Philosophical activity at the University of Wollongong is spread across two Schools in the Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities: The School of Humanities and Social Inquiry (HSI) and the School of Liberal Arts (SOLA). This site is devoted to philosophy in HSI.

What you will study

Core subjects will teach you about: ethics; politics; mind; self; knowledge; science; the relevance of philosophy to the wider world and the workplace. Elective areas of study include logic; the meaning of life; philosophy in film and literature; global and environmental ethics; bioethics; political philosophy; imagination and emotion; and health and happiness.

Studying for a UOW degree in Philosophy will train you in logic and argumentation

It will enlarge and enrich your conception of what is possible. You will acquire the intellectual discipline needed to challenge assumptions that frame the way we think about the world and how we should behave in it. You will learn to bring philosophical considerations to bear on practical problems in order to make informed decisions about important issues such as: social justice; free speech; global poverty; climate change; animal welfare; humane psychotherapy; education and expertise.

A philosophical education is valuable in just about any line of work. It develops your persuasive powers; critical thinking, problem solving abilities, and communication skills. A 2016 report by the Foundation for Young Australians reveals that these skills are in great demand today in professions that require people who can stand back and think with an open mind. Past UOW Philosophy graduates have found work in such diverse careers as: administration; art and design; business development; community and social services; consulting; education; entrepreneurship; healthcare; human resources; IT; legal; management; media; program and project research.

Career Outcomes

Philosophy’s specialised training instils the enterprise skills and attributes that young people need today – rare skills that all sorts of employers highly value (The New Basics, Foundation for Young Australians, 2016). Philosophy teaches you to clearly and systematically express your ideas, to develop logical arguments and to carefully use examples and analogies. A philosophical education develops your communication skills, persuasive powers, and problem solving and writing abilities.

Degrees that Pay You Back – The Wall Street Journal - A survey of 1.2 million people revealed that graduates in Philosophy earned 103.5% more, compared to other undergraduate disciplines, about 10 years post-commencement.

Honours and postgraduate studies

You can add value to your undergraduate degree by conducting research on philosophical topics through Honours, thus making yourself more marketable for the world of work or preparing yourself for an academic career as a professional philosopher. We offer opportunities for enhanced undergraduate and postgraduate study through Honours and Higher Research Degrees – BRes, MRes, MPhil and PhD. For more information, contact the Discipline Leader for Philosophy or a staff member working in your area of interest.

Staff specialisations

Dr Patrick McGivern works across Logic, Philosophy of Science, and Epistemology.  Dr David Neil works in Ethics, Applied Ethics, and Biomedical Ethics. Dr Nick Brancazio is a postdoctoral student. 

In studying Philosophy in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry you will be joining a department dedicated to not only teaching Philosophy but ensuring that you understand and enjoy where your philosophical training can take you.