university map

Philosophy, Ethics and Religion BA (Full time) 2018 start

Course information for 2019 start

Key facts

UCAS code: VV5P

Start date: September 2018

3 years full time

Typical A-level offer: AAB

UK/EU fees See fees section below
International fees £17,500 (per year)

Language requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component

Study abroad option: Yes
Work placement option: Yes


This truly interdisciplinary degree will allow you to examine the fundamental life questions that have exercised human beings over centuries, and to develop your own approach to these questions.

Core modules will introduce you to key issues in philosophy, theology and religious studies and ethics. Because of the diversity of staff research interests at Leeds, you can also choose from a wide range of optional modules to follow your own interests. Examples include the philosophy of art, sex and gender in Africa, the sociology of religion and feminist philosophy.

All of the major world religions are represented in the course, and you will study not just the history of each tradition, but how they are lived and interpreted today. You will have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork in the religiously diverse city of Leeds. The Philosophy group at Leeds is one of the largest in the UK, and this is reflected in the choice that we can offer in the fields of Philosophy and Ethics.

Leeds has great facilities for students of philosophy, ethics and religious studies. The world class Brotherton Library holds a wide variety of manuscript, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections – valuable 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.

Back to top

Course content

You’ll spend your first year studying core modules that introduce you to key concepts and ideas in philosophy, ethics and religious studies, such as How to Think Clearly and Argue Well and Philosophy of Religion. You’ll also choose from a wide range of optional modules on topics such as the Bible, the mind, Islamic civilisation, the philosophy of science, and South Asian religions – or you can choose discovery modules from departments across the University.

Once you’ve developed this foundation, you’ll build on it in your second year by taking core modules in religious studies, ethics or political philosophy, and philosophy of religion. Then you choose from an extensive list of optional modules, so you can specialise in the areas that interest you. Examples include the ethics of life and death, Hindu traditions, metaphysics, the Hebrew Scriptures, and ancient philosophy. You’ll continue to develop key skills of research, critical thinking and formulating arguments.

In your final year, you have the flexibility to follow your interests. You write an extended project on a theme that you have chosen, and you choose from an extended list of optional modules. Examples include The Structure of Reality, Religion, Politics and the Future, Philosophy and Literature, Modern Islamic Thought and The Religious Mapping of Leeds. You have the freedom to emerge as a specialist in philosophy, or in ethics, or in some area of religious studies, or in some combination of these subject areas.

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

Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion 10 credits
The Good, the Bad, the Right, the Wrong 20 credits
How to Think Clearly and Argue Well 20 credits
Introduction to Academic Skills 5 credits
Introduction to the Study of Religion/s 10 credits
Introducing Theology 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
The Mind 10 credits
Knowledge, Self and Reality 20 credits
How Science Works 10 credits
Great Philosophical Thinkers 20 credits
Religion in Modern Britain 10 credits

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Studying Religion in Context 20 credits
At least one module in ethics or political philosophy
One module in philosophy of religion or a related area

Optional modules

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

Reading Texts in the History of Ideas 20 credits
Ethics of Life and Death 10 credits
Moral Philosophy 20 credits
Topics in Epistemology: Knowledge and Justification 20 credits
Sociology of Religion I 20 credits
Theology and Ethical Theory 20 credits
Religion, Gender and Society 20 credits

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Independent Research Project in Philosophy, Religion or History of Science 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.

Buddhism: A Lived Tradition 20 credits
Realism and Representation in Science 20 credits
Metaethics 20 credits
Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art 20 credits
Feminist Philosophy 20 credits
Sin 20 credits
God, Sex and Gender in Africa 20 credits
The Religious Mapping of Leeds 40 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Philosophy, Ethics and Religion 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 is home to tutors who are at the forefront of research in their fields.

So you can benefit from their expertise, we use a range of teaching and learning methods. Normally these will include lectures, seminars, tutorials and occasionally workshops. However, independent study is also an important element of the degree, since this is where you will develop your skills in research, interpretation and analysis and form your own ideas.


We also use different types of assessment, which usually include a mixture of exams and essays. However, some modules may also use oral presentations and group work as assessed components. Support will be on hand throughout your time at Leeds – for example, you’ll be able to attend extra classes on exam technique and public speaking.

Back to top

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2019, the fee for 2019/20 will be £9,250. 

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 starting in the 2019/20 academic year 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.

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.

Back to top

Career opportunities

A degree in Philosophy, Ethics and Religion spans across disciplines such as literary studies, history and sociology. As a result, it will equip you with a variety of transferable skills that are highly valued by all kinds of employers.

You’ll be a confident communicator who can work independently or within a team, as well as having skills in research, critical thinking and analysing complex information. You’ll also have a deeper awareness of some of the social and cultural issues that impact on communities.

Graduates have pursued careers in fields as broad as politics, management, the civil service, journalism, the media, education and the charity sector. Others have gone onto 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.

Back to top

Placement opportunities

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.

Order a prospectus online or telephone +44 (0)113 343 2336