University of Otago emblem    Department of Philosophy

Undergraduate qualifications in philosophy offered at Otago


BA in philosophyBACHELOR OF ARTS IN PHILOSOPHY: The BA is a general purpose degree which stresses critical thinking, analytical ability, strong interpersonal skills, research skills, breadth of knowledge, ethical and political understanding and much besides. A BA in Philosophy is usually a 20 paper degree completed within three years. It may include a 5 paper minor in another subject from Arts and Music, Commerce or Science. The Philosophy BA is a very flexible degree. To find out about tailoring the degree to suit your aims and interests (including paper substitutions and double majors) see the BA degree regulations and the Philosophy major regulations or talk to a Philosophy or divisional course advisor. See Papers for a list of our courses.


PHILOSOPHY AS PART OF A DOUBLE DEGREE: The Batchelor of Arts in Philosophy is often taken in conjunction with other degrees. Common double degrees include the BA BSc and the BA LLB. Combining two degrees allows you to double count some papers and hence to complete both in a shorter time. It will also help you to stand out from the crowd as a person with a much broader skill-set.


minor in philosophyTHE PHILOSOPHY MINOR: A Philosophy minor can be added to any of the university’s major degrees (e.g. the BA, BSc, BCom etc.). It will give you an understanding philosophical reasoning and allow you to explore a particular aspect of philosophical theory and practice. The minor consists of five PHIL papers at least three of which must be above 100-level including at least one at 300 level.


PPE majorTHE PPE MAJOR: Philosophy, Politics and Economics is a conjoint BA major which cultivates a range of logical, analytical and mathematical skills which are in demand among employers. It incorporates an attractive and intellectually stimulating combination of three long-established and influential disciplines. It also exposes students to three different approaches to understanding (and perhaps improving) the social world. Career opportunities exist in a wide range of businesses, government departments and NGOs, both in New Zealand and around the world. The PPE BA allows some flexibility (see the PPE major regulations), but a typical PPE is pictured at right.


PPE majorBACHELOR OF ARTS AND SCIENCE: The BASc enables graduates to present themselves to employers and the world at large as people who have real expertise in both the sciences and the humanities. But it takes less time than would be required for a double degree. The BASc requires students to complete two major subjects: an arts major subject and a science (or applied science) major subject. Although the BASc is normally a four-year degree, students who are prepared to take on a higher workload can finish in three and a half years. Students can also include a minor subject in the programme. Click here and scroll down for a short video about the Bachelor of Arts and Science degree.


More information on all qualifications offered by the department is available here.