Philosophy with Business Management (Including Foundation Year)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Philosophy with Business Management (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. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

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

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.

Additional Notes

Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen 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.


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 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  IA121-3-FY-CO  Philosophy: Fundamental Questions, Major Thinkers  Core  30  30 
02  IA145-3-FY-CO  Research and Academic Development Skills  Core  30  30 
03  IA122-3-FY-CO  Introduction to Management and Marketing  Core  30  30 
04  IA118-3-FY-CO  Becoming Enlightened Citizens: Foundations in Politics and Government  Core  30  30 

Year 1 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  PY111-4-FY-CO  Introduction to Philosophy  Compulsory  30  30 
02  BE401-4-AU-CO  Introduction to Management  Compulsory  15  15 
03  BE501-4-SP-CO  Introduction to Marketing  Compulsory  15  15 
04    PY113-4-FY or PY114-4-FY  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
05    PY114-4-FY or option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
06  CS107-4-SP-CO  Beyond the BA: Skills for the Next Step  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  PY429-5-SP-CO  Capitalism and its Critics  Compulsory  15  15 
02  PY408-5-AU-CO  Ethics  Compulsory  15  15 
03    Choose two from BE410-5-AU or BE431-5-AU or BE420-5-SP  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
04    Option(s) from list  Optional  45  45 
05    CS200-5-AU or (CS207-5-AU and Philosophy option)  Optional  15  15 

Year 3 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  PY455-6-SU-CO  Philosophy Capstone Module  Compulsory  30  30 
02  BE439-6-AU-CO  Business Ethics  Compulsory  15  15 
03  BE733-6-AU-CO  Strategic Human Resource Management  Compulsory  15  15 
04    CS307-6-AU and/or option(s) from list  Optional  60  60 

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

  • To provide a wide-range and flexible philosophy curriculum, embracing both analytic (or Anglo-American) and Continental (Modern European) philosophical thought and a detailed forcus on business management.
  • To provide studies with a qualification that will enhance their ability to work in the area of business management by developing the capability to analyse and decide how to deal with complicated organisational situations.
  • To encourage studies to identify the relevance of philosophy to other forms of enquiry (, political, cultural, aesthetic), its interconnections with other disciplines, and its applicability to issues in public and moral life.
  • To develop students' capacities for independent thought and critical reflection.
  • To provide students with the skills necessary for subsequent research or further study.

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 of philosophical texts from a variety of traditions and a variety of historical and social contexts.

A2: Knowledge of significant figures in the history of philosophy, and of some central theories, arguments and issues connected with them.

A3: Knowledge of techniques of philosophical reasoning and conceptions of philosophical method, embracing diverse traditions and approaches.

A4: Knowledge of major issues currently being debated by philosophers.

A5: Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the core principles of business management, strategic-thinking and decision-making and a knowledge of the external environment within which organizations operate, including the political, social, economic and technological contexts at both national and international levels.

Learning methods

A1-A5 are acquired through: teaching in lecture and class format; lecturers conveying module content in a general manner while allowing for, and encouraging, questions from students; classes generally focusing on specific textual, argumentative or practical examples, where emphasis is placed on student discussion.

The use of books and journal articles to convey module content.

The use of books, journal articles and internet resources to write coursework and prepare for examinations.

Assessment methods

Outcomes A1-A5 are assessed through continuous coursework and unseen written examinations.

Coursework includes 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, individual and group oral presentations, and a final-year 5,000-word dissertation.

Coursework is prepared during the academic year for a specified module, returned with a grade and written or oral feedback for the student.

Examinations include essay-based questions and (in the case pf PY114) logic exercises. Revision classes are provided.

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

B3: Capacity to summarise complex and demanding texts, and to assess critically their strengths and weaknesses.

B4: Capacity to argue coherently and persuasively.

Learning methods

Skills B1-B4 are obtained and developed through the teaching and learning methods described above.

Students are expected to read background material for lectures and classes, and to participate fully in class discussions.

Assessment methods

Outcomes B1-B4 are assessed through continuous coursework and unseen written examinations.

Coursework and examinations are as described above under A (Knowledge and Understanding).

C: Practical skills

C1: Ability to write essays, expressing oneself clearly, effectively and to the point.

C2: Ability to abstract and synthesise relevant information from a range of sources, using books, journal articles, library and internet resources.

C3: Ability to use a range of methods (library and internet resources) to perform bibliographical searches.

Learning methods

Skills C1-C3 are gained by participation in class discussion, discussion with the lecturer during class and office hours, independent research for essays and exam preparation.

Assessment methods

Outcomes C1-C3 are assessed through continuous coursework and unseen written examinations.

Coursework and examinations are as described above under A (Knowledge and Understanding).

D: Key skills

D1: Ability to communicate effectively.

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

D3: Ability to identify the problem to be solved; to articulate critically the assumptions underlying or connected with the problem; to compare and contrast differing and often contradictory solutions to the problem; and to provide argument and evidence in defence of one's solution to the problem in the areas of philosophy.

D4: Ability to 'read' an argument in seminar discussion; ability to respond effectively; ability to work in a variety of group contexts

D5: Ability to read closely and carefully; to organize one's reading and thinking in relation to specific topics; to learn from feedback from the lecturer in the form of written comments on coursework and oral communication; and to work to deadline

Learning methods

Skills D1, D2, and D4 to D6 are acquired and developed through the teaching and learning methods described above, and in class discussions.

Students are encouraged to use the University key skills on-line package, word processing packages, library searches and internet philosophy resources.

Assessment methods

Outcomes D1, D2, and D4 to D6 are assessed through continuous coursework and unseen written examinations.

Coursework and examinations are as described above under A (Knowledge and Understanding)


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

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