School of Humanities and Social Inquiry

Philosophy @ UOW 

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.

Dan Hutto

Message from Discipline Leader

"Philosophy teaches you how to think, not what to think. As lovers of wisdom, philosophers are deeply, personally invested in their quest for truth and enlightenment. There are no questions that philosophers will not consider. How should we live and treat others? Do our lives have meaning? Does science have all the answers? In studying philosophy at UOW you will explore the most fundamental topics, ask the deepest questions and –rigorously and systematically– scrutinize the answers given by the best minds down the ages." -Professor Daniel Hutto

Undergraduate studies - 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 media, art and society; logic; the meaning of life; philosophy in film and literature; global and environmental ethics; bioethics; political philosophy; narrative psychology and selfhood; imagination and emotion; health and happiness; and Eastern philosophy.

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 specialisms

Prof Shaun Gallagher (Professorial Fellow) specializes in Phenomenology, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophical Psychology, Embodiment, Intersubjectivity, Hermeneutics, and the Philosophy of Time.
Prof Daniel D. Hutto specializes in Philosophy of Psychology/Mind and the Foundations of Cognitive Science.
Dr Michael Kirchhoff is an expert in Philosophy of Mind, Cognition and Phenomenology.
Dr Patrick McGivern is an expert in Logic, Philosophy of Science, and Epistemology.
Dr Keith Horton is an expert in Moral Philosophy.
Dr David Neil is an expert in Ethics, Applied Ethics, and Biomedical Ethics.
Dr Glenda Satne Vice-Chancellor Post-doctoral Fellow, specializes in Philosophy of Mind, especially focusing on intentionality, social cognition and shared agency.

Philosophers at the University of Wollongong are active researchers who regularly publish on the subjects that they teach, exposing students to a range of current ideas about complex problems. We regularly host workshops, conferences, and a visiting speaker series, giving students access to influential thinkers from around Australia and abroad. The excellent results and outcomes of our research are reflected in the Australian Research Council 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia, receiving a rating of 4, indicating that our research is 'above world standard'.

In studying Philosophy at UOW you will be joining a strong, vibrant department dedicated to not only teaching Philosophy but ensuring that you understand and enjoy where your philosophical training can take you.

Philosophy research

Last reviewed: 3 September, 2018