UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Philosophy

About This Course

Fact File

Course Outline

Studying Philosophy will expose you to the most important philosophical ideas, thinkers and frameworks – ancient and modern, western and eastern – enabling you to address contemporary problems in a globalised context.

In a friendly and supportive environment, you will learn to master complex material and apply it to concrete problems, to develop cogent and clear arguments and present them in professional contexts.

Philosophy at UCC has particular strengths in moral and political philosophy, as well as in philosophy of mind, body and action. Its greatest strength, however, is its commitment to pluralism and interdisciplinarity, which combines these fields with research and teaching in Aesthetics; Comparative Continental European and Asian Philosophy;  Philosophy of Science;  Philosophy of Economics; and Metaphysics and Epistemology. 

Year 1 modules

PH1001 Introduction to Philosophy (15 credits): This may change from year to year, but is intended as an introductory survey covering some of the following areas:

  • Ethics and Political Philosophy
  • Metaphysics
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Phenomenology.

Year 2 modules

All students must take “Reasoning and Argument” and then at least one module from each of the following three groups:

  • Group 1 - "Metaphysics and Mind": Philosophy of Mind, Knowledge and Reality, Philosophy of Science, Agency and Rationality, Phenomenology
  • Group 2 - "Value Theory": Political Philosophy, Applied Ethics, Violence and War, Feminist Philosophy, Philosophy of Art
  • Group 3 - "Comparative and Historical": History of Philosophy 1 & 2, Chinese Philosophy, Great Books in Philosophy, Continental Philosophy.

Year 3 modules

All students must take at least two modules from each of the following three groups:

  • Group 1 - "Metaphysics and Mind": Mind and Machine, Social Reality, Free Will and Human Nature, Philosophy of Language
  • Group 2 - "Value Theory": Responsibility, Moral Psychology, Professional Ethics, Philosophy of Education, Displacement and the Home
  • Group 3 - "Comparative and Historical": History of Philosophy 3 & 4, Korean Philosophy, Japanese Philosophy, Political Philosophy in Theory and Practice.

Third year students may also choose the option of completing an extended essay under the close supervision of one member of the teaching staff.

See the College Calendar for additional information on the programme and the Book of Modules for further information on modules.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture hours

In Year 1 you will have three hours of lectures a week, plus one hour of tutorials. In Years 2 and 3 all modules are two hours per week. 

Expected reading hours

You will be expected to read somewhere in the region of 25 to 35 pages per week per module.


Written exams will take place at the end of each semester.  Not all modules will have formal examinations. Many modules use other types of assessment including in-class tests, attendance and participation during tutorials etc.

In Years 2 and 3, all courses are assessed by a mix of continuous assessment (i.e. essays) and exam. The exam will be either at the end of the first semester, or at the end of the academic year.

Who teaches this course

All the members of the teaching staff in the Department of Philosophy teach on this course. Tutorials are conducted by our PhD students, closely supervised by the lecturers in the Department of Philosophy.

Why Choose This Course

[Companies are looking for the] skillset that UCC’s philosophy department has granted me: not just critical, but creative thinking, ...

Cian Whelan

PhD Student

View Student

UCC’s philosophy department has a unique commitment to pluralism (in terms of historical periods studied, methodologies used, and the traditions from many different geographic locations), and to interdisciplinary collaboration with other academic areas.

Apart from standard issues in the western philosophical tradition, Philosophy at UCC has particular strengths in Comparative and East-Asian Philosophy, as well as in Political Philosophy.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

Study abroad

If you are studying Philosophy through the BA International, you will spend Year 3 studying at one of our partner universities abroad. We currently have links with universities in Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden Mexico, and the USA .

Work placement

If you study Philosophy through the BA or the BA International, you will have the opportunity to avail of a work placement in Year 2. You can find out more here.

Skills and Careers Information

Critical thinking and clear, analytical writing are the most important skills students of philosophy will acquire. These skills have immediate practical applications in a range of professions, such as law, teaching, journalism, business and management.

Figures from the UK show a growing demand by employers for philosophy graduates. The number of all graduates in full-time and part-time work six months after graduation has risen by 9% between 2002/03 and 2005/06; for philosophy graduates it has gone up by 13%.

Philosophy graduates are most sought after in the fields of finance, health, social work and business.


Refer to CK101 and CK108.

Mature entry applicants

Find out about the mature entry requirements here.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements for this programme please visit our qualification comparison pages.

For more detailed entry requirement information please refer to the International website.

Mature Students Requirements

Please refer to the mature student entry requirements for details. 

Fees and Costs

Refer to CK101 and CK108.

Non-EU Fees

The Undergraduate Fees Schedule is available here.

How Do I Apply

Refer to CK101 and CK108. Students choose Arts subjects when registering for first year. 

Non-EU Applications

Non-EU applicants must apply online: How to apply pages for international students


**All Applicants please note: modules listed in the course outline above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course, but these are subject to change from year to year. Please check the college calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact