Philosophy at Aberdeen is a vibrant, diverse, and active department.  We have a comprehensive undergraduate programme and we place a strong emphasis on teaching. At postgraduate level we have a thriving community of students pursuing MLitt and PhD degrees. The 2017 National Student Survey has Aberdeen Philosophy ranked 1st in Scotland for student teaching quality and joint 2nd in Scotland for overall student satisfaction. We are also an active and highly ranked research department. In the last Research Excellence Framework, 71.9% of outputs in Philosophy were rated world-leading or internationally excellent (4* or 3*). We are currently home to the funded research project What's So Special about First-Person Thought? (Leverhulme) and recently hosted the  Equalities of Wellbeing in Philosophy and Architecture (AHRC) project.


Philosophy at Aberdeen 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 hold a yearly Philosophy Reading Party, when Philosophy students and staff spend a weekend in the Cairngorms National Park, with hillwalking during the day and informal philosophy talks in the evening.

The Philosophy Department is strongly committed to equality and diversity. As proud members of the BPA/SWIP Good Practice Scheme, we have several initiatives to ensure a fair work and study environment for all students and staff. We are aware of the barriers facing women and minority groups in their academic progression and are committed to improving our understanding of them and combating them. Philosophy has led the successful Athena SWAN Bronze application of the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, with both Co-Leads of the School Self-Assessment Team belonging to this department. For more information, please see the School’s Equality and Diversity page.

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?