Get ready to study Philosophy

If you’re thinking of applying to study Philosophy there are a range of resources available

Recommended reading

If you're thinking of applying to study Philosophy and haven't already done so, we strongly advise you to read some books on the subject, since nothing else can give you a realistic idea of what it's like.

Introductory reading

General background for students taking philosophy degrees (especially those who have not studied philosophy before):

  • Blackburn, Simon. Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (Oxford University Press)
  • Chrisman, Matthew (Editor); Pritchard, Duncan (Editor). Philosophy for Everyone, 2nd Edition (Routledge)
  • Craig, Edward. Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press)
  • Nagel, Thomas. What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy (Oxford University Press)
  • Warburton, Nigel. Philosophy: The Basics (Routledge)

Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment

  • Plato. The Republic (Oxford - World's Classics)
  • Aristole. The Nichomachean Ethics (Oxford - World's Classics)
  • Descartes. The Meditations (Oxford - World's Classics)
  • Warburton, Nigel.  Philosophy: The Classics (Routledge)


Morality, Rationality and Value

  • Evans, Katherine; Teichman, Jenny. Philosophy: A Beginner's Guide (Blackwell)
  • Mill, John Stuart. Utilitarianism
  • Nuttal, Jon. An Introduction to Philosophy (Polity)
  • Shafer-Landau, Russ. Ethical Theory: An Anthology, 2nd Edition (Wiley-Blackwell)
  • Wilson, Brendan. Simply Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press)

Free online courses

We have a number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) available including our ‘Introduction to Philosophy’ course which would be great way to find out more about the main areas of research in contemporary philosophy and prepare for your studies.

Introduction to Philosophy MOOC