Mathematics and Philosophy BSc

Year of entry

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UCAS code
GVC5
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
ABC at A Level including A in Mathematics and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

History and Philosophy of Science

This joint honours degree offers the opportunity to study two different subjects together, whilst having the freedom to follow your own interests.

Compulsory modules in each subject will equip you with an understanding of mathematical structures and techniques while teaching you how to think clearly, analyse ideas and construct effective arguments. You’ll think about morality, knowledge, the self, logic, philosophy of the mind or the nature of reality alongside algebra and calculus.

We also offer an impressive range of optional modules allowing you to shape your degree to your own interests. It’s an excellent way to gain a broad range of expertise and graduate with both the knowledge and transferable skills that employers value.

Course details

A joint honours degree allows you to study the same compulsory topics as students on each single honours course, but you'll take fewer optional modules so you can fit in both subjects. 

It’s designed to give you a solid foundational core in each subject with flexibility, through a wide and exciting range of optional and discovery modules, to shape your degree to your interests and ambitions.

In the philosophy half of your programme, you'll spend your first year studying compulsory modules which will introduce you to key aspects of philosophy, from the nature of knowledge, the self, and reality, to how to construct persuasive and coherent arguments. 

There’ll also be an appealing range of ‘taster’ modules in your first year, designed to familiarise you with areas of philosophy you could explore later in the degree.

Over the next two years, you'll be able to focus on various areas of philosophy by choosing modules on topics such as the mind, knowledge, language, ethics, political philosophy, the nature of the self, the nature of science, feminist philosophy, and applied philosophy. 

For the mathematics half of your course, you’ll study compulsory modules in the first year that set the foundation for the following years when you have the option to specialise in pure or applied mathematics or combine interests in the two areas.

In your second year, you’ll take a module on philosophical method designed specifically for joint honours students. You’ll learn how the study of philosophy connects with and enhances the study of mathematics, and you’ll further develop your philosophical skills.

Throughout your degree you’ll be developing your knowledge across a variety of topics and refining your skills in interpretation, analysis and research. You’ll have the opportunity to showcase these skills in your final year of study, when you apply them to a topic of your choice through a research project.

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 at upper levels.

Some of the upper-level optional 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. 

Course structure

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

Year 1 compulsory modules

Core Mathematics (40 credits) - This module will introduce you to core skills and key knowledge that any mathematician needs, from understanding the fundamentals of number systems through to being able to solve ordinary differential equations. The skills and knowledge from this module will be foundational for later years' studies across diverse areas of mathematics, as well as applying directly into your studies of probability and statistics or informing your studies in real analysis.

One of two other modules in mathematics:

Probability & Statistics (20 credits) - Understanding data and statistics is a critical skill for the modern graduate. This module will introduce you to the theory of probability, which forms the foundation for statistics, as well as developing some key statistical concepts and techniques, equipping you to navigate better the numbers that describe our lives. This module will not open up any further study options later.

Real Analysis (20 credits) - Real analysis is concerned with the rigorous study of real numbers and real-valued functions, providing a precise framework for understanding and proving mathematical statements about these objects. This module will therefore lay the foundations of differential calculus, developing your problem-solving skills and ability to read and write mathematical proofs. This module may open up some extra options for further study in later years.

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.

Knowledge, Self and Reality (20 credits) - This module introduces you to central issues in philosophy of mind, epistemology, and metaphysics which concern the self and its relationship to the rest of the world.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • The Good, the Bad, the Right, the Wrong (20 credits)
  • Philosophy Meets the World (10 credits)
  • Thinking About Race (10 credits)
  • Sex and Gender (10 credits)
  • The Mind (10 credits)
  • Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion (10 credits)
  • How Science Works (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.

Pure Mathematics (20 credits)

Applied Mathematics 20 credits (20 credits)

Optional modules in areas of philosophy such as:

  • Do The Right Thing: Topics in Moral Philosophy (20 credits)
  • How to Live Together: Topics in Political Philosophy (20 credits)
  • How Do You Know? Topics in Epistemology (20 credits)
  • Reality Check: Topics in Metaphysics (20 credits)
  • God, Thought and The World: Topics in Philosophy of Religion (20 credits)
  • How To Do Things With Symbols: Topics in Formal Logic (20 credits)
  • Does Science Work? Topics in Philosophy of Science (20 credits)

Optional modules in mathematics allow you to pursue interests in:

  • Pure Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics

Year 3 compulsory modules

Final Year Project (in either Mathematics or Philosophy) (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.

Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics 20 credits - This advanced level module critically explores philosophical issues concerning the nature and application of logic or mathematics

Optional modules in areas of philosophy such as:

  • War, Terror & Justice (20 credits)
  • Feminist Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Philosophical Issues in Technology (20 credits)
  • Continental Philosophy (20 credits)
  • Philosophy of Mind (20 credits)
  • Philosophy of Love (20 credits)
  • Philosophy of Language (20 credits)
  • Free Will (20 credits)

Optional modules in areas of mathematics such as:

  • Differential Geometry
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Mathematical Biology
  • Mathematical Logic

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 in either mathematics or philosophy.

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 and our personal tutoring scheme. There is extensive support for students offered through the academic skills programme at the University Library. We provide resources to improve your skills in essay writing, exam technique, presentations and research.

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.

Assessment

We use many different types of assessment, including essays, exams, 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 will typically have the opportunity to complete and gain ‘feed-forward’ on an ungraded formative exercise during a module, that serves as a stepping-stone towards your final graded assessment for the module.

There will also be support on hand. For example, our Library Skills Team provides exam skills training, and we provide advice on writing philosophy essays. Your 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, which will help you excel in your future lives and careers. You will learn how to interpret both quantitative and qualitative data, and develop good analytical, reasoning and research skills.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including A in Mathematics.

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 either ABB at A Level including A in Mathematics 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 also be required. This course has additional subject specific requirements. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

BTEC

We will consider the level 3 QCF BTEC at Subsidiary Diploma level and above in combination with other qualifications. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M1, M2 including D3 in Mathematics

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 6 in Mathematics at Higher Level

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 including H2 in Mathematics

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers including A in Mathematics and AABBB in Highers, or A in Mathematics in Advanced Highers and AABBB 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% including 8.5 in Mathematics

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 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: ABC at A Level including A in Mathematics and pass Access to Leeds.

International

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.

International Foundation Year

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 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.

Fees

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £27,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 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 international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

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.

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.

Applying

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 Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
School of Mathematics

Contact us

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures Admissions

Email: artsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

A joint honours degree in Mathematics and Philosophy will equip you with varied subject knowledge as well as an impressively broad set of skills, all of which is attractive to employers.

You’ll be confident interpreting both quantitative and qualitative data, and have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. You’ll also be comfortable working independently or in a team and have good research skills. Crucially, you’ll also be able to look at a situation from different points of view and communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing – and you’ll have the organisational skills needed to manage two very different subjects.

Graduates have pursued diverse careers as a result, covering a range of fields such as accountancy, business and finance, computing, the media, the civil service, the charity sector and education. Many others have also 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