Philosophy and Law (Including Foundation Year)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2024/25
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Philosophy and Law (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

UK and EU applicants:

All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you:

  • think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
  • have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
  • are returning to university after some time away from education; or
  • are looking for more support during the transition into university study.

Standard offer: Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

Examples of the above tariff may include:

  • A-levels: DDD
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
  • T-levels: Pass with E in core

If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:

We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.

International applicants:

Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
Dr Josiah Saunders

Associate Professor

Durham University

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2024 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 0 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  IA195-3-FY-CO  Research and Academic Development Skills  Core  30  30 
02  IA139-3-FY-CO  Post-War Britain: Identity, Culture, Conflict and Change  Core  30  30 
03  IA187-3-FY-CO  Analysing Film, Text and Image  Core  30  30 
04  IA188-3-FY-CO  Theory of Knowledge  Core  30  30 

Year 1 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  LW104-4-FY-CO  Criminal Law  Compulsory  30  30 
02  LW103-4-FY-CO  Public Law  Compulsory  30  30 
03  PY111-4-FY-CO  Introduction to Philosophy  Compulsory  30  30 
04    PY113-4-FY or Option(s) from list or Outside Option(s)  Optional  30  30 
05  CS107-4-SP-CO  Beyond the BA: Skills for the Next Step  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  LW101-5-FY-CO  Contract Law  Compulsory  30  30 
02    Law option(s) from list  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
03    PY400-5-SP and/or PY408-5-AU and/or Philosophy option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
04    CS200-5-AU or CS207-5-AU and a Philosophy option  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
05    Recommend PY437-5-SP or Philosophy option  Optional  15  15 

Year 3 - 2027/28

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    Law option(s)  Optional  30  30 
02  PY413-6-SP-CO  Contemporary Political Philosophy  Compulsory  15  15 
03    CS307-6-AU and/or Law option(s)  Optional  30  30 
04    PY428-6-AU or Philosophy option  Optional  15  15 
05  PY455-6-SU-CO  PY455-6-SU - CAPSTONE  Compulsory  30  30 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • Provide a sound academic grounding in the disciplines of philosophy and law.
  • Develop an awareness of the interactions of these disciplines.
  • Equip students with a range of subject-specific and general intellectual skills fostered by the study of philosophy and law, preparing them either for a wide variety of careers or for postgraduate study.
  • Develop students' capacities for independent thought and critical reflection

  • Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

    On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

    A: Knowledge and understanding

    A1: Knowledge and understanding of some philosophical texts and some major issues in philosophy, and/or those at the interface between philosophy and law.

    A2: Knowledge and understanding of the fundamental doctrines and principles of the law, and some substantive areas of the law in depth.

    A3: Knowledge and understanding of the techniques of reasoning appropriate to the discipline in question.

    Learning methods

    A1-3 are acquired through lectures, classes which involve discussion, and in law through tutorials which allow students to work in small groups.

    Where relevant and as the basis for an argument, students should use, present and evaluate relevant numerical or statistical information as appropriate.

    Additionally A1-3 are acquired by means of the directed reading that students are required to undertake, and by means of writing coursework and preparing for exams.

    Assessment methods

    Outcomes A1-3 are assessed through continuous coursework and unseen written examinations.

    Coursework in philosophy consists of essays, essay plans, essay drafts, abstracts, peer reviews of draft student essays, reading summaries, reading analyses, in-class reading quizzes, logic exercises, take-home exams, as well as individual and group oral presentations. In law it consists of essays, problem analysis, oral presentations and group projects.

    Coursework tests the ability to research a topic using, for example, library and internet resources, expound specified texts and enter into detailed argumentation with them.

    Unseen exams test the ability to rehearse and assess arguments in relation to specific questions posed within a limited time frame.

    Philosophy modules include examinations in the first year only.

    B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

    B1: Capacity to follow complex arguments, and to present one's own evaluation of them.

    B2: Capacity to summarise complex and demanding texts, and to assess critically their strengths and weaknesses.

    B3: Capacity to argue coherently and persuasively.

    B4: Ability to gather and evaluate large amounts of information and data.

    B5: Capacity to analyse legal problems.

    Learning methods

    Skills B1-5 are obtained and developed through the teaching and learning methods described above under A (Knowledge and Understanding).

    Assessment methods

    Outcomes B1-5 are assessed by the assessment methods described above under A (Knowledge and Understanding).

    C: Practical skills

    C1: Ability to abstract and synthesise relevant information, from a range of sources, using books, journal articles, cases and internet resources.

    C2: Ability to use and apply legal terminology and legal concepts.

    C3: Ability to plan and undertake tasks in areas of law already studied, and to undertake independent research in areas of law not previously studied, starting from standard legal information sources.

    Learning methods

    Skill C1 is acquired and developed primarily by the preparation for and the writing of coursework, and the feedback given on it.

    Skills C2 and 3 are developed through tutorials by way of the medium of problem solving and group discussion.

    Assessment methods

    Outcomes C1 and 2 are assessed through coursework and unseen written examinations.
    C3 is assessed through coursework.

    D: Key skills

    D1: Ability to produce fluent and effective communication.

    D2: Use of relevant information technology to research and present written work.

    D3: Not applicable.

    D4: Ability to identify the problem to be solved, to analyse it carefully, to distinguish relevant from irrelevant detail, to compare and assess different solutions to it, to provide argument and evidence for one's preferred solution.

    D5: Not applicable.

    D6: Ability to organize one's reading and thinking in relation to specific topics, to work to a deadline, and to learn from comments on coursework and oral communication from teachers.

    Learning methods

    Skills D1, 2, 4 and 6 are acquired and developed through the teaching and learning methods described above.

    Assessment methods

    Outcomes D1, 2, 4 and 6 are assessed through coursework and unseen written examinations.


    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


    If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing

    If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

    If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing