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Classics and Philosophy BA

UCAS code QV85
Year of entry 2017
  View 2018 entry »
Course Length 3 years full time
Department Classics »
Politics and International Relations »

By combining Classics and Philosophy in equal parts you'll have the opportunity to study ancient Greek and Latin alongside ancient and modern philosophy. With roots of philosophical theory anchored in the ancient world, Philosophy and Classics make an excellent combination of subjects.

Classics is perfect if you have a knowledge and love of either Latin or Greek and want to add that second ancient language to your repertoire, while learning more about the classical world through the study of texts in the original as well as artefacts, ideas and past-deeds.

You will study both Latin and Greek language and literature, reading texts in the original words of the author. The remainder of your time will be spent understanding the minds, hearts and actions of the ancient Romans and Greeks through the study of ancient philosophy, history, classical archaeology as well as Latin and Greek literature in translation.

As a Classicist you will be part of our Classics Department, where the quality of research that informs our teaching and a friendly, individual approach which shapes the way we guide our students combine to create an unbeaten academic experience.

  • A centre for excellence in both teaching and research, 98% of our research is recognized as world-leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognized (REF 2014).
  • A thriving Classics Society that contributes to the friendly and sociable atmosphere of our department.

At Royal Holloway we have a unique approach to Philosophy that looks beyond the narrow confines of the Anglo-American analytic or the European tradition of philosophy focus on both traditions, their relationship and connections between them. The result has been the creation of a truly interdisciplinary and collaborative programme that brings together academic staff from departments across the university.

With the opportunity to examine (amongst other things) the mind and consciousness, aesthetics and morals, the self and others, the range of subjects available to Philosophy students at Royal Holloway guarantees that there will be something on offer that really engages you during your time with us.

Core modules

Year 1

Philosophy: Introduction to Modern Philosophy

The ‘new philosophy’ of the seventeenth century set the modern philosophical agenda by asking fundamental questions concerning knowledge and understanding and the relation between science and other human endeavours, which became central to the European Enlightenment. This module aims to familiarise you with the work of some of the most ground breaking philosophers of the period, such René Descartes and John Locke, and explores how later philosophers such as Gottfried Leibniz and David Hume took up and expanded their ideas.

Philosophy: Epistemology and Metaphysics

This module aims to introduce you to some of the key problems that have preoccupied contemporary philosophers. You will look at logical questions relating to the structure of arguments, epistemological questions about the sources and limits of knowledge, and metaphysical questions exploring the relationship between minds and bodies and the possibility of human freedom.

Philosophy: Introduction to Ancient Philosophy

This module aims both to inform you about ancient philosophical ideas and to introduce you to the ways in which philosophical arguments are presented and analysed. It will provide you with a brief survey of the principal ancient philosophers, from the Presocratics to Aristotle, as well as allowing you to analyse in more depth selected texts on the topic of courage, including Plato’s ‘Laches’.

Year 2

Philosophy: Introduction to European Philosophy 1 - From Kant to Hegel

This module introduces you to aspects of key texts by eighteenth and nineteenth century philosophers Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, which form the foundation of the major debates in both European, and some Anglo-American philosophy. You will explore major issues concerning epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, and different approaches to these issues, which will be central to the rest of your philosophical and other studies in the humanities and social sciences.

Philosophy: Mind and World

This module examines some of the major metaphysical and epistemological problems that arise when attempting to understand how the mind and language interact with and in the world. It centres on attempts to conceptualise, solve, or avoid mind-body related problems in the analytic tradition and aims to contrast these with phenomenological and existential investigations of related problems.

Year 3

All modules are optional

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Philosophy: Introduction to Logic

This module aims to introduce you to the formal study of arguments through the two basic systems of modern logic: sentential or propositional logic and predicate logic. As well as showing you how to present and analyse arguments formally, you will look at the implications and uses of logical analysis by considering Bertrand Russell’s formalist solution to the problem of definite descriptions, before discussing the broader significance of findings in logic to philosophical inquiry.

Philosophy: Mind and Conciousness

What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Is the mind inside the brain? Are we any more than highly sophisticated computers? What is consciousness? This module aims to introduce these and related questions, which are central to modern philosophical debates about the nature of mind and consciousness.

Philosophy: Introduction to Aesthetics and Morals

This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of many of the central problems and debates within moral philosophy and aesthetics. These include questions relating to both metaphysical and ethical relativism, the different ways we might understand our moral commitments within the world, how the individual is related to society, and the value and nature of the work of art. The module presents you with approaches from the history of philosophy, from the Anglo-American tradition, and from recent European philosophy.

Year 2

Classics: The Dialogues of Plato

Classics: Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy 1

Classics: The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy

Politics and International Relations: Contemporary Political Theory

Philosophy: The Critique of Idealism

Philosophy: Philosophy and the Arts

Philosophy: Philosophy of Psychology

Philosophy: Practical Ethics

Philosophy: The Varieties of Scepticism

Philosophy: The Philosophy of Religion

Year 3

Politics and International Relations: Radical Political Theory

Politics and International Relations: The Politics of Toleration

Politics and International Relations: Social Justice - From Theory to Practice

Politics and International Relations: Issues in Democratic Theory

Classics: Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy 2

Classics: The Good Life in Ancient Philosophy 2

Philosophy: Modern European Philosophy 1 - Husserl to Heidegger

Philosophy: Modern European Philosophy 2 - Critical Theory and Hermeneutics

Philosophy: Modern French Philosophy

Philosophy: The Philosophy of Psychology

Philosophy: The Philosophy of Religion

Philosophy: Practical Ethics

Philosophy: Recovering Reality

Philosophy: The Varieties of Scepticism

Philosophy: Dissertation

The dissertation presents you with the opportunity to demonstrate your skills as an independent learner by embarking upon a substantial (8,000 to 10,000 words) piece of written work. You will be guided by a dissertation supervisor, but will choose your own topic, approach, and philosophical sources. It allows you to demonstrate all of the skills you have learned throughout your studies, and marks the culmination of your undergraduate studies in Philosophy.

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take 12 course units at the rate of four units per year. The second year project unit and the third year dissertation are compulsory but all other the end of each year. Your final year dissertation will also count towards your degree award.

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and individual tutorials, depending on the subjects studied. Outside classes, you will undertake group projects and wide-ranging but guided independent study, including completing language exercises and reading prescribed and open material. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle. When you start with us, you are assigned a Personal Tutor to support you academically and personally.

In your final year the Classics department provides ongoing support for your dissertation work, which usually includes:

  • Lectures and practical sessions on Dissertation Research Methods e.g. planning your topics, carrying out research, using specialist resources, finding information in print and online, and managing your search results and references. These sessions are run in conjunction with the Library Service and are generally also open to second year students.
  • Short departmental writing ‘surgeries’, in which academic staff offer general writing support if you are experiencing problems and/or if you have specific queries.

Most modules contain an element of assessed coursework, such as an essay, presentation and/or assessed seminar participation marks, which contributes to the final examination mark awarded. The results of the first year exams qualify you to progress to the second year but do not contribute to your final degree award. The second and final year results do contribute to the final degree result, with the final year work counting double that of the second year. In addition, you will take a study skills course during your first year, designed to equip you with and enhance the writing skills you will need to be successful in your degree. This course does not count towards your final degree award but you are required to pass it to progress to your second year.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels  AAB-ABB

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • subjects taken at A level
  • the educational context in which academic
     achievements have been gained
  • whether the Extended Project Qualification is 
    being taken
Required/preferred subjects  Required subjects: 
  • Latin or Greek A Level Grade B or Grade A GCSE if not taken to A level and at least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C, including Maths and English.

    Preferred subjects: All arts and humanities subjects
Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level including 5 in Standard Level Greek or Latin with a minimum of 32 points overall 
BTEC Extended Diploma DDD in a related subject plus GCSE Grade A in Greek or Latin, or A Level in Greek or Latin Grade B 
BTEC National Diploma DD in a related subject and A Level Grade B plus GCSE Grade A in Greek or Latin, or A Level in Greek or Latin Grade B 
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma D and A Levels Grade BB plus GCSE Grade A Greek or Latin, or A Level in Greek or Latin Grade B 
Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate 
Scottish Advanced Highers AB plus Higher Level requirements  
Scottish Highers AABBB at Higher Level including B in Greek or Latin plus Advanced Higher Level requirements  
Irish Leaving Certificate

 H2, H2, H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level including H3 in Greek or Latin at Higher Level 

Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass in a relevant subject with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit plus GCSE Grade A Greek or Latin, or A Level in Greek or Latin Grade B. Please note that the Access to Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant has had a considerable break from education.

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

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English language
requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in each remaining subscore

For equivalencies please see here

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. Royal Holloway offers an International Foundation Programme and pre-sessional English language courses, allowing students to further develop their study skills and English language before starting their undergraduate degree.

Our degree programmes not only promote academic achievement but also the means to hone the life-skills necessary to excel, post-graduation.

Studying a Classical subject requires research, assessment, reasoning, organization and self-management often on your own or as part of a team.  In Philosophy you learn to develop and express reasoned arguments, to use logical processing and critical analysis to defend your position and debate opposing opinions. So, by choosing to study these intellectually demanding disciplines in combination you will develop a broad range of skills which are highly prized by employers, including:

  • the ability to communicate views and present arguments clearly and coherently
  • the ability to critically digest, analyse and summarise content
  • time management and the discipline to meet deadlines
  • organisation and research skills
  • problem-solving skills and capability

Being able to understand and process complex issues, to critically evaluate resources and construct coherent arguments both verbally and in writing is why many Royal Holloway classicists become employed in law, marketing, publishing, the media, government and finance.  With its emphasis on reason and argumentation, philosophy is an excellent preparation for a career in law, religion, business, international diplomacy, social work, medical management or writing as well as post-graduate education. 

Employers like Channel 4, multinational law firm SJ Berwin, The Guildhall (City of London), accountancy firm KPMG, the Natural History Museum, Customs and Immigration, London Advertising, Broadstone Pensions and Investments and the Armed Forces have all recently recruited Royal Holloway alumni from the Department of Classics.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £14,000

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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