Philosophy and Politics BA

Year of entry

2025 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Translation studies students

This joint honours degree will develop your understanding of modern political systems and explores fundamental philosophical questions about the world and our place in it.

Compulsory modules will introduce you to key principles and topics in each subject area. You'll then choose from a wide selection of optional modules, allowing you to tailor your degree to suit your interests, not just within politics and philosophy, but also across the University through studying discovery modules.

You could study topics as diverse as ancient philosophy, political philosophy, moral philosophy, the nature of knowledge and the self, bioethics, aesthetics, the philosophy of race or gender, the history of ideas, global development, international relations, and political issues in regions ranging from the USA to Africa and China.

You’ll engage with material that demonstrates how the study of politics and philosophy are relevant to contemporary issues and concerns such as race, gender, war, terrorism, revolution, or debates about oppression, equality, justice and international obligations.

Both politics and philosophy have an important role in explicating diverse ways of understanding the world, the experiences of different people, how our world is shaped and how it can be changed for the better.

Specialist facilities

The University of Leeds has world-class facilities for students of Philosophy and Politics. The University libraries are among the largest in the UK and offer a course of workshops and webinars to help you make the most of their collections, digital resources and databases.

Take a look around our libraries:

The Special Collections Research Centre has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment and extension, after a generous bequest from the John Victor Bedford Will Trust. This provides new working spaces for individuals or groups and new teaching spaces that feature visualisers and projectors, allowing you to engage with primary sources using the latest techniques. 

Skills@Library offers training courses to help you make the most of the library’s collections, digital resources and databases. In addition, it can provide one-to-one support to taught students on a wide range of topics, including academic writing, research skills, and data analysis.

Course details

This joint honours degree enables you to study the same compulsory modules as a single honours course, but you’ll choose fewer optional modules so you can fit in both subjects. It's designed to give you a solid foundational core in each subject, through a wide and exciting range of optional and discovery modules, to shape your degree to your interests and ambitions.

Year 1

You'll be introduced to key topics and approaches in each subject and lay a firm foundation for future study. You’ll be introduced to key aspects of philosophy, from the nature of moral reasoning and justification to how to construct persuasive and coherent arguments. 

In politics, you’ll be introduced to key ideas and theories that have shaped modern western politics, and the nature of politics and processes across different political systems.

There’ll be optional modules designed to familiarise you with other fundamental aspects of philosophy and politics, such as the history of western analytic philosophy, philosophy of race or gender, global development challenges, and international politics. You can also take discovery modules from across the University.

Year 2

You’ll have compulsory modules in philosophical method, political philosophy, contemporary political problems, and justice and conflict. You’ll also select one political system to study in depth, such as the UK, USA, China, Africa or the EU. Your module in philosophical method will enable you to explore how studying each of politics and philosophy enhances the understanding of the other and develop your philosophical skills to prepare you to undertake a final year research project in philosophy, if you so choose.

Second year optional modules provide the opportunity to focus on areas in which you have a personal interest. You can choose to study a discovery module if you wish to broaden your course outside of your core subjects.

Year 3

You’ll conduct an independent research project on a topic of your choice in either politics or philosophy. If you decide to take a project in philosophy, you’ll have a choice between two different kinds of research project. Both offer you the guidance of an individual supervisor, but one also offers the scaffolded support of an associated module on the topic of your project, while the other allows you the freedom to pursue an independent research project of your own design.

You’ll have the opportunity for genuine research-led teaching throughout the degree, and especially in your final year when you’ll have a wide range of specialist optional modules from which to choose, and which are closely tied to the research interests of academic staff. Some of these modules are currently in the process of revision, but the list below will give you a flavour of what will be available on this course.

Throughout your studies, you'll learn to think clearly about contemporary problems and develop critical, interpretation and analysis skills. You’ll develop a capability for independent research which you can showcase in your final year project.

These skills are prized highly by employers which means you’ll graduate with extensive subject knowledge, plus a range of practical transferable skills, to help you to succeed in the world of work or further study.

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read BA Philosophy and Politics in the course catalogue.

Year 1 compulsory modules

How to do Philosophy (20 credits) - This introductory module offers you a foundation in some of the formal and informal reasoning skills used in philosophy.

The Good, the Bad, the Right, the Wrong (20 credits) - This module introduces you to some of the key themes, debates and ideas in moral and political philosophy.

Comparative Politics (20 credits) - This module introduces you to major concepts and issues in the comparative study of politics and government.

Freedom, Power and Resistance: An Introduction to Political Ideas (20 credits) - This module provides you with a critical introduction to western political thought. It establishes a grounding in some of the key ideas and theories that have shaped modern politics.

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Knowledge, Self and Reality (20 credits)
  • Introduction to the History of Western Philosophy (20 credits)
  • British Politics (20 credits)
  • Global Development Challenges (20 credits)
  • Making of the Modern World (20 credits)
  • International Politics (20 credits)
  • Philosophy of Religion (10 credits)
  • Philosophy Meets the World (10 credits)
  • Thinking About Race (10 credits)
  • Sex and Gender (10 credits)

Year 2 compulsory modules

Philosophical Method (for joint honours) (20 credits) - This module develops your philosophical skills to analyse and construct arguments, your ability to identify a philosophical issue or problem and apply that understanding to your other joint honours subject, to develop your understanding of how your two subjects relate to each other.

How to Live Together: Topics in Political Philosophy (20 credits) - This module offers an intermediate level exploration of a selection of themes, debates and ideas in political philosophy. This includes the concepts of political legitimacy and authority, civil and uncivil disobedience and the work of key contemporary thinkers.

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Revolution and Reaction (20 credits) - This module explores some of the seminal political thinkers of the 20th century and situates them in the context of the problems and challenges that they were attempting to resolve. It sheds light on how these thinkers – by grappling with key concepts such as power, class, culture, gender and race – sought to contest many of the prevailing orthodoxies of politics and political theory.

Justice, Community & Conflict (20 credits) - This module explores a range of key concepts and issues in contemporary political theory. This includes justice and injustice, community and conflict and the application of these ideas to social and political problems through the examination of live contemporary debates such as hate speech, pornography and the morality of political protest.

Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Past Thinkers: History of Modern Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Do The Right Thing: Topics in Moral Philosophy (20 credits)
  • How Do You Know? Topics in Epistemology (20 credits)
  • Reality Check: Topics in Metaphysics (20 credits)
  • Politics and Policy in the EU (20 credits)
  • Politics of Contemporary China (20 credits)
  • State and Politics in Africa (20 credits)
  • United States Politics (20 credits)
  • Analysing Data in Politics, Development and International Relations (20 credits)
  • God, Thought and the World: Topics in Philosophy of Religion (20 credits)
  • Labour Party (20 credits)
  • Media and Democracy (20 credits)

Year 3 compulsory modules

Final Year Project (in Philosophy or Politics) (40 credits) - This final year project option allows you the freedom to design and carry out a piece of extended independent research with the individualised support of a supervisor with research expertise in your chosen area.

Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Feminist Philosophy
  • War, Terror and Justice
  • Philosophy of the Social Sciences
  • Philosophy of Human Rights
  • Reimagining Politics
  • Aesthetics
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Bioethics
  • Continental Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Free Will
  • Philosophy of Love
  • Advanced Statistical Analysis
  • Gender and Security in Global Politics
  • Violence and Reconciliation in Africa
  • Politics of National Identity in the UK
  • Radical Political Ideas
  • Video Games
  • Climate Emergency
  • British Foreign Policy

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area. This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Our tutors are experts in their fields and their teaching is informed by their own cutting-edge research.

We use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. However, independent study is also central to this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis. You'll be able to apply your skills and knowledge in a final year research project on a topic of your own choice.

Academic staff have bookable office hours for advice and feedback, and you’ll also benefit from working closely with your tutors during one-to-one supervision sessions, our personal tutoring schemes.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


We use many different types of assessment. These include: essays, exams, online discussion posts, group work and oral presentations. At the upper levels, assessments may be student-led, with students selecting their own essay questions or designing their own independent research project.

You'll typically complete an ungraded formative exercise during a module, that serves as a stepping-stone towards your final graded assessment for the module.

Our Library Skills Team provides exam skills training and we also provide subject-specific sessions on essay writing. Teaching staff will be available throughout term-time to talk to you one-on-one about how to get the most out of your assessments. New students will have a suite of study skills modules to help with the transition to University teaching and assessment.

Assessment is not just a way of testing you, but a key way to consolidate your learning on the degree. We design our assessments to reflect the most valuable skills our subjects can teach you – how to construct a well-developed argument, for instance, or explain complicated ideas clearly, or critically evaluate and interpret political or philosophical texts.

Not only will these skills allow you to perform well in your degree, but they'll also help you excel in your future career.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB

Other course specific tests:

Where an applicant is taking the EPQ in a relevant subject this might be considered alongside other Level 3 qualifications and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A Levels, this would be ABB at A Level and grade A in the EPQ.

We welcome applications from mature students with Access qualifications, and from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may be required.


BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: DDD. Other BTEC qualifications are also considered. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M1, M2

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall including 16 at Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or A in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or AAAABB in Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 80%.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBB at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information contact the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science Undergraduate Admissions team.

You can find out more about what it is like to be an international student by speaking to a Link to Leeds ambassador. They can’t help you with your application, but they can tell you how they have found living and studying in Leeds.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Students may be required to purchase core texts for some modules, but our policy is to provide as much as we can through the library and as online texts available to all students.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
School of Politics and International Studies

Contact us

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Admissions


Career opportunities

A joint honours degree in Philosophy and Politics is varied and challenging. It equips you with broad and deep knowledge of two subjects, as well as a range of transferable skills that are attractive to employers across industries and sectors.

You’ll be a confident communicator, who can present and defend your arguments clearly whether verbally or in writing. You’ll work well in a team or individually, and you’ll have excellent research and analytical skills. You’ll also have great organisational skills because you’ve studied two very different subjects.

Graduates have been successful in a range of careers as a result. These include: politics and the civil service, the charity sector, journalism, the media and education. Many others have progressed to postgraduate study in related disciplines.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

All University of Leeds students can apply to spend a year studying abroad. It’s a great way to gain an insight into another culture, as well as gaining valuable experience that will look great on your CV.

The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science also has exclusive exchange links with universities in Denmark, France and Spain – language classes are available before you go to prepare you for the experience.

Read more about Study abroad in Philosophy, Religion and History of Science

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Student profile: Avigail Kohn

The interconnection between subjects is something that I really enjoy about my course.
Find out more about Avigail Kohn's time at Leeds