Philosophy helps you to acquire the philosophical skills and background knowledge to enable you to engage with some of the deepest questions human beings have ever asked and History can enable you to understand them through past events. 

If you want to understand the past to prepare for your future in a changing world, studying History is the way forward.  As well as covering modern, early modern and medieval Britain and Europe, we offer considerable scope to study the wider world.  You get the chance to question some of the prevailing myths, preconceptions and prejudices which surround the writing of History. 

Philosophy is for people who find they are bothered by questions that their friends can cheerfully ignore; people who do not want to settle for conventional answers and received wisdom, but want to arrive at answers that stand up to the most searching examination.  Studying Philosophy here will give you access to world-class talent in fields as diverse as Metaphysics, Philosophy of Psychiatry, Epistemology, Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mind and many others.

Both the History and Philosophy departments have a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment.  


Why Study this Course?

  • Excellent student experience – You will benefit from an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment for your undergraduate studies, focused on ensuring you are a fully supported and active learner.
  • Fantastic reputation – History at Newcastle is ranked within the Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019, whilst Philosophy is ranked within the Top 5. This is the fourth consecutive year that we have been ranked in the Top 5.
  • Flexible programme – Our History and Philosophy Joint Honours degree programme offers you a wide range of modules so that you can build a degree programme that suits your interests and enables you to develop your skills in both subjects. 
  • Outstanding staff – The Department of History and The Department of Philosophy have academic staff who are experts in their fields, so the teaching that you receive will be based on leading research. In the process, you will develop a range of skills that will be appealing to future employers and open up a range of career paths. Times Higher Education ranked the Department of History 1st in the country for its performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework exercise, whilst our Philosophy department was ranked 2nd.
  • Unique resources – The Cadbury Research Library is home to the University of Newcastle historic collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, photographs and associated artefacts. The collections which have been built up over a period of 120 years consist of over 200,000 rare printed books including significant incunabula, as well as over 4 million unique archive and manuscript collections.

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

BA History and Philosophy

Course Level:

Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined





How long it takes:

Undergraduate (3 years)

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$20,220

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

Joint Honours flexibility

Every degree programme at the University is divided into 120 credits of study for each year of the programme. In the first year of a Joint Honours programme, you will study 60 credits in each subject as you learn the core elements of the disciplines. We recognise that students on Joint Honours programmes might come to favour one subject slightly more than another. To account for this, we have added more flexibility into the second and final years of our programmes. In the second year, you can stick with the 60-60 split between the two subjects or shift to a 80-40 credit weighting, effectively a major/ minor combination. You can either go back to 60-60 in the final year, maintain the same 80-40 split or reverse the major and the minor and go to a 40-80 weighting.


First year

History compulsory modules

  • Practising History A: Skills in History (10 credits)
  • Practising History B: Approaches to History (10 credits)

Optional modules

Choose one of these two modules:  

  • Discovering the Middle Ages (20 credits)
  • The Making of the Modern World 1500-1800 (20 credits)

 Choose one of the following modules:

  • Living in the Middle Ages (20 credits)
  • The Making of the Contemporary World: Modern History c.1800 to the Present (20 credits)
  • War and Society* (20 credits)
  • United States History 1865-2000 (20 credits)*


Philosophy compulsory modules

  • Problems of Philosophy (20 credits)
  • The Philosopher’s Toolkit (20 credits)


Second year


  • 80 credits – Group Research; History Option A and B; choose from either History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods or *Professional Skills *please note: places on this module are limited
  • 60 credits – Group Research; History Option; choose from either History in Theory and Practice, Research Methods or *Professional Skills *please note: places on this module are limited     
  • 40 credits – Group Research; History Option 

Final year


  • 80 credits – either Special Subject A and B or History Dissertation; History Advanced Option A and B
  • 60 credits – either Special Subject A and B or History Dissertation; History Advanced Option
  • 40 credits – either Special Subject A and B or History Dissertation


Philosophy compulsory modules

  • 80 credits – Philosophical Project (20 or 40)
  • 60 credits – Philosophical Project (20 or 40)
  • 40 credits – No compulsory modules, only optional modules


Example optional modules may include: 

  • Philosophy of Mathematics (20)*

  • *Philosophy of Mathematics is a compulsory module for Mathematics and Philosophy students.
  • Being Good and Doing Right: Issues in Contemporary Moral Theory (20)

  • Global Bioethics (20)

  • Minds, Brains and Computers: Issues in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science (20)

  • Nietzsche (20)

  • Philosophy of Language and the Linguistic Study of Meaning (20)

  • It’s About Time! (20)

  • Prejudice, Race and Gender (20)

  • Reason and Belief: Topics in Epistemology (20)

  • Science and Nature (20)

  • Topics in Philosophy of Religion (20)

  • What there is: Issues in Ontology (20)

Entry requirements


Applicants should normally have one of the following:

  • A non-law bachelor’s degree (from a UK university or recognised by the BSB if you wish to study the BPTC), or
  • A ‘stale’ law degree, where five or more years have elapsed since graduation, or
  • An academic or professional qualification at degree equivalent level

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate your English Language proficiency. For example, you should have IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all components.

If you intend to become a Solicitor

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has reduced its requirements for pre-authorisation this year. For details of the current arrangements, see the SRA website. You should pay special attention to the Character and Suitability section. If you think you may have a character or suitability issue, you may wish to clarify with the SRA before proceeding with the GDL.

See further details of our English Language requirement

USA,UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)




You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.