The Department of Philosophy welcomes the creative and the curious – people ready to take a critical look at philosophy. Our programmes cover core areas such as metaphysics, logic, epistemology and ethics, as well as the philosophy of science, medicine, and political philosophy.

Key facts

12th

in the UK for research impact in the Times Higher Education, following the most recent Research Excellence Framework.

95%

of final-year Philosophy students were satisfied with the overall quality of their course. (The Guardian University Guide 2019.)

gold

in the Teaching Excellence Framework*, the highest possible rating.

97%

of Philosophy students who graduated in 2017 and responded to a national survey, were in work or further study within six months. (DLHE)

School of European Culture and Languages

Philosophy is part of the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL). A multidisciplinary academic school, alongside Philosophy students SECL’s community includes students of Comparative, and World Literature, English Language and Linguistics, French, German, Italian and Hispanic Studies, of Classical and Archaeological Studies, Ancient History and Classical Studies, Religious, and Asian Studies. Such a diverse range of interests leads to a fascinating timetable of events and makes the School an exciting place to study.

Our vision

In the Department of Philosophy you are encouraged to ask the fundamental questions about the nature of life, to see things in new ways, and be critical and creative, in readiness for a flourishing and enriching life. 

We equip you with skills in reasoning, problem solving and communication, all of which are highly sought by employers. We encourage you to be flexible and proactive by engaging you in debates and group discussions. We also promote diversity in the discipline, fostering links with other departments in the School of European Culture and Languages, as well as subscribing to the British Philosophical Association (BPA)/Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) Good Practice Scheme to encourage the representation of women in philosophy.

Inspirational teaching

Our teachers are enthusiastic and encourage debate. Whether lecturing on moral philosophy, or leading a debate on epistemology, our staff are skilled at bringing their subject to life and drawing you into the conversation.

You can choose from topics in both the analytic and continental traditions, shaping your degree to your interests. 

We use a variety of assessment methods – essays, in-class assignments, online exercises, oral presentations and seminar discussions – which helps you to develop a broad range of skills.

Professor Simon Kirchin, glasses, white shirt and blue jacket

Philosophical debate is all around us: when you wonder whether there’s a God or whether it’s okay to break a promise. Philosophy teaches you how to think and react to the world; in that sense, it is one of the most practical subjects you can study.

Professor Simon Kirchin Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Humanities Read profile

Supportive community

We are a welcoming and friendly department, where students and staff share interests and experiences. We host various student events throughout the year, such as the Philosophy Reading Weekend (a weekend field trip delivered by undergraduates) and the Philosophy Walk.

The School has a dedicated student support team who can help you with your academic needs and offer general support. The University also has an extensive academic and pastoral support network.    

Maze with people

The Centre for Reasoning hosts conferences and workshops and produces The Reasoner

Research excellence

The Department of Philosophy is an active and exciting research community producing high-quality research. We are home to two research centres – the Centre for Practical Normativity and the Centre for Reasoning, and work closely with Kent’s Aesthetics Research Centre. We publish a regular bulletin, The Reasoner.

Impressive prospects

Our students do well on graduation, moving on to work in areas such as international law, the charity sector, marketing and the media, including as broadcast journalists. This is due to the skills gained through their studies, as well as to the structured programme of employability events run by the School of European Culture and Languages. These include workshops and opportunities to gain hands-on experience through paid and voluntary work opportunities.

We are proud to have Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro as one of our alumni.

The University's Careers and Employability Service supports students throughout their time at Kent, and for three years after graduation.

Calgary skyline

Philosophy students can spend a year studying abroad, including in Calgary, Canada

Study abroad

It is possible to spend a year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions. It is a chance to enrich your learning by immersing yourself in the culture of some of the philosophers you study. It is also a fantastic opportunity for personal and career development. You do not need to speak a foreign language as most of our partners offer programmes taught in English and related to your studies at Kent. You can find more details on our Go abroad site.

Location

The Department of Philosophy is based at our Canterbury campus with its first-class academic and leisure facilities. We are equipped with the latest resources and our beautiful setting offers plenty of tranquil spaces to study and relax. Everything you need on campus is within walking distance, including a general store, a bookshop, bank facilities, a medical centre and a pharmacy. 

You can go off campus to explore the city's medieval buildings, historic pubs and mix of independent shops and leading high street brands. London is just an hour away by train.

*The University of Kent's Statement of Findings can be found here