How are words used non-literally, how do hearers catch on to the meaning of a newly minted metaphor? How can we mean and convey so much when uttering a concise sentence? When someone says something offensive, is it part of its meaning that it is offensive, or just how it is used? In this module we shall try to find some answers to the questions listed above.

Find out more about PL602

The aim of this course is to engage in the study of specific topics in the philosophy of mind, language, or action and to engage with the criticism of contemporary approaches as it is found in the works of Wittgenstein, Ryle, Anscombe, and/or Austin.

Find out more about PL604

Logic is the study of the methods and principles used to distinguish correct reasoning from incorrect reasoning and, as such, it is a crucial component of any philosophy course. Moreover, logic has applications other than the testing of arguments for cogency: it is also a widely used and useful tool for clarifying the problematic concepts that have traditionally troubled philosophers, e.g., deductive consequence, rational degree of belief, knowledge, necessary truth, identity, etc. Indeed, much contemporary philosophy cannot be understood without a working knowledge of logic. Given this, logic is an important subject for philosophy students to master.

The module will primarily cover propositional and predicate logic. Regarding propositional and predicate logic, the focus will be on methods for testing the validity of an argument. These methods will allow students to distinguish correct from incorrect reasoning. The module will also cover inductive and modal logics. Regarding inductive and modal logics, the focus will be on clarifying epistemological concepts through the use of these logics.

Find out more about PL605

The module will study some of the major works in the history of modern philosophy of science. Texts to be studied will be drawn from a list that includes major works by philosophers such as Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, Shapere, and Feyerabend. The approach will be philosophical and critical, and will involve the close reading of texts. Students will be expected to engage critically with the works being studied and to formulate and argue for their own views on the issues covered.

An indicative list of themes to be studied: Inductivism versus falsificationism, Research Programmes, Incommensurability, Realism, Instrumentalism, Sociology of Scientific Knowledge, Causal Reasoning and Scientific Explanation.

Find out more about PL606

The module will study some of the major works in the history of modern philosophy of cognitive science and artificial intelligence. An indicative list of topics is the Turing test; the Chinese Room argument; the frame problem; connectionism; extended and embodied cognition; artificial consciousness. The approach will be philosophical and critical, and will involve the close reading of texts. Students will be expected to engage critically with the works being studied and to formulate and argue for their own views on the issues covered.

Find out more about PL609

How does truth relate to existence? This module looks at the connection between truths and the things that make them true. We consider questions relating to the connection between truth and ontology (or existence) concerning time, persistence, possibility, generality, composition, and causation. We will look at how these issues are discussed in contemporary analytic metaphysics. We will explore both what solutions looking at the connections between truth and ontology might offer, whether this approach to the problems is useful, and how best to communicate the problems we discuss.

Find out more about PL611

Is it right that the talented profit from their (undeserved) talents? Should the government provide compensation for people who find it hard to meet that special someone? Should we think our duties to our compatriots are more important than our duties to people in other countries?

This course is divided into two parts. The first part examines classic topics in political philosophy, such as Rawls Theory of Justice, Nozick's libertarianism and the feminist and communitarian criticism of political liberalism. The second part of the course will explore issues within contemporary political philosophy, such as equality, our obligations to those in the developing world, and the politics of immigration. We will consider whether we can make sense of political obligation between states as well as within states. We will look at these issues in the context of particular recent case studies.

Find out more about PL618

Under what circumstances might it be permissible to use violence to further political goals? What distinguishes different sorts of political violence? Ought the state to have a monopoly on political violence? Are there some methods that should never be used to further political goals? In this course, we will look at the various forms of political violence, and consider how political and legal theorists have tried to regulate violent interaction between states and within states. We will examine the conceptual difficulties that arise when postulating international laws, and consider the role of the United Nations as international mediator and law enforcer. We will also look at the rights of self-determination amongst sub-national groups, and at the obligations of the international community to intervene to prevent humanitarian abuses.

Find out more about PL620

A controversy is currently raging in philosophy about the nature of evidence. Recent work in epistemology and the philosophy of science suggests new answers to questions such as: What is evidence? What is it to have evidence? Why do beliefs need to be guided by evidence? At the same time, there is a vigorous debate about the methods of evidence-based medicine and evidence-based policy making. Many practitioners regard these methods as fundamentally misguided, while others view them as key to progress in medicine and beyond. This module will bring these two important topics together and show how one line of current research in philosophy is informing the debate about evidence-based methods and vice versa.

In particular, this module will provide an introduction to the methods of evidence-based practice, including the various types of comparative clinical study, and the evidence hierarchy. It will involve applying recent insights from epistemology and the philosophy of science on the theory of evidence to critically appraise the motivation behind this conception of evidence-based practice.

Find out more about PL622

The curriculum will focus on an important classic texts on reason and metaphysics in the European tradition. The relation between reason and metaphysics has been a focus of philosophy ever since Plato. This includes questions concerning the nature of the mind, the scope and limits only knowledge, the essence of reality, of space, time and existence, and the possible existence of the soul, free will and God. Students will be expected to read such classic texts (for example, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason), but also contemporary critical commentaries.

Find out more about PL625

All things considered, liberal democracy is the best political system we know of. Nevertheless, it has always been in peril, attacked by totalitarian ideologies and undermined by self-destructive forces from within. In this module, we will investigate the essence and value of democracy, and the character and aims of its enemies. To this end, we will study an important theory in modern political philosophy, formulated in Ernst Cassirer's The Myth of the State. Cassirer explores the explosive problem of political myth in our day, and reveals how the myth of the state evolved from ancient times to prepare the way for the rise of the modern totalitarian state. He shows how the irrational forces symbolised by myth and manipulation by the state constantly threaten to destroy our civilisation. This major contribution to political theory will help us understand the problems our societies face today, including questions relating to truth and falsehood in politics, and, of course, 'fake truth’. We shall also look at a related text, Hans Kelsen’s The Essence and Value of Democracy.

Find out more about PL627

This course is designed to introduce students to a number of approaches in what is often referred to as "normative ethics". We face and hear about moral problems every day. These problems range from life and death matters concerning abortion, euthanasia and the like to other types of case such as whether to tell a lie to prevent hurting someone's feelings. At some point we might wonder whether there is a set of rules or principles (such as 'Do not lie') which will help us through these tricky problems; we might wonder whether there is something more simple underlying all of this 'ethical mess’ that we can discern.

Normative ethics contains a number of theories that attempt to give us such principles and to sort out the mess. In particular, different normative ethical theories are attempts to articulate reasons why a certain course of action is ethically best; they are attempts to say what types of feature we should concentrate on when thinking about ethical problems and why it is that such features are features which have ‘intrinsic moral significance’. Of course, ethical theories do not exist in a vacuum. As we shall see, our everyday intuitions about what is morally best are both the origin of normative ethical theories and the origin of thoughts raised against them. In all of this, the course will be examining these theories by starting with their historical roots, particularly focussing on the work of J. S. Mill, Immanuel Kant and Aristotle.

Find out more about PL640

Many people today are reluctant to identify themselves as 'feminist': either because they see feminism as a useful political movement that has essentially served its purposes; or because they view feminism as a 'single-issue', militant ideology that they cannot identify with. This module is intended to give students an opportunity to reflect philosophically on what claims like this could mean: if we live in a post-feminist era, why do women earn, on average, two thirds of what their male counterparts earn? If we live in post-feminist era, why are women still under-represented in many fields (including politics, science and academic philosophy?). If feminism is a 'single-issue' ideology, why is it that feminists have proposed such a variety of solutions to the above problems, and from such a wide range of political standpoints?

The module explores some key debates in contemporary feminist philosophy, with particularly emphasis on its uncomfortable relationship with liberalism. The course draws attention to feminist critiques of key liberal concepts, such as consent, the social contract, autonomy, universal rights, and the private/public distinction. We go on to apply theoretical debates in feminist thought to the following political issues: prostitution, pornography, feminine appearance, multiculturalism, and human rights.

Find out more about PL642

This module will introduce students to philosophical theories of causality and philosophical theories of probability. The module will provide a broad background to the range of available interpretations of causality and probability. Topics to be covered will vary from year to year, in light of the expertise of the person convening it and student feedback from previous years. Students will gain a good understanding of the complementary and in some cases conflicting perspectives and methodologies on causality and probability. The module will enable students to evaluate contemporary issues in a manner that's informed by a comprehensive set of relevant traditions.

Find out more about PL664

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.

You can apply to add a Year Abroad to your degree programme from your arrival at Kent until the autumn term of your second year.  The Year Abroad takes place between Stages 2 and 3 at one of our partner universities.  Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme.  For a full list, please see Go Abroad.

You are expected to adhere to any academic progression requirements in Stages 1 and 2 to proceed to the Year Abroad.  The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification.

Stage 3

Optional modules may include

This module is an introduction to ancient Greek ritual and religion, including the Mystery cults. The module offers a comprehensive introduction to the major gods and goddesses of ancient Greece, spheres of influence, characters, relationships, exploits, and worship. It is concerned with the analysis of religious festivals, cults, beliefs, and the development of religious architecture. The module additionally briefly contrasts Greek religion to Christianity, as an example of investigating how Greek religion differs from, and resembles modern religions. The materials of the module are drawn from archaeology, Greek poets, artists, playwrights, mythographers, and philosophers from the 10th–2nd centuries BC.

Find out more about CL752

The module provides students with an advanced understanding of Ancient Greek Prose through the reading, translation and interpretation of ancient text(s). Students will gain a systematic understanding of Greek by reading texts in the original with special attention to stylistics, textual criticism and/or thematic development through the use of author- and theme-specific scholarly tools and publications. The emphasis in this module will be on the development of critical skills that aid in the analysis of the text(s) as literature within a broader literary and cultural context.

Find out more about CL753

How do you imagine Roman Antiquity? How do the images produced for film, TV and popular fiction reflect the lives of those in antiquity? Can we see the everyday experience of Pliny, Juvenal or Augustine or of those who were killed in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79? This module will explore everyday life in the Roman world, from haircuts, tattoos and gestures, to everyday rites and rhythms, whether domestic, social, political or religious, focusing on human experience, with its culturally specific organisation rather than abstract scholarly constructions. It will range from Augustan Rome to Late Antique Constantinople, and will draw on depictions, literary evidence (such as poems), original documents (from personal letters to minutes of meetings), inscriptions and especially archaeology, focusing on key sites where preservation is good, such as Pompeii, Ostia, Sardis and Petra. Here buildings, graffiti, occupation deposits and other traces will allow snapshots of everyday life to be constructed: of the houses, workshops, taverns, temples, theatres and churches of Antiquity. Students will be encouraged to undertake both empirical studies and imaginative reconstructions as part of their assessment, so that they understand the importance not only of describing what evidence remains of everyday life, but of actively reconstructing the past, and of engaging different types of evidence in a critical dialogue.

Find out more about CL675

The module is based on individual scholarship and research. The project will be chosen by the student with the advice of the tutor. In terms of the primary data it could involve investigation of antiquarian literature; archive documentation including cartographic sources; Sites and Monuments Records; museum collections; observation of monuments in the field; or participation in approved field work or excavation. Choice of project will be informed by personal interests, the fulfilment of the aims of the module, the availability of expert supervision, and the accessibility of data. Typically the project may have a local or regional focus.

Find out more about CL636

This module will explore Mediterranean life in the period 283-650, from the time of Diocletian and Constantine to the Arab Conquests covering the world of major figures such as Julian, Augustine, Justinian, and Mohammed. It will separate the complex changes of this period, which have often been lumped together in a single misleading model of 'decline'. Long-term phenomena, such as the centralisation of imperial power, the emergence of a Christian state, the collapse of the Eastern Empire, and the rise of Islam, remain legitimate topics of interest.

Different aspects of society will be explored, using textual, archaeological and iconographic evidence, covering such themes as the emperor and court, war, cities, the countryside, the economy, the end of paganism, and the rise of Christianity. These portraits will draw on the extraordinary preservation of sites and landscapes in North Africa and the East Mediterranean, where cities, villages and monasteries often stand as if they had only recently been abandoned. Rich stratigraphic evidence, from earthquake and abandonment deposits, also makes it possible to perceive the everyday life of the period in a way that is only true of Pompeii in earlier centuries. Students taking this course will develop an understanding of both the last flowering of Greek culture and the cultural foundations of the Middle Ages (in Europe, Byzantium and Islam), revealing an important chapter in our history, which is often ignored but is vital to grasp, to understand the legacy of Antiquity.

Find out more about CL638

This module reviews texts relating to sexual behaviour attitudes and relationships throughout Latin Literature, raising questions about both the perception of sexuality in antiquity and how perception was translated into social and political relationships. Because of the nature of its coverage, it can be counted as either a literature or a social history course, and is intended as a wide-ranging complement to both. The module relies on primary texts from a variety of literary genres, from Epic and poetry to private letters, legal texts and inscriptions.

Find out more about CL573

This module is concerned with the impact of the Classical World on ancient Egypt between Alexander's invasion and the Arab conquest, and on the nature and permanence of the brilliant hybrid civilisation which emerged under Greek and Roman rule.

Alexander entered Egypt as a liberator, but he and his successors created a colonial regime with Greek as the ruling language and Greeks as the ruling elite under their own law. Mercenaries were settled on reclaimed land, Greek cities were founded, especially Alexandria, one of the glories of the ancient world. An elaborate system of economic regulation maximised production to support warfare, city-building and display. The temples became a department of state. New cults were created to unite the two peoples and strengthen the regime. Native Egyptians showed their resentment in disaffection and rebellion. Roman rule (after the spectacular end of the Ptolemaic dynasty) was if anything harsher and more remote, and the rise of the Copts is often interpreted as an anti-Roman, anti-Classical movement.

Yet it is a mistake to see the relationship as wholly negative. Art and architecture flourished – most temples surviving today are the work of the Ptolemies. In civil service, army, business the new regime offered avenues to advancement for native Egyptians. A genuinely bilingual upper class emerged, able to make significant contributions to Classical culture. The ancient religion retained its prestige and was adopted by many Greeks, spreading far outside Egypt. Coptic culture was as much Classical as Egyptian, and Greek language long survived the Arab conquest. Sources for this vivid, complex and often neglected phase of Egyptian history are rich and varied: temples, tombs, remains of cities and villages, mummies, inscriptions, sculpture, coins, and an extraordinary range of papyrus documents, able to offer unique insights into an ancient civilisation.

Find out more about CL586

How did the Western Roman Empire undergo its transformation into the early medieval world? This course provides an overview of the period between 300 and 600 A.D., in particular, examining the collision between barbarian and Roman in late Antiquity and the development of the post-Roman and early medieval West, focusing on changes in culture and society through a critical evaluation of evidence from history, art, architecture and archaeology. There will be a focus on Italy, France and Britain, which is intended to provide a manageable and structured course at an appropriate level of detail, with the potential for some depth of analysis. It is also intended to concentrate on those geographical areas which mesh closely with the subject matter of other courses in Roman archaeology and late Antique and medieval history offered by the Classical & Archaeological Studies department.

Find out more about CL591

This module consists of an introduction to the study of the various indigenous languages and scripts of ancient Egypt from the earliest times to the Arab conquest (641 AD). During this period of approximately four thousand years the development of the native Egyptian tongue may be divided into five distinct phases, each of which may be called a separate language in its own right, Old Egyptian, Middle Egyptian, New Egyptian, Demotic and, finally, Coptic. A variety of writing systems were developed to record texts in these languages, depending on the function, social and presentational context and time period of the text: hieroglyphic, hieratic, abnormal hieratic, demotic and Coptic.

The module will first examine the origins of the ancient Egyptian language and its genetic relationship with other North-East African and Western Asian languages based on the latest results of historical linguistics. It will then focus on the development of Egyptian itself through the ages, highlighting its different stages and their particular characteristics. It will also examine the earliest uses and functions of writing in Egyptian society and the role played by writing in the social, economic and cultural development of this unique ancient civilisation. Finally, the module will concentrate on the Middle Egyptian language written in the hieroglyphic writing system and students will be taught to read and translate simple texts in this tongue and script.

Find out more about CL6003

This module will provide a detailed and research-led study of the century of political instability now known commonly to historians as the 'crisis' of the Roman Republic. It begins at the end of the 2nd century BCE amidst a period of rising populism, demagoguery, and socio-economic strain and fragmentation among the traditional elite. Proceeding through the civil wars of the 1st century BCE, from Sulla and Marius, Pompey and Caesar, and finally Antony and Octavian, the study ends with the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE and the accession of Octavian/Augustus as monarch over the Roman Empire.

The lectures will give detailed discussion of the varying scholarly interpretations of this much-discussed and famous period of Roman history, introducing students to the sources of evidence (historiography, biography, political philosophy, art, coinage, architecture, inscriptions) and providing models of their effective combination. In addition to the chronological survey of the period discussed, lectures will also develop major themes essential to the students' understanding of the century of political crisis that precipitated the transition from Republic to monarchy. Topics covered may include tradition and innovation; art and the political; consensus models; crisis theory; women and the sub-elite as political actors; rhetoric and its abuse; warfare and imperialism.

The seminars will provide hands-on training in the interpretation of the evidence for these periods and themes, both material and literary, arising out of the content of the immediately preceding lecture. Some seminars will also be reserved for discussion in order to clarify best practice for the assessments.

Find out more about CL6004

The module provides students with an advanced understanding of Ancient Greek Verse through the reading, translation and interpretation of ancient text(s). Students will gain a systematic understanding of Greek by reading texts in the original with special attention to stylistics, textual criticism and/or thematic development through the use of author- and theme-specific scholarly tools and publications. The emphasis in this module will be on the development of critical skills that aid in the analysis of the text(s) as literature within a broader literary and cultural context.

Find out more about CL757

The module provides students with an advanced understanding of Latin Prose through the reading, translation and interpretation of ancient text(s). Students will gain a systematic understanding of Latin by reading texts in the original with special attention to stylistics, textual criticism and/or thematic development through the use of author- and theme-specific scholarly tools and publications. The emphasis in this module will be on the development of critical skills that aid in the analysis of the text(s) as literature within a broader literary and cultural context.

Find out more about CL758

The module provides students with an advanced understanding of Latin Verse through the reading, translation and interpretation of ancient text(s). Students will gain a systematic understanding of Latin by reading texts in the original with special attention to stylistics, textual criticism and/or thematic development through the use of author- and theme-specific scholarly tools and publications. The emphasis in this module will be on the development of critical skills that aid in the analysis of the text(s) as literature within a broader literary and cultural context.

Find out more about CL759

This module is concerned with the Hellenistic period, which saw an expansion of the Greek world into the Near East and, as a result, the profound political and cultural transformation of the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean. The Hellenistic world played a crucial role not just in the transmission of classical Greek civilisation but also in the shaping of the Roman Empire and its culture, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean. For these reasons, it is a key period in the development of Greek, Roman and later European civilisations. The module intends to provide a general survey of the political, social, economic and cultural history of the Eastern Mediterranean in the period between 336 and 30 BC, following on from the classical Greek and in part dovetailing with and in part preparing the ground for the Roman historical modules. The module will be taught from a range of sources, historical, literary, papyrological, epigraphic and archaeological. Particular attention will be paid to the interaction between the incoming Graeco-Macedonian and indigenous local populations and the formation of new states and cultures.

Find out more about CL738

This module examines in detail the history of the Roman Empire from the commencement of the Principate of Augustus in 30 BC to the death of the Emperor Domitian in AD 96. It will also provide both a survey of a major period of Roman imperial history and an opportunity to study in greater depth the administrative, social, economic and religious developments of this period. Students will read widely from the ancient sources, historical, literary and documentary, and will be introduced to the inscriptional evidence for imperial history. This module will concentrate on the main administrative, social, economic and religious developments throughout the period rather than on the details of political and military history.

Students will read widely in the major ancient sources, including Tacitus, Pliny and Suetonius, and will be introduced to the inscriptional and documentary evidence for imperial history.

Find out more about CL734

This module takes a critical and interdisciplinary approach to modern interpretations of ancient literature, culture and art. After first developing a rich and detailed view of a key theme in classical studies (e.g. inebriation, madness, divine signs, humour, emotion, ugliness, the senses), the module will then explore how its central theme is addressed both in the ancient world and in twenty-first century debates.

Find out more about CL736

This module explores 5th-century Athenian history through the plays which were put on stage during this period of war and political upheaval. Greek tragedies and comedies produced during this tumultuous period (472-405 BC) offer us some of the most enticing, yet challenging, evidence for the state of Athenian politics and attitudes to contemporary events (especially war and empire). In this module, the evidence of key plays will be set against other forms of historical evidence to illuminate the complex relationship between the types of evidence which survive and the nature of 'making history'.

Find out more about CL714

This module provides an introduction to some of the major works in ancient philosophy in relation to ethics, aesthetics, political theory, ontology and metaphysics. Students will study substantial portions of primary texts by the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans, Stoics and/or the Skeptics. The emphasis throughout will be on the philosophical significance of the ideas studied. The module will concentrate on understanding key philosophical arguments and concepts within the context of the ancient intellectual tradition. This means that students will gain a critical distance from normative and modern definitions of philosophical terms in order to understand how ancient philosophy generally approached questions and problems with different suppositions and conceptions of reality, reason and the purpose of human existence.

Find out more about CL709

Virgil composed the Aeneid in order to provide Rome with an epic equal to any that Homer produced. Commonly regarded as one the greatest epics of the ancient world, the Aeneid is the story of the foundation of Rome; a tale of exile, war, passionate love and the deepest humanity. We will analyse, comment on and explore the epic, book by book. This will be intertwined with a thematic approach, investigating issues concerning the gods, fate, morality, art and gender.

Find out more about CL641

This module will introduce students to philosophical theories of causality and philosophical theories of probability. The module will provide a broad background to the range of available interpretations of causality and probability. Topics to be covered will vary from year to year, in light of the expertise of the person convening it and student feedback from previous years. Students will gain a good understanding of the complementary and in some cases conflicting perspectives and methodologies on causality and probability. The module will enable students to evaluate contemporary issues in a manner that's informed by a comprehensive set of relevant traditions.

Find out more about PL665

In this module we consider what it is that history studies—individual actions, social structures, states, empires, religious movements, social classes, periods and regions, civilizations, large causal or law-governed processes. We explore whether history as a whole has meaning, structure, or direction, beyond the individual events and actions that make it up and the nature of causal influence among historical events or structures that underwrites historical explanations.

We continue by examining what is involved in our knowing, representing, and explaining history by asking what role is played by the interpretation of the "lived experience" of past actors in our historical understanding, and how the historian arrives at justified statements about this lived experience. Can we arrive at justified and objective interpretations of long-dead actors, their mentalities and their actions, or does all historical knowledge remain permanently questionable?

Finally, we consider the extent to which human history is constitutive of the human present. Can historical understanding of events in the past inform our policies and actions in current situations judged in important respects to be sufficiently similar?

Find out more about PL669

Many people today are reluctant to identify themselves as 'feminist': either because they see feminism as a useful political movement that has essentially served its purposes; or because they view feminism as a 'single-issue', militant ideology that they cannot identify with. This module is intended to give students an opportunity to reflect philosophically on what claims like this could mean: if we live in a post-feminist era, why do women earn, on average, two thirds of what their male counterparts earn? If we live in post-feminist era, why are women still under-represented in many fields (including politics, science and academic philosophy?). If feminism is a 'single-issue' ideology, why is it that feminists have proposed such a variety of solutions to the above problems, and from such a wide range of political standpoints?

The module explores some key debates in contemporary feminist philosophy, with particularly emphasis on its uncomfortable relationship with liberalism. The course draws attention to feminist critiques of key liberal concepts, such as consent, the social contract, autonomy, universal rights, and the private/public distinction. We go on to apply theoretical debates in feminist thought to the following political issues: prostitution, pornography, feminine appearance, multiculturalism, and human rights.

Find out more about PL642

This course is designed to introduce students to a number of approaches in what is often referred to as "normative ethics". We face and hear about moral problems every day. These problems range from life and death matters concerning abortion, euthanasia and the like to other types of case such as whether to tell a lie to prevent hurting someone's feelings. At some point we might wonder whether there is a set of rules or principles (such as 'Do not lie') which will help us through these tricky problems; we might wonder whether there is something more simple underlying all of this 'ethical mess’ that we can discern.

Normative ethics contains a number of theories that attempt to give us such principles and to sort out the mess. In particular, different normative ethical theories are attempts to articulate reasons why a certain course of action is ethically best; they are attempts to say what types of feature we should concentrate on when thinking about ethical problems and why it is that such features are features which have ‘intrinsic moral significance’. Of course, ethical theories do not exist in a vacuum. As we shall see, our everyday intuitions about what is morally best are both the origin of normative ethical theories and the origin of thoughts raised against them. In all of this, the course will be examining these theories by starting with their historical roots, particularly focussing on the work of J. S. Mill, Immanuel Kant and Aristotle.

Find out more about PL640

All things considered, liberal democracy is the best political system we know of. Nevertheless, it has always been in peril, attacked by totalitarian ideologies and undermined by self-destructive forces from within. In this module, we will investigate the essence and value of democracy, and the character and aims of its enemies. To this end, we will study an important theory in modern political philosophy, formulated in Ernst Cassirer's The Myth of the State. Cassirer explores the explosive problem of political myth in our day, and reveals how the myth of the state evolved from ancient times to prepare the way for the rise of the modern totalitarian state. He shows how the irrational forces symbolised by myth and manipulation by the state constantly threaten to destroy our civilisation. This major contribution to political theory will help us understand the problems our societies face today, including questions relating to truth and falsehood in politics, and, of course, 'fake truth’. We shall also look at a related text, Hans Kelsen’s The Essence and Value of Democracy.

Find out more about PL626

A controversy is currently raging in philosophy about the nature of evidence. Recent work in epistemology and the philosophy of science suggests new answers to questions such as: What is evidence? What is it to have evidence? Why do beliefs need to be guided by evidence? At the same time, there is a vigorous debate about the methods of evidence-based medicine and evidence-based policy making. Many practitioners regard these methods as fundamentally misguided, while others view them as key to progress in medicine and beyond. This module will bring these two important topics together and show how one line of current research in philosophy is informing the debate about evidence-based methods and vice versa.

In particular, this module will provide an introduction to the methods of evidence-based practice, including the various types of comparative clinical study, and the evidence hierarchy. It will involve applying recent insights from epistemology and the philosophy of science on the theory of evidence to critically appraise the motivation behind this conception of evidence-based practice.

Find out more about PL623

The curriculum will focus on an important classic texts on reason and metaphysics in the European tradition. The relation between reason and metaphysics has been a focus of philosophy ever since Plato. This includes questions concerning the nature of the mind, the scope and limits only knowledge, the essence of reality, of space, time and existence, and the possible existence of the soul, free will and God. Students will be expected to read such classic texts (for example, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason), but also contemporary critical commentaries.

Find out more about PL624

Under what circumstances might it be permissible to use violence to further political goals? What distinguishes different sorts of political violence? Ought the state to have a monopoly on political violence? Are there some methods that should never be used to further political goals? In this module, we will look at the various forms of political violence, and consider how political and legal theorists have tried to regulate violent interaction between states and within states. We will examine the conceptual difficulties that arise when postulating international laws, and consider the role of the United Nations as international mediator and law enforcer. We will also look at the rights of self-determination amongst sub-national groups, and at the obligations of the international community to intervene to prevent humanitarian abuses.

Find out more about PL621

Is it right that the talented profit from their (undeserved) talents? Should the government provide compensation for people who find it hard to meet that special someone? Should we think our duties to our compatriots are more important than our duties to people in other countries?

This course is divided into two parts. The first part examines classic topics in political philosophy, such as Rawls Theory of Justice, Nozick's libertarianism and the feminist and communitarian criticism of political liberalism. The second part of the course will explore issues within contemporary political philosophy, such as equality, our obligations to those in the developing world, and the politics of immigration. We will consider whether we can make sense of political obligation between states as well as within states. We will look at these issues in the context of particular recent case studies.

Find out more about PL619

How does truth relate to existence? This module looks at the connection between truths and the things that make them true. We consider questions relating to the connection between truth and ontology (or existence) concerning time, persistence, possibility, generality, composition, and causation. We will look at how these issues are discussed in contemporary analytic metaphysics. We will explore both what solutions looking at the connections between truth and ontology might offer, whether this approach to the problems is useful, and how best to communicate the problems we discuss.

Find out more about PL612

This course is designed to introduce students to a number of philosophical issues arising from medical research and medical practice. Students will consider attempts to define the following terms – health, illness, and disease – and discuss what rests on their definition. Much medical practice proceeds as though medicine were a natural science. This module will probe the limitations of this conception. The placebo effect demonstrates the powerful influence of suggestion on the body and students will consider its relevance to philosophical ideas of the mind-body relation. Finally, students will consider ethical issues arising in medical practice, such as 'medically assisted death'.

Find out more about PL570

The module will enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of Wittgenstein's approach to philosophy, and to acquire familiarity with major themes especially in the areas of epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language. The module will give students practice in deploying their critical philosophical skills.

Find out more about PL573

Groups of marks or bursts of sound are just physical entities but, when produced by a writer or a speaker, they are used to point beyond themselves. This is the property of aboutness or intentionality. Other physical entities generally do not have this property. When you hear a sentence, you hear a burst of sound, but typically you also understand a meaning conveyed by the speaker. What is the meaning of a word – some weird entity that floats alongside the word, a set of rules associating the word with objects, an intention in the mind of the speaker….? What is the difference between what your words imply and what you convey in saying them? How are words used non-literally, how do hearers catch on to the meaning of a newly minted metaphor? How can we mean and convey so much when uttering a concise sentence? When someone says something offensive, is it part of its meaning that it is offensive, or just how it is used? In this module we shall try to find some answers to the questions listed above.

Find out more about PL576

The aim of this course is to engage in the study of specific topics in the philosophy of mind, language, or action and to engage with the criticism of contemporary approaches as it is found in the works of Wittgenstein, Ryle, Anscombe, and/or Austin.

Find out more about PL578

Logic is the study of the methods and principles used to distinguish correct reasoning from incorrect reasoning and, as such, it is a crucial component of any philosophy course. Moreover, logic has applications other than the testing of arguments for cogency: it is also a widely used and useful tool for clarifying the problematic concepts that have traditionally troubled philosophers, e.g., deductive consequence, rational degree of belief, knowledge, necessary truth, identity, etc. Indeed, much contemporary philosophy cannot be understood without a working knowledge of logic. Given this, logic is an important subject for philosophy students to master.

The module will primarily cover propositional and predicate logic. Regarding propositional and predicate logic, the focus will be on methods for testing the validity of an argument. These methods will allow students to distinguish correct from incorrect reasoning. The module will also cover inductive and modal logics. Regarding inductive and modal logics, the focus will be on clarifying epistemological concepts through the use of these logics.

Find out more about PL579

The module will study some of the major works in the history of modern philosophy of science. Texts to be studied will be drawn from a list that includes major works by philosophers such as Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, Shapere, and Feyerabend. The approach will be philosophical and critical, and will involve the close reading of texts. Students will be expected to engage critically with the works being studied and to formulate and argue for their own views on the issues covered.

An indicative list of themes to be studied: Inductivism versus falsificationism, Research Programmes, Incommensurability, Realism, Instrumentalism, Sociology of Scientific Knowledge, Causal Reasoning and Scientific Explanation.

Find out more about PL580

The module will study some of the major works in the history of modern philosophy of cognitive science and artificial intelligence. An indicative list of topics is the Turing test; the Chinese Room argument; the frame problem; connectionism; extended and embodied cognition; artificial consciousness. The approach will be philosophical and critical, and will involve the close reading of texts. Students will be expected to engage critically with the works being studied and to formulate and argue for their own views on the issues covered.

Find out more about PL583

You have the opportunity to select elective modules in this stage.

Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home/EU full-time £9250
  • International full-time £16200
  • Home/EU part-time £4625
  • International part-time £8100

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £9,250.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages

The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either mathematics or a modern foreign language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

Teaching and assessment

Classical & Archaeological Studies

All modules have a weekly seminar, and most also have weekly lectures. Archaeology modules sometimes include museum and site visits. We encourage students to take part in excavations and surveys with staff and associated institutions, and sources of funding are available to support these activities.

Assessment at all stages varies from 100% coursework to a combination of examination and coursework.

Philosophy

Some modules have lectures, some have seminars, and all have class discussions. Some promote ‘student active’ learning techniques which encourage you to work on individual or group research, and present your findings to the rest of the class.

Assessment of philosophy modules is by essays, in-class assignments, seminar participation or tests, or a combination of these methods.

Contact Hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programmes specification for each subject below. Please note that outcomes will depend on your specific module selection:

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

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.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

Independent rankings

Classics and Ancient History at Kent was ranked 5th for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2021 and 9th overall in The Times Good University Guide 2020.

Of Classics students who graduated from Kent in 2017 and completed a national survey, over 92% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

Philosophy at Kent was ranked 1st for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2021. Over 89% of final-year Philosophy students were satisfied with the quality of teaching on their course in The Guardian University Guide 2020.

Careers

Graduate destinations

As part of your degree, you develop critical thinking, transferable knowledge and skills that enable you to work in a variety of professions.

Our graduates have gone on to work in:

  • museums
  • journalism
  • archaeology
  • publishing
  • the heritage industry
  • librarianship.

A number of our students also continue to postgraduate study.

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.

Career-enhancing skills

Alongside specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically
  • communicate your ideas and opinions
  • manage your time effectively
  • work independently or as part of a team.

You can gain additional skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for Classical and Archaeological Studies and Philosophy - BA (Hons)

Full-time applicants

Full-time applicants (including international applicants) should apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) system. If you need help or advice on your application, you should speak with your careers adviser or contact UCAS Customer Contact Centre. 

The institution code number for the University of Kent is K24, and the code name is KENT.

Application deadlines

See the UCAS website for an outline of the UCAS process and application deadlines. 

If you are applying for courses based at Medway, you should add the campus code K in Section 3(d).

Apply through UCAS

Apply now for part-time study

Classical and Archaeological Studies and Philosophy - BA (Hons) - part-time at Canterbury

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

Enquire online for part-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

Discover Uni information

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Discover Uni is designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replaces Unistats from September 2019.

Discover Uni is jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

It includes:

  • Information and guidance about higher education
  • Information about courses
  • Information about providers

Find out more about the Unistats dataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.