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University of Canterbury
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Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Philosophy

This course is available


Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree


3 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


University of Canterbury


A Bachelor of Science (BSc) is about understanding and improving the natural world through observation, experimentation, modelling, and calculation. The Bachelor of Science requires a minimum total of 360 points:

  • a compulsory 15-point Science course
  • a minimum of 255 points of Science courses
  • the remaining 90 points can be from either Science courses or courses from other degrees.

At least 225 points must be from courses above 100-level, with at least 90 points at 300-level.

Double degrees

Many students combine the study of a BSc with another degree.

Conjoint degrees

Students can study the Conjoint Bachelor of Product Design and Science or the Conjoint Bachelor of Commerce and Science, which requires 60 points less than a double degree and will be completed in four years in an intensive format.

Philosophy Major

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.

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, 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 specialized 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.

Further Study

If you have achieved top grades during your Bachelor of Science, you may be permitted to enter the BSc(Hons), which is an accelerated 12-month postgraduate degree.

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, computer game designers, e-learning executives, engineers, filmmakers, 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 applications: Semester 1 (February start) by 31 October; Semester 2 (July start) by 30 April.

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