Philosophy and History BA (Hons)

Course code V5PH

What is special about this course?

The BA (Hons) Philosophy and History covers a range of approaches, from thematic modules that cover a variety of places and historical periods, to concentrated and in-depth studies of the development of Western intellectual tradition.

Philosophy seeks to understand, and particularly to question, ideas concerning the nature of reality, value and experience that play a pervasive role in understanding the world and ourselves. The philosophy discipline focuses on problematic concepts, such as existence, reason and truth, which occur in every sphere of human enquiry, but more specifically on problematic concepts that belong to particular areas of thought and practice, such as politics, economics, religion, science and ethics.

Please see our FAQ sheet for further information on this course.

Special features

  • The joint honours degree in two complementary subjects gives you greater flexibility in employment, advanced study and research opportunities
  • The degree can be studied full time or part time to suit your personal circumstances
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development

Accommodation

We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • At least two of these must be from the list of relevant subjects
  • Other humanities or Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP) will also be considered
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis

Advanced entry to year two:

  • HNC Social Science (12 SQA credits) with 3 additional SQA credits at level 7 which is equivalent to 120 degree credit points, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit will be considered for direct entry to year two

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Year 1 - CertHE

You will study the following modules.

Philosophy

  • Thinking and writing for study, work and life (S1)
  • Problems in Philosophy (S2)

History

Two from the list below:

  • What is History? (S1)
  • People, protest, and power (S1)
  • A middle age: Europe 1000-1500 (S2)

Plus, two additional Humanities modules that are available as scheme options.

Year 2 - DipHE

You will study the following modules.

Philosophy

Two from the list below:

  • Knowledge, truth and understanding (S1)
  • Moral philosophy (S2)
  • Anthropology of religion (S2)

History

Two from the list below:

  • A curious age: European society and culture, 1500-1750 (S1)
  • Themes in American history (S2)
  • Scotland, the North Sea and the Baltic (S2)
  • Historians and history (S2)

Plus, two additional Humanities modules that are available as scheme options. 

Year 3 - BA

You will select a project module from either History or Philosophy. 

You will also study the following modules.

Philosophy

  • Philosophy of religion (S1)
  • Philosophy of science (S2)
  • Continental philosophy (S2)

History

Three from the list below:

  • Queer Britannia: gender, sexuality and performative identities in Britain, 1800-1950 (S1)
  • War and chivalry in medieval Britain and France (S1)
  • The Jacobites: patriots, rebels or opportunists? (S1)
  • Scots in North America (S1)
  • Alps, hills and plain? Central Europe to 1918 (S2)
  • Public history (core module) (S2)
  • Crime, custom and conflict, 1700-1850 (S2)
  • Crown-Magnate relations in later medieval Northern Scotland (S2)
  • A study of things: material culture of medieval and early modern Europe (S2)

Students wishing to specialise in Scottish History at Level 10 are advised to take at least one Scottish History option, plus undertake a Scottish topic for their Public History project, or two Scottish History options if they are not taking Public History. 

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete a dissertation in Philosophy or History. You will also study one option module from your chosen dissertation subject, plus three option modules from the other subject.

Philosophy

Modules may include:

  • Scottish tradition in philosophy (S1)
  • Neurons, brains, and minds: a philosophical investigation (S2)
  • Existential philosophy and literature (S2)

History

Modules may include:

  • War cruel and sharp: a military history of the Hundred Years' War (S1)
  • Lordship, colony, kingdom: the making of Ireland (S1)
  • Reaching the estate of manhood in later medieval and early modern Europe - S1
  • The Highland wars: origins, aftermath and interpretations (S1)
  • Noble, rebel, king: Robert Bruce and medieval Scotland (S1)
  • The empire strikes back: how the British Empire shaped Scotland (S2)
  • Death and destruction: the social impact of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) (S2)
  • Through a glass darkly: the medieval in film (S2)

If you wish to exit with a Scottish History and Politics degree you must undertake a Scottish History dissertation plus at least one further Scottish History and one History module OR if you are undertaking a Politics dissertation, two of the three History modules must be in Scottish History.  

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of scheduled video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors. There is normally a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for each module.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week
  • Part-time (unstructured): variable

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll
  • HTC - you may choose to study at Dingwall or Paisley, subject to availability
  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • North, West and Hebrides
  • Orkney
  • Perth
  • Shetland

Start date

  • September

Fees

Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.

Funding

UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Philosophy and History graduates are found working for almost every type of employer in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Opportunities are available in arts-based areas like publishing, the media, journalism, advertising and teaching, through to computing and IT. 

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in:

  • local government and the civil service
  • advertising, marketing and public relations agencies
  • management consultancies
  • secondary schools, further education colleges and higher education institutions
  • law firms
  • publishing companies
  • charities
  • banking and insurance companies
  • accountancy firms
  • recruitment agencies

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Philosophy and History BA (Hons)

  • Applications to this course are now closed for September 2023 entry. Applications for September 2024 will open in September 2023. Please revisit this page then to apply.

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.