Bachelor of Arts (Major: Philosophy)

School of Arts & Sciences, Sydney Campus

Who am I? Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? The study of philosophy deals with some of the most important questions facing the human race. Here at the University of Notre Dame Australia, our Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Philosophy tackles these complex issues. Through the careful examination of great philosophical works, you will grow and develop your critical thinking skills.

  • Why study this degree?

    Philosophical thought is central to the way we see ourselves and the wider world. Our Bachelor of Arts with a Major n Philosophy provides a detailed introduction to the Western philosophical tradition, from the Ancient World right up until the present day. Along the way, you will grapple with some of the thorniest questions in moral philosophy, learn basic philosophical reasoning, and develop your capacity for critical thinking and clear expression.

    In Years Two and Three, you are able to pursue your own particular philosophical interests by choosing from a wide range of topics including Business Ethics, Formal Logic, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion and Epistemology. You will also examine the work of major thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas and learn to evaluate arguments about truth, reality and various belief systems.

    Very few philosophy graduates pursue careers as professional philosophers, but the considerable skills acquired and knowledge gained are applicable in a wide range of occupations. As a graduate of a Bachelor of Arts (Major: Philosophy), you will have the analytical and critical skills necessary to succeed in academic research, business management, policy development, politics, journalism, international trade and diplomacy.

  • Program summary

    Core Curriculum

    • CORE1001 Logos I
    • CORE1002 Logos II
    • CORE1003 Logos III

    Compulsory courses

    • ARTS1000 Academic Writing, Communication and Research
    • PHIL1020 Basic Methods and Problems of Philosophy
    • PHIL1030 Critical Thinking
    • PHIL3090 Moral Philosophy

    Plus at least one of the following History of Philosophy courses

    • PHIL6100 History of Philosophy: Ancient
    • PHIL6110 History of Philosophy: Medieval
    • PHIL6130 History of Philosophy: Modern
    • PHIL6140 History of Philosophy: Contemporary

    Plus enough of the following electives to make up an EIGHT (8) course major

    • PHIL6010 Business Ethics
    • PHIL2010 Introduction to Formal Logic
    • PHIL2060 Philosophy of Science
    • PHIL2070 Philosophy of Language
    • PHIL3210 Philosophy of the Human Person
    • PHIL3300 Epistemology: Ways of Knowing
    • PHIL3000 Aquinas: Analytic and Phenomenological Approaches
    • PHIL3030 Introduction to Metaphysics
    • PHIL3060 Faith and Reason
    • PHIL3410 Political Philosophy
    • PHIL3520 Philosophy of Religion

    Plus 12 electives which may form another Major or Minor (undertaken during Years Two and/or Three).

    Full details of the program requirements are contained in the Program Regulations.

  • Study Abroad

    You will have the opportunity to complete part of your degree at one of our partner institutions
    through our exchange program. Get in touch with the Study Abroad Office to find out more about
    studying in Asia, Europe and North America.

  • Real-world experience

    You will learn from academics who are industry leaders and, through our practicum placements and internship programs, you will gain real professional experience and make valuable contacts with potential employers.

  • Entry requirements

    Academic requirements for this program are outlined below.  In addition, to be eligible for admission, all applicants need to satisfy minimum requirements outlined at admission requirements. These include those relating to age and English Language Proficiency.  We also consider your application more broadly – your non-academic achievements (such as any previous leadership roles, volunteering, work, church and/or community involvement) as well as personal qualities - your aspirations and interests and your capacity to complete your chosen program.

    Applicants with recent Secondary Education

    • HSC Performance Band Results with a Band 4 in English, a minimum average of Bands 4s and an overall minimum average HSC mark of 70% in HSC Category A Courses (or Interstate equivalent). Applicants must be eligible for an ATAR or OP; or
    • Minimum International Baccalaureate (IB) score of 24.

    Applicants with Higher Education Study

    • Other University Studies completed at undergraduate level or higher. A minimum number of 2 successfully completed subjects; or
    • Successful completion of the Notre Dame Tertiary Pathway Program or of another Enabling Program at a level deemed sufficient by the University.

    Applicants who have successfully completed subjects at another University, which are relevant to the selected program of study, may be eligible for Advanced Standing.

    Applicants with Vocational Education and Training (VET) study

    • Completed AQF Certificate IV or higher in a relevant discipline, from an accredited provider such as TAFE or a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

    Applicants with Work and Life Experience

    Applicants with relevant work and life experience who left secondary education more than two years ago and have not undertaken VET or higher education study since then may seek admission on the basis of:

    • Their experience. ‘Experience’ could include a combination of factors sufficient to demonstrate readiness for higher education such as Mature Age entry, relevant professional experience, community involvement or work experience. Applicants may have undertaken non-formal programs that have helped prepare them for tertiary education or are relevant to the proposed higher education field of study. Evidence must be provided as to the type and duration or employment (minimum of two years) in a relevant industry. The Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) may be required.
    • STAT – Scores of 150 in the Multiple Choice and Written English sections are required.
    • Higher School Certificate (HSC) (or equivalent) results if these have been completed within the last 5 years.
  • Fees

    This Program has the following loan scheme(s) available for eligible students:

    The FEE-HELP loan scheme assists eligible fee-paying students with the payment of all, or part, of their tuition fees, not including additional study costs such as accommodation or textbooks. Your FEE-HELP debt will be indexed each year in line with the Consumer Price Index.

  • Honours

    An Honours award is available for this program.  Further information can be found in the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) regulations, or by contacting the School of Arts & Sciences.

  • Career opportunities

    The following careers are open to graduates of this program:

    • Academic teaching and research
    • Business management
    • Policy development
    • Politics
    • Journalism
    • International diplomacy and trade
  • More information

    For more information on the Bachelor of Arts (Major: Philosophy), please contact the Prospective Students Office on +61 (2) 8204 4404 or  email

    All international enquiries should contact the International Students Office on

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