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UCC Undergraduate courses

Arts - Philosophy

Course Fact File
CodeSubject available through multiple programmes.
Subject TitlePhilosophy
Duration3 or 4 years
QualificationsBA (Hons)
NFQ LevelLevel 8

Course Outline

Studying Philosophy at University College Cork 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 Module

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

Academic Programme Catalogue

The Academic Programme Catalogue contains complete and up-to-date content for this course including Year 2 and Year 3 Modules. Note that the modules for all courses are subject to change from year-to-year. For complete descriptions of individual modules, see the Book of 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 and exams. The exam will be either at the end of the first semester, or at the end of the academic year.

Who teaches this course

Our teaching staff is drawn from the Department of Philosophy. Tutorials are conducted by our PhD students, closely supervised by the lecturers in the Department.

Why Choose This Course

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

Cian Whelan, PhD student

Find Out More

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 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. See our Go Abroad with UCC page 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.

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


Refer to CK101 and CK108.

Non-EU Applicants

Non-EU applicants are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such applicants 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 visit our qualification comparison page and refer to our International Office page for more information.

Fees and Costs

  • Whether you are an EU or Non-EU student will affect the course fees applicable to you. See more information on EU Fees, Non-EU Fees, or Free Fees Status.
  • The State will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student contribution and capitation fees are payable by the student.
  • See the Fee Schedule to find out the course fee.
  • Check out scholarships that may be available to you.
  • Explore our Nurturing Bright Futures free online course (Module 5) to learn about managing your money as a student and budgeting for university life.

How To Apply

Refer to CK101 and CK108.  

Irish and European (EU/EFTA/UK) Applicants

Apply via the CAO. See the CAO Handbook for useful information on applying through the CAO. 

Mature Applicants 

Apply via the CAO by 1 February. To apply for a place as a mature student, you must be 23 years of age on or before 1 January of the year of entry.

QQI/FET Applicants 

Apply via the CAOSee our QQI/FET Applicants page for information on the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Further Education and Training (FET) application process. 

Non-EU Applicants 

If you are from outside the EU/EFTA/UK, apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page for more information. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact