Global Philosophies - BA (Hons)


Kent’s new Global Philosophies degree provides an exciting, innovative opportunity to engage with intellectual thought from around the world. The programme offers a global approach to philosophical study with modules drawing not only on European or Western thought but also traditions originating in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, from antiquity to the present day. 

You gain a systematic historical and cross-cultural understanding of a wide-range of philosophical traditions as well as modules exploring how various philosophies, ideas and forms of life have ‘gone global,’ both historically (through processes like empire, migration and cultural exchange) and in the contemporary era through the impact of mass media and globalisation.         

Global Philosophies is offered by the Department of Religious Studies, within Kent’s School of European Culture and Languages. Staff in the department have a range of interests in the field, including expertise in various world religions, the history of ideas, Asian studies and different traditions of philosophical thought, providing research-informed teaching on the various strands of world intellectual thought.

The programme is taught at our Canterbury campus, with strong transport links to mainland Europe.

Our degree programme

Global Philosophies at Kent is a varied programme covering world philosophical traditions, encouraging cultural and historical understanding and awareness of ancient and contemporary phases of globalisation.

In your first year, you take two core modules, The Global Search for Meaning and Ethics, Society and the Good Life. You also take introductory modules in either South Asian (Hindu and Buddhist) or East Asian (Confucian, Daoist, Shinto) traditions. In your second year, you take a further compulsory module, Understanding Global Philosophies, exploring methodological issues in cross-cultural study.

You also have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of modules offered within the School of European Cultures and Languages and the Faculty of Humanities in areas related to philosophy, classics and history. You will be introduced to a wide range of authors, literary texts and philosophical traditions from different time periods and cultural contexts.

At all stages of your degree it is possible to choose ‘elective’ modules from across the Faculty of Humanities. You can also apply to take a placement module, where you can gain teaching experience in a secondary school. The placement modules are subject to a selection process.

Year or term abroad

You can apply to spend a whole year or just a term abroad as part of your degree programme.Working or studying abroad is a great opportunity to discover a new culture and demonstrates to future employers that you have the enthusiasm to succeed in a new environment. You don’t have to make a decision before you enrol at Kent but certain conditions apply. See Kent’s Go Abroad pages for more details.

Placement year

It is also possible to spend a year on placement in the UK, gaining valuable workplace experience and increasing your professional contacts. Have a look at the Course structure or the Placement Year information from the Faculty of Humanities for more details.

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


  • 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/placement year), 6 years part-time

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

You take all compulsory modules and either TH331 or TH348. You then choose 45 credits of optional modules and an additional 30 credits of optional and ‘elective’ modules.

Compulsory modules currently include

This module provides a cross-cultural introduction and exploration of philosophical, religious and cultural traditions which have shaped and informed historical and contemporary ethical judgements and notions of the good life. From ancient Asian, Greek, Jewish, Christian and Islamic philosophies inspired by thinkers such as the Buddha, Plato, Jesus and Mohammed, to modern secular philosophies such as humanism and Marxism, humans have articulated a variety of approaches to ethics, politics, spirituality, and the relationship of the individual to society, in many cases developing legal frameworks for the regulation of issues of ethical concern in areas such as human rights, wealth distribution, medical ethics, the environment and human sexuality.

Find out more about TH349

This module provides a thematic introduction to selected topics and debates that span global philosophical, religious and cultural traditions. It will explore issues such as the nature of reality, of the self, and of goodness or value, the foundations of ethics and the ideal society, and the goals of life in a variety of worldviews. Cross-referencing cultural traditions with broader theoretical and philosophical debates, it seeks to provide a foundation for understanding key concepts and themes found within the world's traditions of philosophy and religion, and exploring their implications for fundamental debates about truth, society, psychology and the good life.

Find out more about TH350

Optional modules may include

This module provides an historical introduction to the philosophical, religious and cultural traditions of East Asia. It will provide a foundation for understanding the historical development, key concepts and important practices of the major worldviews of East Asia with specific reference to traditions such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Shinto and other animist traditions.

Find out more about TH348

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, through a consideration of their key concepts, ideas, texts and practices (such as bhakti, moksha, yoga, dharma). The first half of the module will examine some of the most interesting features of the Vedic and post-Vedic tradition: the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the polytheism of the Mahabharata. The second half will examine the contrasting philosophical positions of the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions using materials from the Pali canon and several Sanskrit Sutras. Particular attention will be given to the variety of interpretations of the Buddhist 'No-self' doctrine and concept of enlightenment as well as the meaning and function of the Buddha’s career.

Find out more about TH331

This course investigates the beliefs and practices of Jews and Muslims in the world today. Topics in Judaism include the life and work of the Patriarchs, the concept of the 'chosen people', the Promised Land, the Torah, synagogue, Jewish festivals and the Jewish home. In the case of Islam, topics include the life and work of Muhammad, the Five Pillars, the Qur'an and Hadith, Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims, Sufism, the Shariah and the Islamic contribution to the arts and sciences.

Find out more about TH340

This module will introduce students to discussions about the definition of religion and to some of the disciplines in which religion is studied, with special reference to the differences between Theology and Religious Studies. Particular consideration will be given in the initial weeks to the phenomenological approach and to the efficacy of Ninian Smart's dimensions of religion. In the following weeks, the module will be focused on the comparative study of religion (with reference to Eliade), the sociology of religion (with reference to Durkheim, Weber and Marx) and the psychology of religion (with reference to Otto, James, Freud and Jung). The module will also host a study skills session to be run in conjunction with the Student Learning Advisory Service, the aim of which is to equip students with key study skills in the areas of writing essays, referencing and plagiarism-prevention.

Find out more about TH341

This module introduces students to some of the most influential theories of World Literature, which are studied alongside a selection of literary examples. The theories include Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's reflections formulated in the first decades of the nineteenth century. Goethe coined the term 'world literature' [Weltliteratur] to describe the international circulation and reception of literary works in Europe.

In the course of the module, we reflect on the relationship between national literatures and world literature, and on the ways in which the literary market facilitates and complicates transnational exchanges of ideas. In addition, students are given the opportunity to hone their close reading skills by studying a selection of ancient and modern world creation myths. These include texts from the Near East, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe. The module offers students the unique opportunity to analyse in detail different ways in which cultural backgrounds can shape literary productions, and how stories, motifs and themes travel across national boundaries. In the course of the module, we discuss key literary terms and concepts, including fictionality, literariness, translation, the canon, and the various modes of reception and circulation that shape our understanding of world literature.

Find out more about CP325

This course explores the history of empires on a global scale. It challenges students to grasp the history of empires by examining their structures, instruments and consequences. The course will cover the history of empire from the sixteenth to the middle of the nineteenth century. Themes will include the expansion of European empires (Spanish, Portuguese, British, French, Dutch and Belgian) in the Americas, Asia, the global rivalry for empires among European nations in the eighteenth century, the commercial expansion of the East India Companies in the Indian Ocean,, the expansion British colonies in India, slavery and the Abolition movement and the Revolt of 1857. It will provide students with a critical historical knowledge of imperialism and globalisation.

Find out more about HI435

This course explores the history of empires on a global scale. It challenges students to grasp the history of empires by examining their structures, instruments and consequences. The course will cover the expansion of European empires from the end of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century, in the age of decolonization. Topics include the conquest of Africa in the age of the so-called 'New Imperialism', the French and British Civilizing missions in Africa and Asia, the emergence of modern ideas of race, immigration, freedom struggles in Asia and Africa, and postcolonial cultural and political developments across the world. It will provide students with a critical historical knowledge of imperialism and globalisation and enable them to form a deep understanding of the postcolonial world.

Find out more about HI436

This module provides a general introduction to myth in the ancient world. Scholarship on approaches to mythology will inform the analysis of myth in its ancient setting. The curriculum will be designed to introduce students to a working repertoire of a large span of ancient (e.g. Greek) mythology and to its meanings and functions within its original context. A selection of case-study myths (represented in literature and/or iconography) will be used to examine the potential meanings and social functions of myth in general.

Find out more about CL366

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 introduces the main events and sources of evidence for the history of the Mediterranean between the rise of Macedon and the destruction of Carthage. As such, the lectures, seminars, and readings are based around the history, archaeology, and literature of five ancient societies that met, and fought, during this period: Carthage, Rome, Hellenistic Greece, Egypt, and the Seleucid Empire.

The lectures are thematic, following a loosely chronological framework. For example, they may take as their starting point the accession of Philip II to the Macedonian throne. This may form the basis for broader discussion of the transfer of cultural ideas across the Macedonian empire, for example the Greco-Buddhist art of the Hellenistic Far East. Subsequently, the survey of Mediterranean empires given in the lectures continues by introducing further ancient societies through the lens of thematic topics.

The seminars focus on training in the use and interpretation of ancient literary and material evidence. These may include written evidence, inscriptions and papyri, and art and architecture. Where appropriate, discussion of these sources in the seminars will be used to introduce major debates in the study of the ancient Mediterranean.

Find out more about CL370

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

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

Stage 2

You take compulsory module Global Comparison: Theory and Method and then choose 60 credits from a list of optional modules (to be confirmed), and an additional 30 credits from optional and ‘elective’ modules.

Compulsory modules currently include

This module provides an introduction to the theoretical, methodological and socio-political issues pertaining to the cross-cultural and comparative study of philosophies, ideas, worldviews and religions. It will introduce and explore theoretical frameworks and methodological questions related to the translation and representation of ideas, texts and worldviews as explored by different theories of interpretation. It will also explore issues surrounding understanding rituals, cultural practices and modes of identity formation and reflect upon the nature of 'the global' and ‘globalisation’ as categories. Questions to be explored in this module would normally include: how does one determine the meaning of a text? What hermeneutic, ethical and political issues arise when translating a concept, idea or practice from one linguistic, cultural or historical context into another? What are the challenges and pitfalls of comparative analysis? How do ideas, texts and forms of identity take on new meanings in the global circulation of ideas, practices and people? How does the mode of media/technology (oral composition, printed text, film, digital representation) impact upon thinking and its interpretation?

Find out more about TH652

Optional modules may include

The aim of this module is to enable students to think sociologically about religious life. Whilst addressing key debates within the sociology of religion (e.g. secularisation, subjectivisation), it seeks to introduce students to core concepts and methods in sociology that will enable them to understand religious life in terms of broader social structures and processes. Examples of issues covered in the module include: the nature of sociology as a discipline, macro and micro levels of analysis, the agency/structure debate and the nature of social structure, individualisation, and sociological perspectives on gender, class, emotion, materiality and belief. The significance of intersectionality between different social structures will also be discussed, and useful sources of secondary data (e.g. BRIN) will be explored. The central assessment task for the module – a case study presenting the sociological analysis of the nature and place of religion in a particular individual's life – brings these theoretical and methodological approaches together into a micro-level analysis of lived religion in a way that is informed by broader social and cultural structures. Examples of good writing in this style of sociological research are presented and explored through the module.

Find out more about TH608

This course considers important moments in the Western history of political theology in order to understand modern and contemporary discussions of secular politics. These moments will be considered in relation to comparable instances of politically imagined theology (or theologically imagined politics) from other religious traditions as well. Students will:

- Examine key topics in the modern formation of these discussions (e.g., distinctions between public and private; secular spheres; religion as extra-political ideal; fanaticism; politicised evaluations of Western religion as exceptional in relation to the 'others'; religion and political revolution);

- Map important similarities and differences between Western and non-Western modelling of the relationship between religion and politics;

- Critically evaluate recent presentations of the inherent violence of religions, the inevitability of the clash of civilisations, and the usefulness of religion in 'making globalisation work'.

Find out more about TH628

This module explores the cultural specificity and diversity of Asian cultures, traditions, social and political systems and literature from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The topic of Asia will be approached on a thematic basis but with particular emphasis on an understanding of the historical and interpretive challenges to inter-cultural understanding between Asia and Europe/ the West.

Find out more about TH640

This module will evaluate and critique a range of historical, philosophical, theological and secular perspectives on death and the afterlife, beginning with the way the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, the Qu'ran, the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Upanishads conceptualise the nature and destiny of humankind, including such concepts as sheol, moksha, purgatory, eternal life, heaven and hell. This will be followed by a discussion of the interplay in western theological and philosophical traditions between competing notions of the resurrection of the flesh and the immortality of the body as well as an evaluation of what various Christian thinkers, including Augustine and Origen, believed that an eternity in heaven or hell might be like.

The module will then investigate the range of eschatological teachings that different traditions have offered, including in Christian thought the diversity of realised and future forms of eschatology, as well as the tenability of purported testimony surrounding the possibility of out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and mind-dependent worlds, and the way in which such endeavours have been sustained or critiqued in the light of scientific and historical advances.

The module will conclude with a detailed study of the way in which filmmakers and novelists have approached eschatological and apocalyptic teachings and reconceptualised them. This will be done with specific reference to Conrad Ostwalt's work on the desacralisation of the apocalypse in Jewish and Christian thought in a range of 1990's Hollywood science fiction movies, and the impact that such attempts have had on the way questions of life after death have conventionally been approached.

Find out more about TH641

Cultures never develop and grow in isolation. They are built on the values of past generations, and they are shaped and challenged in interaction with other cultures. The main objective of this module is to explore and present the powerful interaction between Europe and the Islamic world in early modern times, c. 1450-1750.

The course will firstly provide an overview of the rise and fall of three major Islamic states and empires (the Abbasid Caliphate, the Safavid Empire, the Ottoman Empire). It will then assess the early modern European encounter with the Islamic world 1) by discussing the scholarly, religious, political and economic incentives for this encounter; 2) by documenting the exchange of knowledge, ideas, values and material objects this encounter stimulated in the early modern period; 3) by exploring the enormous impact, which this encounter had on European civilization. The course will focus on the following topics and areas of life:

1) Transmission of scientific, technical and medical knowledge.

2) Collecting manuscripts and studying the languages of the Islamic world

3) Trade and economic exchange

4) Conflict and cooperation

5) Understanding Islam, translating the Koran

6) European discovery of Arabic literature, art and architecture

7) Arabs in the West (diplomats, travellers, scholars and prisoners)

8) Europeans in the East (diplomats, travellers, scholars and prisoners)

Find out more about HI6009

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

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

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

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

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

Year in industry

You have the opportunity to undertake a placement year, either at home or abroad, between the second and final year of your degree and to receive credits and a dedicated award for this achievement.

The placement year enables you to gain work experience in a professional environment, and to develop employment-related skills and qualities such as independent thought, personal responsibility and decision-making.

The placement can be either paid work or an internship. Tuition fees for the placement year are greatly reduced, and employers may offer expenses or a salary. The year is assessed on a pass/fail basis through employer feedback and a written report that you submit.

See the Faculty of Humanities website for more details.

Year abroad

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.

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 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

You take at least 90 credits from a list of Global Philosophies modules (to be confirmed) and an additional 30 credits from optional and 'elective’ modules.


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.


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.


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

You are usually taught in small groups, with most modules involving either two or three hours per week in class, plus individual consultations with teachers as well as sessions on computing and library skills.

Stage 1 modules are normally assessed by 100% coursework. At Stages 2 and 3, some modules are assessed by 100% coursework (such as essays), others by a combination of formal examination and coursework.

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

The programme aims to:

  • promote the study of intellectual thought from across the globe ranging from classical Asia (India, China, Japan), Africa, the Middle East and Europe (such as Greek, Roman) to modern analytic and European continental philosophy
  • enable students to develop a systematic historical and cross-cultural understanding of a wide range of different philosophical traditions and the ways in which they have developed and, in some cases interacted;
  • develop students’ abilities to evaluate critically the mechanisms involved in the international circulation and reception of ideas; 
  • encourage students to identify and develop their own interests and expertise within the field of global philosophies;
  • encourage students to engage critically and systematically with cross-cultural approaches to the study of philosophical ideas;
  • develop students’ understanding and critical appreciation of questions pertaining to translation;
  • encourage an awareness of the cultural conditions and historical context in which diverse systems of intellectual thought develop;
  • encourage an awareness of the impact of globalisation on different worldviews and traditions of thought;
  • develop students’ abilities to argue a point of view with clarity and cogency, both orally and in written form;
  • develop further students’ intercultural competencies;
  • offer students the experience of a variety of teaching styles and approaches to the study of global philosophies;
  • develop students’ independent critical thinking and judgement;
  • provide a basis for the study of philosophies at a higher level;
  • provide a basis in knowledge and skills for those intending to undertake employment in fields requiring an appreciation of cultural diversity and different worldviews across the globe;  provide students with the opportunity to develop more general skills and competences so that they can respond positively to the challenges of the workplace or of postgraduate education.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • A wide range of thinkers and texts and intellectual traditions from different periods and cultures, from the ancient world to the present day, including texts and thinkers from Asian, African, Anglo-American, and European contexts
  • The cultural, historical and social contexts in which traditions of intellectual thought occur 
  • The problems inherent in interpreting a translated text
  • Traditions of intellectual thought 
  • The history of ideas, globally conceived
  • The macro-historical factors (such as empire, processes of globalisation and intercultural exchange) that have facilitated the transnational circulation and transformation of ideas
  • Critical theory and its applications, understood within its historical contexts 
  • The study of philosophical ideas and traditions in relation to other disciplines

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • Listening to and absorbing of the oral transmission of complicated data 
  • Careful reading of philosophical works and theoretical material 
  • Reflecting clearly and critically on oral and written sources, using powers of analysis and imagination 
  • Marshalling a complex body of information 
  • Remembering relevant material and bringing it to mind when needed 
  • Constructing cogent arguments 
  • Formulating independent ideas and defending them in a plausible manner
  • Presenting arguments in written form in a time-limited context (examinations)

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • Enhanced skills in the close critical analysis of philosophical texts 
  • A critical understanding of transcultural modes of reception and circulation of ideas 
  • Improved intercultural competencies
  • Informed critical understanding of the variety of methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of global philosophies 
  • Ability to articulate knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories relating to the study of philosophies 
  • Sensitivity to the challenges of comparative and cross-cultural analysis
  • Sensitivity to the problems of translation and cultural difference 
  • Well-developed language use and awareness, including a grasp of standard critical terminology 
  • Articulate responsiveness to a variety of cultural and historical forms of philosophical reflection 
  • Appropriate scholarly practice in the presentation of formal written work, in particular in bibliographic and annotational practices 
  • Understanding of how cultural norms, assumptions and practices influence philosophical reflections 
  • Appreciation of the value of collaborative intellectual work in developing critical judgement

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following areas:

  • Developed powers of communication and thecapacity to argue a point of view, orally and in written form, with clarity, organisation and cogency 
  • Enhanced confidence in the efficient presentation ofideas designed to stimulate critical debate 
  • Developed critical acumen
  • The ability to assimilate and organise substantialquantities of complex information of diverse kinds 
  • Competence in the planning and execution ofessays and project-work
  • Enhanced skills in critical analyses 
  • Enhanced capacity for independent thought,intellectual focus, reasoned judgement, and self-criticism
  • Enhanced skills in collaborative intellectual work,including more finely tuned listening skills 
  • The ability to understand, interrogate and apply avariety of theoretical positions and weigh theimportance of alternative perspectives 
  • Research skills, including scholarly informationretrieval skills 
  • IT skills: word-processing, PowerPoint, email communication,the ability to access electronic data

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

Philosophy at Kent was ranked 1st for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2021.

97% of Philosophy graduates who responded to the most recent national survey of graduate destinations were in work or further study within six months (DLHE, 2017).


Help finding a job

The School of European Culture and Languages runs its own employability programme to help you develop your professional skills. This includes paid and voluntary work opportunities.

The University also has an award-winning 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

As well as an excellent grounding in your subject, you also develop the key transferable skills that graduate employers look for. These include:

  • excellent communication skills
  • organisational and research skills
  • the ability to analyse problems
  • teamworking.

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

If you choose to take the year abroad option, you further increase your skills by gaining experience of living and studying in a different culture.

Those who decide to take a placement year gain valuable workplace experience, which will impress prospective employers.

Apply for Global Philosophies - BA (Hons)

Full-time study through Clearing

The Start now button below takes you to Kent's short form, which you need to fill in and submit. We'll review your application and let you know if we can offer you a place. If you wish to accept our offer, you need to confirm this via UCAS Track. To do so, you'll need the following:

  • Your UCAS Track login details
  • UCAS code V590
  • Institution ID K24
Start now

Part-time study

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