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Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Thought BA (Full time) 2018 start

  • Overview

    This interdisciplinary degree allows you to explore three different yet closely related subjects as they relate to a key subject: the nature of the mind.

    In core modules you’ll interrogate and use the scientific, philosophical and historical methods used to understand what the mind is and how it works. You’ll look at the mechanisms of the brain, childhood development, mental illness, the history of psychology and the possibility of knowledge.

    You’ll also have the chance to develop your understanding by choosing from a wide range of optional modules reflecting the diverse research interests across the University. They’ll allow you to focus on the topics that interest you such as ethics, or the philosophy of art or religion.

    Combining philosophy, psychology, the history of ideas and sciences, this varied and exciting degree allows you to explore some of the biggest questions facing humanity – how we think, what we know, how we know it, or whether we can really know anything.

    Leeds has great facilities for students of philosophy. The world class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections – valuable potential assets for your independent research. Our other library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them. The School of Psychology also boasts state-of-the-art research facilities.

  • Course content

    Modules in your first year will introduce you to different aspects of philosophy and psychology, such as biological, developmental and cognitive psychology, questions of knowledge and the self. You can also choose from optional modules on topics such as ethics, the philosophy of Descartes and the links between magic, science and religion.

    From this foundation, you’ll take further core modules in topics such as cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of the mind over the next two years, as well as choosing from a wide range of optional modules across philosophy, psychology and history of science. You could look at ancient philosophy, psychological disorders, metaphysics, learning theory, and the ethics of life and death to name a few.

    Throughout your degree you’ll be developing a wide range of skills including research, interpretation and analysis, and in your final year you’ll have the opportunity to apply them to an independent research project on a topic of your choice across philosophy and history of science.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Follow the links to the Programme Catalogue for more example optional modules and the full course structure.

    Compulsory modules

    • History of Psychology 10 credits
    • Introduction to the History of Science 10 credits
    • The Mind 10 credits
    • How Science Works 10 credits
    • How to Think Clearly and Argue Well 20 credits
    • Introduction to Academic Skills 5 credits
    • Biological Psychology 10 credits
    • Cognitive Psychology 10 credits
    • Perception 10 credits

    Optional modules

    Examples of the optional modules available are shown below. Please contact us for more details of the requirements and choices available.

    • Magic, Science and Religion 10 credits
    • History of Modern Medicine 10 credits
    • The Good, the Bad, the Right, the Wrong 20 credits
    • Knowledge, Self and Reality 20 credits
    • Developmental Psychology 10 credits
    • Social Psychology 10 credits

    Year 2

    Compulsory modules

    • History of Psychiatry and Mental Illness 20 credits
    • Advanced Cognitive Psychology 20 credits

    Optional modules

    Examples of the optional modules available are shown below. Please contact us for more details of the requirements and choices available.

    • Ethics of Life and Death 10 credits
    • Realism and Antirealism 20 credits
    • Advanced Social Psychology 10 credits
    • Advanced Developmental Psychology 10 credits
    • Cognitive Neuroscience 10 credits
    • Behavioural Neuroscience 10 credits

    Year 3

    Compulsory modules

    • Philosophy of Mind 20 credits
    • Advanced Topics in Knowledge, Mind and Action 20 credits
    • Final Year Project 40 credits

    Optional modules

    Examples of the optional modules available are shown below. Please contact us for more details of the requirements and choices available.

    • Psychological Disorders 10 credits
    • The Biopsychology of Human Appetite 15 credits
    • Reasoning and Decision Making 15 credits
    • Occupational Health Psychology 15 credits
    • Evolutionary Psychology 15 credits
    • Motor Learning in Children and Adults with Disability 15 credits
    • One Brain, Two Hemispheres 15 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Thought BA in the course catalogue

    Broadening your academic horizons

    At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

    Learning and teaching

    The School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science and the School of Psychology are home to tutors who are at the forefront of research in their fields.

    We use a range of teaching and learning methods to help you benefit from their expertise, normally including lectures, seminars, tutorials and occasionally workshops. However, independent study is integral to the degree, since this is where you develop your skills in research, interpretation and analysis.


    We also use various forms of assessment, usually combining exams and essays. However, some modules may also incorporate oral presentations and group work. We do offer plenty of support: for example, you’ll be able to attend extra classes on exam technique and public speaking throughout your time at Leeds.

  • Entry requirements, fees and applying

    Entry requirements

    A-level: AAB

    • 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

      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, M1.

    • International Baccalaureate

      35 points overall including 16 at Higher Level

    • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

      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, 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.

    When 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 entry

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

    Access to Leeds is an alternative 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 alternative 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.

    International Foundation Year Programme

    International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

    English language requirements

    IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

    International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

    How to apply

    Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

    International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU 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

    School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science Undergraduate Admissions Policy


    UK/EU: See fees section below

    International: £17,500 (per year)

    For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

    The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

    The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

    The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

    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.

    Additional cost information

    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 about additional costs

    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.

  • Career opportunities

    Because this degree crosses so many disciplines, it will grant you an impressive range of subject knowledge. But you’ll also develop valuable transferable skills that really stand out to employers. You’ll have strong research skills and be able to interpret and analyse both qualitative and quantitative data. You’ll also be confident working independently or within a team, and you’ll have the advanced communication skills necessary to present and defend your own arguments.

    These are all valuable skills that have allowed graduates to pursue a wide range of careers in areas such as charity work, the civil service, politics, education, journalism, the media and management. They’d also be valuable in fields such as social work, marketing and consultancy. Many of our graduates go on to pursue postgraduate study or further training.

    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 at the Careers website.

  • 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.

    You’ll also have additional opportunities to gain work experience during the degree. For example, you can apply for our Philosophy Students into Schools module which allows you to spend time planning and delivering lessons, or you can get involved in the ongoing development of the Leeds Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.