Are killer drones immoral? What about genetic engineering? Should rich countries give substantially more in overseas aid? Are there objective moral truths? Does God exist? Could we survive death as computer uploads? What is consciousness? Can machines think? What is the difference between science and myth? Why do we enjoy art? Is time travel possible? These are a few of the questions that are studied in UC Philosophy classes.
Philosophy teaches you how to think about such questions rationally, carefully, and clearly. These skills are of real value in the workplace, and also when dealing with more theoretical aspects of other disciplines, including professional subjects such as Law, Nursing, and even Engineering.
- UC offers world-class expertise in specific areas of Philosophy and a broad-based degree. The Department is a tight-knit group who go the extra mile to help students.
- The Philosophy degree is flexible, allowing students to pursue very different pathways. This flexibility also allows students majoring in other subjects to add Philosophy courses to their degree, and this distinctiveness gives an edge in the job market.
- Areas of specialisation in Philosophy at UC include ethics, bioethics, epistemology and metaphysics, logic, history of philosophy, history and philosophy of science and technology, cognitive science and philosophy of mind, philosophy and foundations of computing, philosophy of artificial intelligence, philosophy of language, and political philosophy. There are also specialised courses on famous figures such as Plato, Descartes, Wittgenstein, and Turing.
- Philosophy Internships are increasingly popular with UC students; these provide a chance to hone skills, gain work experience, meet potential employers, and build a CV.
- UC is ranked in the top 200 universities in the world for Philosophy (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2020).
Since philosophy is not always taught in schools, 100-level Philosophy courses at UC are designed for beginners.
Philosophy is for anyone who is intellectually inquisitive, likes ideas, and likes to think and explore. It is not just an academic subject but tackles issues and questions that arise for everyone. No special academic background is therefore required.
- PHIL 233 Epistemology and Metaphysics
- Two 200-level PHIL courses (which may include MATH 230 Logic, Automata, and Computability)
- 30 points from 300-level PHIL courses
Plus at least one of:
For the Philosophy minor in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership, you will need to take these courses throughout your chosen degree:
- 75 points in 100 to 300-level PHIL courses, with at least 45 points at 200-level or above
The intellectual skills that Philosophy teaches lead to success in many different careers. Philosophy graduates are sought after by industry, government, education, and the financial sector. Many sectors increasingly require people who can think independently and creatively, write clearly, apply logic, solve abstract problems, and communicate precisely. This is what Philosophy students learn to do.
Internationally, Philosophy has been recognised as providing excellent preparation for careers in medicine, business, and law.
Recent UC graduates in Philosophy have become policy analysts, lawyers, web developers, teachers, environmental and sustainability advisors, research managers, popular science writers, claims analysts, video game designers, e-learning executives, engineers, film-makers, doctors, business analysts, publishers, editors, science journalists, software engineers, technical writers, university administrators, and university lecturers.
Many of our graduates have gone on to further study in Aotearoa New Zealand or overseas.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Philosophy.
6th floor, Karl Popper Building – see campus maps
College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
Browse related subjects to Philosophy
Choose an area that you are interested in and learn how UC's extensive range of study options can let you study what you want to.
Note: The major and minor in Anthropology is currently not open to new enrolments at undergraduate level, however you can still include Anthropology courses in ...