New Zealand Education - Think New Logo


University of Canterbury
University of Canterbury logo

Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Philosophy

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


University of Canterbury


The Bachelor of Arts is a flexible degree so you can specialise or study a wide variety of topics. Over the three years of your degree, you will gain the critical thinking, creative problem solving, and communication skills that employers want. Unique practical experiences such as internships are on offer too. The Bachelor of Arts requires a minimum total of 360 points. Each major has specific course requirements, but all consist of a minimum of 135 points in a single Arts subject. Of these, at least 60 points must be at 300-level and at least 45 points at 200-level.

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.

Why study Philosophy at UC?

The Philosophy degree is flexible, allowing Philosophy 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, 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.

Double degrees

It is possible to combine an Arts degree with other degrees.

Further study

The College of Arts has a wide range of options for postgraduate and graduate study with excellent research facilities. Pathways include: Bachelor of Arts with Honours; Master of Arts; Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Career opportunities

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 New Zealand or overseas.

Entry criteria

Applicants must have completed New Zealand University Entrance through NCEA; or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE); or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) or any other equivalent overseas qualification.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no band score lower than 5.5.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 80, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 50, and no communicative skills score below 42.

Undergraduate application deadline: Semester 1 (February start) by 31 October; Semester 2 (July start) by 30 April.

Studying in NZ

Plan your study experience

Share this course

Share this course