Department of Philosophy

I didn't realise I was a philosopher

Few people think they study philosophy at school. In reality almost everyone does!

No matter what subject you study you’ll address some big questions:

  • Why shouldn’t we clone humans?
  • Will artificial intelligence have rights?
  • How do we know a mathematical proof is true?
  • When is it moral to break the law?
  • Do we need a government?

Whatever career you develop you'll need to have a point of view and make decisions. How do you know you're right? Or that someone else's reasoning doesn't add up?


Here are some modules that might interest you if you are already studying:



 Two opposing headsThe philosophy of...

Government and Politics



What you might study
 Module What's covered
Freedom and Obligation What is the role of the state?
What is democracy? Is it really the best form of government?
Distributive Justice Is taxation a fair way for a government to distribute goods?
Should governments support overseas aid?
Karl Marx An introduction to an influential thinker.
Looking at class, alienation, revolution, utopia, and ideology.
Anarchism Do we even need a government at all?
Feminist philosophy Can pornography be good?
When is something ‘political’?


Abstract binary smartphoneThe philosophy of...




What you might study
 Module What's covered
Philosophy of Science Is science value neutral?
Why isn’t astrology scientific?
Applied Ethics Why don’t we allow human cloning?
Why is it wrong to use drugs in sport? Or is it?
Other modules look at: What is the nature of reality in quantum physics?
How has evolution shaped our moral development?


Head against spaceThe philosophy of...




What you might study
 Module What's covered
Self, Mind and Body Who or what can have a mind – could your smartphone?
Is psychology a science and does it matter?
Knowledge and Justification Can we really know anything about other people’s minds?
Can we be mistaken about our own thinking?
Other modules look at: The role of psychology in explaining mental health, illusion and delusion.
How we understand meaning and how language works.


Numbered cardsThe philosophy of...




What you might study
 Module What's covered
Logic / Advanced logic We consider the nature of proof, truth and validity.
Do mathematical claims have only to be true or false – couldn’t we have a many valued logic?
Knowledge and Justification How can we know mathematical truths?
What are numbers? Do they take up space?
Other modules look at: Can probability explain things?
What counts as reliable evidence?


Ethics signThe philosophy of...




What you might study
 Module What's covered
(we have several types!)
What is punishment and what is it for?
What is the difference between moral laws and state laws?
Philosophy of Criminal Law Is there a general obligation to obey the law?
What is the proper role for the presumption of innocence?
Other modules look at: Culpability and accountability.
Free will.


In your final year as a Philosophy student you have the option to complete a 7,000 word dissertation on any subject and its philosophical basis.

Whether that’s looking at a classic philosophical question or a modern issue (such as "Should robots be allowed to make kill decisions on the battle field?") you’ll have support and guidance to follow your thoughts.

Joint honours

If you love the idea of asking some of the big questions but want to carry on studying something you’ve already experienced then we have a range of joint honours courses that might suit you.

Philosophy joint honours


Many University of Nottingham degrees allow you to take modules from other subjects as part of your course. Providing timetables fit, you might still be able to experience the philosophical life!



Department of Philosophy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contact details