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King's College Chapel and reclining figurePhilosophy at Aberdeen is a vibrant, diverse, and active department.  We have a comprehensive undergraduate programme and we place a strong emphasis on teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. The latest National Student Survey has Aberdeen Philosophy ranked first in Scotland for both student satisfaction with course design (94.9%) and student satisfaction with teaching (96.7%).

We are also an active and highly ranked research department. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 71.9% of outputs in Philosophy were rated 3* or 4*. We are home to a number of on-going funded research projects including The Metaphysical Basis of Logic (AHRC), Equalities of Wellbeing in Philosophy and Architecture (AHRC) and Set-Theoretic Pluralism (Leverhulme).

Philosophy at Aberdeen also has a number of initiatives that enhance the student experience and make it a unique place to study. The Aberdeen Philosophy in Education Group (APEG) trains volunteer philosophy students to facilitate discussion of philosophical questions among primary and secondary school pupils. We are also planning a Philosophy Reading Party for 2015-16 in which Philosophy students will spend a few days in the Highlands reading, walking, hiking, and philosophizing.

Philosophy has been taught at the University of Aberdeen since King's College was founded in 1495. Aberdeen Philosophy played a central role in the Scottish Enlightenment. Thomas Reid, the founder and leading member of the eighteenth-century Scottish school of Common Sense Philosophy, graduated from Aberdeen in 1726 and served as Professor from 1752. Alexander Bain also graduated and taught at Aberdeen in the late nineteenth century, and his work in the philosophy of mind helped to lay the foundations for modern scientific psychology.

The department of philosophy is housed in the Old Brewery in the heart of the Old Aberdeen campus.

Why Philosophy at Aberdeen?   


“Studying philosophy at the University of Aberdeen gave me the confidence to pursue a career in secondary school teaching. Aberdeen's philosophy department is small and friendly and the teaching is very student centred. My tutors were always willing to help and I received detailed feedback on my work. I am now training to teach philosophy, religion and ethics at King's College London and doing a master's degree in education.” 

 Monika Walker




“I absolutely loved my time in Aberdeen. It was a real privilege to have the opportunity to study philosophy at an ancient university, with such beautiful surroundings and a fantastic new library.  My degree in philosophy has given me a great academic grounding and opened lots of doors for the future. I have just started work at Cambridge University Press in the Rights and Permissions department for their English Language Teaching books.”

 Anna Pitchford