Philosophy and Modern Languages & Cultures BA

2024-25 entry
School of Languages and Cultures
Department of Philosophy

Explore the connections between language and philosophical thought, and gain an insight into how philosophical history has shaped many of the cultures of modern Europe.

Key details

Explore this course:

    Course description

    Moscow in the morning. Credit yulenochekk.

    Explore the connections between language and philosophical thought, and gain an insight into how philosophical history has shaped many of the cultures of modern Europe.

    Dividing your studies between the School of Languages and Cultures and the Department of Philosophy, you’ll become proficient in one or two languages whilst exploring a diverse range of philosophical topics, shaping your understanding of societies across Europe and the wider world.

    The flexibility of this degree means you can design your course according to your passions and interests. Study great philosophical thinkers and explore areas such as the philosophy of education, feminism and metaphysics - combined with the study of Europe, whether it be politics, history, film or literature.

    As you progress you’ll develop analytical skills with a high degree of intellectual flexibility - all while developing your chosen language or languages to a high level.

    Why study this course?

    • Combine philosophy with one or two languages - choose from 10 languages (German, French, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Czech, Catalan, Italian, and Luxembourgish) to enhance your understanding of the intricacies of past and modern day cultures.
    • Year abroad - the year abroad in third year enables you to immerse yourself in the language, culture and society of the language or languages you study.
    • Take on the big issues - work with the Centre for Engaged Philosophy, researching areas of fundamental political and social importance, from criminal justice and social inclusion to climate ethics.

    Dual and combined honours degrees

    Modules

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    • You can find a comprehensive list of all of our languages and cultures modules broken down by language on the School of Languages and Cultures website
    • Examples of the philosophy modules on offer are below
    Title: Philosophy and Modern Languages & Cultures BA course structure 2023-24
    UCAS code: RV60
    Years: 2023
    First year

    On this programme you must take at least 40 credits of Philosophy modules. You must take:

    Writing Philosophy

    Philosophical writing is a skill that you, the student, must hone early on in order to succeed in your degree. It is also a transferable skill that will serve you in your post-academic career. Philosophical writing combines the general virtues of clarity, organisation, focus and style found in other academic writing with particular philosophical virtues, namely, the ability to expose the implicit assumptions of analysed texts and to make explicit the logical structure of one's own and other people's arguments. A precondition of philosophical writing is a unique form of textual analysis that pays particular attention to its argumentative structure. In this module you will learn and practice philosophical writing. You will learn how to read in preparation for philosophical writing, learn how to plan an essay, learn how to rework your drafts and learn how to use feedback constructively. You will write five drafts and five essays and will have one on on tutorial on each essay you write. The lectures in the course will be split between lectures of the art of writing and lectures on philosophical topics in the domain of fact and value. Essay topics will be based on the topical lectures and their associated readings

    20 credits

    And at least one other core Philosophy module (20 credits) from the list below.

    Ethics and Society

    This module aims to introduce a range of topics from certain overlapping areas of philosophical research relating to normative and practical matters: in particular, dealing with ethical theory, applied ethics, moral theory, moral psychology, and politics. The module aims to outline some major philosophical problems and topics from these areas, while also showing how the underlying concerns of the areas are connected to broad underlying philosophical concerns.

    20 credits
    Mind and World

    This module aims to introduce a range of topics from epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mind. The module aims to outline some philosophical problems and topics from these areas, and in doing so show how these areas connect and thereby show how philosophical thinking can be unified and interconnected across these subjects.

    20 credits
    Reason and Argument

    This module aims to introduce a range of concepts and theoretical tools that are central to a great deal of work throughout philosophy and that are, more generally, very useful in evaluating arguments and analysing their components. The module will thus incorporate materials relating to critical thinking and logic, building upon fundamental theoretical ideas about meaning.

    20 credits

    Examples of optional philosophy modules:

    History of Ethics

    How should we live? What is the right thing to do? This module offers a critical introduction to the history of western ethical thought, examining some of the key ideas of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Wollstonecraft, Douglass, Bentham, Mill, Taylor Mill, Nietzsche, Rawls and Gilligan. It provides a textual introduction to some of the main types of ethical theory: the ethics of flourishing and virtue; rights-based approaches; utilitarianism; contractualism. We explore the close interconnections between ethics and other branches of philosophy (e.g. metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics), as well as the connections between ethics and other disciplines (e.g. psychology; anthropology).

    10 credits
    History of Philosophical Ideas

    The history of philosophy is made up of a series of debates between competing philosophical traditions and schools: for example, idealists argue with realists, rationalists with empiricists. And at different times, distinctive philosophical movements have dominated the discussion, such as pragmatism, existentialism, phenomenology, analytic philosophy, and critical theory. This module will introduce you to some of these central movements and traditions in the history of philosophy from Plato onwards, and the key philosophical concepts and issues that they have brought in to western thought.

    10 credits
    Death

    This module is mainly about death itself . What is death? What happens to us when we die? Could there be an afterlife? Would it be a good thing if there were? What is it about death that we dislike so much, or that makes it bad? Is it rational, or even possible to fear death? What is the right attitude towards our own death? Do we have moral duties towards the dead? The course will clarify these questions and attempt to answer them. Readings will be taken from both historical and contemporary sources.

    10 credits
    Philosophy of Religion

    This course will pose and try to answer philosophical questions about religion. These include questions about the nature of religion. For instance does being religious necessarily involve believing in the existence of a God or Gods? And is religious faith compatible with adherence to the scientific method? Other questions that the course will cover include questions about the theistic notion of God. Does the idea of an all-powerful being make sense? Is an all-knowing God compatible with human freedom? And is an all-powerful, all-knowing and perfectly good creator of the universe compatible with the existence of evil? Further questions concern God and morality. Is it true that if there is no God, then there is no right and wrong? The course will examine philosophical arguments for the existence of God, and question whether these arguments are sound.

    10 credits
    Philosophy of Sex

    Sex is one of the most basic human motivators, of fundamental importance in many people's lives, and a topic of enormous moral, religious, and political contention. No surprise, then, that it turns out to be of great philosophical interest. We will discuss moral issues related to sex' asking when we might be right to judge a particular sex act to be morally problematic; and what political significance (if any) sex has. We will also discuss metaphysical issues, such as the surprisingly difficult questions of what exactly sex is and what a sexual orientation is. Throughout our study, we will draw both on philosophical sources and on up-to-date contemporary information.

    10 credits
    Philosophy of Science

    Science plays an important role in modern society. We trust science on a day to day basis as we navigate our worlds. What is about science that makes it so trustworthy? Why is science a good guide for understanding the world? The aim of this half-module is to introduce some of the philosophical issues that arise in science and through reflecting on science. Most of the questions considered concern the epistemology of scientific knowledge and methodology: what are scientific theories, what counts as evidence for these theories, what is the relationship between observation and theory, is there a scientific method, what distinguishes science from other ways of understanding the world, and how does the social structure of science help or hinder science in studying the world. This module aims to introduce these questions as philosophical issues in their own right and within in the context of the history of the philosophy of science.

    10 credits

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    You'll learn through a mix of lectures, seminars and language and culture classes. Language teaching is in small groups, so you'll get plenty of tailored support and will get to know your tutors well.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    You'll be taught by world-leading experts in both departments.

    Assessment

    We use a range of assessment methods during your course. In the language programme you will be given regular homework assignments and take a mix of coursework and exam assessments at appropriate points over the academic year. You will be assessed on the core skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Our assessment methods vary across our courses and include taking sit-down exams, developing a portfolio, writing essays, taking part in group projects or giving individual presentations.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible.

    Standard offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    ABB
    typically including a modern foreign language

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    BBB, typically including a modern foreign language + B in the EPQ
    International Baccalaureate
    33, typically with 5 in a Higher Level modern foreign language
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in a relevant subject + an appropriate modern foreign language qualification
    BTEC Diploma
    DD + B at A Level typically in a modern foreign language
    Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher
    AABBB + B, typically in a modern foreign language
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + AB, typically including a modern foreign language
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • If you are not studying a modern foreign language, the department will consider other evidence of aptitude for language learning (such as a languages GCSE at grade 6/B, or an English language qualification for non-native speakers of English)

    Access Sheffield offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    BBB
    typically including a modern foreign language

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    BBB, typically including a modern foreign language + B in the EPQ
    International Baccalaureate
    32, typically with 5 in a Higher Level modern foreign language
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDM in a relevant subject + an appropriate modern foreign language qualification
    BTEC Diploma
    DD + B at A Level typically in a modern foreign language
    Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher
    ABBBB + B, typically in a modern foreign language
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + BB, typically including a modern foreign language
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 24 at Distinction and 21 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • If you are not studying a modern foreign language, the department will consider other evidence of aptitude for language learning (such as a languages GCSE at grade 6/B, or an English language qualification for non-native speakers of English)

    English language requirements

    You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    Graduate careers

    Our graduates are excellent communicators, adaptable, culturally aware with the ability to analyse and state a case clearly, evaluate arguments and be precise in your thinking.

    They work in international development organisations, business and banking, translating and interpreting, intelligence services, law, social work, civil service, journalism, teaching, publishing, international sales and marketing.

    Many go on to further study.

    Studying the combination of philosophy and languages will develop your ability to analyse and state a case clearly, evaluate arguments and be precise in your thinking. These skills will put you in a strong position when it comes to finding employment or going on to further study.
     

    School of Languages and Cultures

    Our graduates are excellent communicators, adaptable and culturally aware. They work in international development organisations, business and banking, translating and interpreting, intelligence services, journalism, teaching, publishing, and international sales and marketing. Many go on to further study.

    Department of Philosophy

    Studying philosophy will develop your ability to analyse and state a case clearly, evaluate arguments and be precise in your thinking. These skills will put you in a strong position when it comes to finding employment or going on to further study.

    Our graduates work in teaching, law, social work, computing, the civil service, journalism, paid charity work, business, insurance and accountancy. Many also go on to study philosophy at postgraduate level.

    John Student Profile

    Working in the humanitarian sector, being a linguist is indispensable

    John BA Modern Languages & Cultures

    John completed a BA that included Spanish and Portuguese

    School of Languages and Cultures

    At the School of Languages and Cultures you'll develop your linguistic skills to a very high level and deepen your understanding of the cultural context of the countries where your languages are spoken.

    We offer a particularly wide range of languages - Catalan, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Luxembourgish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

    Right from the start, you'll work with the school's top specialists and native speakers who will help you realise your linguistic potential. Language teaching is in small groups, so you'll get plenty of support tailored to your needs and get to know your tutors well.

    We're a leading centre for modern languages and cultures research. Our work spans identity, gender, linguistics, politics, migration and literary studies. This research informs our teaching, helping you to develop a global understanding of language and languages across cultures and countries.

    You'll be able to study optional modules either in your individual languages, or across the school so you'll acquire an in-depth understanding of your chosen languages and their cultures, and how they relate to other languages and cultures across modern languages disciplines.

    Our student-run language societies organise multilingual events, trips and creative projects. There are opportunities to volunteer in the community and in schools, inspiring others to try new languages.

    School of Languages and Cultures students are based in the Jessop West building at the heart of the University campus, close to the Diamond and the Information Commons. We share the Jessop West Building with the Department of History and the School of English.

    School of Languages and Cultures

    Department of Philosophy

    We pride ourselves on the diversity of our modules and the high quality of our teaching. Our staff are among the best in the world at what they do. They're active researchers so your lectures and seminars are informed, relevant and exciting. We'll teach you how to think carefully, analytically and creatively.

    Our staff and students use philosophy to engage with real world issues. You will be able to use what you learn to make a difference in the community, through projects like Philosophy in the City, an innovative and award-winning programme that enables students to teach philosophy in schools, homeless shelters and centres for the elderly.

    Our students run a thriving Philosophy Society and the only UK undergraduate philosophy journal. Our Centre for Engaged Philosophy pursues research into questions of fundamental political and social importance, from criminal justice and social inclusion to climate ethics, all topics that are covered in our teaching.

    Philosophy changes our perspective on the world, and equips and motivates us to make a difference.

    The Department of Philosophy is based at 45 Victoria Street at the heart of the University campus. We're close to the Diamond and the Information Commons, as well as Jessop West, which houses our fellow Arts & Humanities departments of History, English and Languages & Cultures.

    Department of Philosophy

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      Number one in the Russell Group
    National Student Survey 2023 (based on aggregate responses)

      92 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      Top 50 in the most international universities rankings
    Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023

      Number one Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

      Number one for teaching quality, Students' Union and clubs/societies
    StudentCrowd 2023 University Awards

      A top 20 university targeted by employers
    The Graduate Market in 2023, High Fliers report

    Department of Philosophy

    1st in the Russell Group for Student Voice

    National Student Survey 2021

    3rd in the Russell Group for student satisfaction

    National Student Survey 2021

    Fees and funding

    Fees

    Additional costs

    The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    Funding your study

    Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

    Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

    Visit

    University open days

    We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Offer holder days

    If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our offer holder days, which take place between February and April. These open days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

    Campus tours

    Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.

    Campus tour: book your place

    Apply

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2024-2025

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    Explore the connections between language and philosophical thought, and gain an insight into how philosophical history has shaped many of the cultures of modern Europe.