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Philosophy and English (BA)

Joint Honours B.A. in

Philosophy and English

At University College Dublin (CAO code DN520)

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English, Drama and Film are disciplines that engage critically with written, spoken and performed media from early manuscripts to contemporary blogs. The activities of the UCD School of English are oriented toward core skills for work and life: critical thinking, excellent written communication, the ability to synthesize, organize and present complex ideas. Because of this orientation, the subject of English goes very well with the subject of philosophy. For philosophy has been all about critical thinking, communication and understanding complex ideas since its beginnings in Ancient Greece.

One part of the study of English literature is the theory of literature: what does it mean for a text to represent something? What does it mean for a reader to understand a text correctly? What kind of truth is there in a work of fiction? How real are our emotional responses to fiction? Can one be morally improved by fiction? What are the grounds of a poem's beauty? These are all philosophical questions. More broadly, philosophy asks the most fundamental questions about who we are and about what we are doing here.

There is also a tradition of the two subjects being of equal interest to a given individual: the novels of Dostoyevsky and Camus and the plays of Sophocles are full of philosophical themes; De Beauvoir and Sartre and Iris Murdoch wrote philosophy books as well as novels; Nietzsche's and Kierkegaard's philosophical works have unquestionable literary style; and of course Shakespeare easily straddles both disciplines.

Come to University College Dublin to study this inspiring combination.

Degree structure. The two disciplines are studied side by side over three years. Alternatively, there are opportunities to study abroad in third year and make it a four-year B.A. International degree.

Available modules include:

English Philosophy
  • Literary Genres
  • Critical Theory
  • Romanticism
  • Writing the Body
  • Experimental Poetry
  • Twentieth-Century Drama
  • Gender, Culture & Society
  • Masculinities and Manhood
  • Reading Joyce
  • Making Shakespeare
  • The Modern City in Literature
  • Climate and Environment in Global Literature
  • Contemporary Dystopian Fiction
  • Ethics
  • Critical Thinking
  • Existentialism and Humanism
  • Philosophy and Literature
  • Nietzsche
  • Feminism and Gender
  • Applied Ethics
  • Art & Society
  • Philosophy of Interpretation
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Knowledge & Scepticism
  • Phil. of Mental Disorder
  • Phil. of Autobiography

For more information, please contact: philosophy@ucd.ie

See the Arts and Humanities homepage

And see the webpages of the constituent schools:

UCD School of Philosophy

Fifth Floor -- 510D, Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
E: philosophy@ucd.ie