Philosophy (2021)

Philosophy exposes and addresses problems, including ethical problems, problems about science, logical problems and problems about the nature of reality.

Philosophy is available as a first major for the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSocSc). Philosophy may also be taken as a second major or minor in other undergraduate degrees, subject to approval of the Division in which the student is enrolled.

To complete Philosophy as a single major for the BA and BSocSc, students must gain 135 points from papers listed for Philosophy, including 105 points above 100 level, and 60 points above 200 level.

To complete Philosophy as part of a double major for the BA, BSocSc or other undergraduate degree, students must gain 120 points from papers listed for Philosophy, including 90 points above 100 level, and 45 points above 200 level.

To complete a minor in Philosophy, students must complete 60 points from the papers listed for the Philosophy major, including at least 30 points above 100 level.


On this page


  • Prescriptions for the GradCert(Phil) and GradDip(Phil)

    A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Philosophy at an advanced level in their first degree.

    For further details, contact the Division of Arts, Law, Psychology and Social Sciences Office.

  • Prescriptions for the PGCert(Phil), PGDip(Phil), BA(Hons), BSocSc(Hons), MA and MSocSc

    To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in graduate Philosophy papers, a student should normally have at least a B average in either the best three of their 300 level Philosophy papers or all their undergraduate Philosophy papers.

    To complete a BA(Hons) or BSocSc(Hons) in Philosophy, students must gain 120 points at 500 level, including at least 30 points in research (normally PHILO591) and at least 30 points from papers listed for Philosophy.

    To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MA or MSocSc in Philosophy, a student should have completed either:

    a) a BA or BSocSc with a major in Philosophy with at least a B grade average across the 300 level papers, or for a qualification considered by the Academic Board to be equivalent, or

    b) a BA(Hons) or BSocSc(Hons) in Philosophy (or equivalent) with at least second class hounours (second division).

    Completion requirements for the MA or MSocSc in Philosophy vary according to admission criteria:

    Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including PHILO588 and either a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis or a 60 point dissertation.

    Students admitted under b) above must complete a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis and a further 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and a further 60 points from approved 500 level papers.

    To be considered for enrolment in a dissertation or thesis, all students must have completed at least 60 points from approved 500 level papers and have gained at least a B average to be admitted to PHILO592, at least a B+ average to be admitted to PHILO593 and at least an A- average to be admitted to PHILO594.

  • Prescriptions for the MPhil

    The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

  • Prescriptions for the PhD

    The Doctor of Philosophy is a three year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

  • 100 Level

    Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
    PHILO102Introduction to Logic15.021B (Hamilton)
    An introduction to symbolic logic, including formal testing of arguments for validity in propositional logic and predicate logic.
    PHILO103Critical Thinking15.021A (Online), 21B (Online) & 21G (Online)
    This paper helps students to engage critically with the sorts of arguments encountered both inside and outside the University.
    PHILO106Social and Moral Philosophy15.021A (Hamilton) & 21A (Online)
    An investigation of contemporary moral and social issues from a practical ethics perspective. Issues may include abortion, animal welfare, discrimination, euthanasia, freedom of speech, genetic enhancement, privacy, punishment, and your online life.
    PHILO150The Big Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy15.021B (Hamilton) & 21B (Tauranga)
    An introduction to philosophy that investigates a range of big questions. The big questions may include: does God exist?, does my morality apply to you?, do we have free will?, what is the meaning of life?, and who am I?.
  • 200 Level

    Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
    MAORI202Ngā Iho Matua: Māori Philosophy15.021A (Hamilton)
    This paper examines the philosophical underpinnings of seminal tikanga Maori concepts, and their influence both historically and in contemporary Maori culture.
    PHILO204Wisdom, Language, and Communication15.021A (Hamilton)
    Is language the seat of all knowledge and wisdom? The aim of this paper is to explore growing philosophical debates in epistemology and the philosophy of language.
    PHILO215Moral and Political Philosophy: A Historical Introduction15.021B (Hamilton)
    This paper introduces students to central issues in Moral and Political Philosophy, using texts from historical figures in philosophy to study questions about virtue, happiness, justice, liberty, democracy, tyranny, feminism, art, censorship, and moral education.
    PHILO217Environmental Ethics15.021H (Online)
    A study of ethical questions about the relation of humans to the rest of the natural world, including the attribution of value and rights to the non-human world and ethical issues in environment and development.
    PHILO218Ethics at Work15.021G (Online)
    A study of ethics as it relates to business and professional practice in New Zealand including material specifically for interest groups: eg computer science, psychology and social work.
    PHILO225Happiness and Wellbeing15.021A (Hamilton)
    Drawing on ancient wisdom and modern science, this paper investigates the meaning and value of happiness, and the role it plays in making our lives go well for us.
  • 300 Level

    Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
    EDSOC300Māori Knowledge and Western Impacts in Education15.021A (Online)
    This paper explores comparisons between key Western and Maori philosophies. It considers how Maori and Western philosophies respectively describe the self's relationship with thought and knowledge in the context of education.
    PHILO309Experiments in Ethics15.021B (Hamilton)
    The paper uses thought experiments to introduce students to central issues in contemporary moral philosophy. The issues may include: What makes an action right? Are there any absolute duties? Is morality entirely subjective? Is it possible to have moral knowledge? How can we be sure our moral judgments are right?
    PHILO310Mind, Matter and Consciousness15.021A (Hamilton)
    Are mental states just brain states? If not, what are they? Can we account for consciousness in purely physical terms? PHILO310 covers these central questions in the Philosophy of Mind.
    PHILO315Democracy, Justice & Equality15.021A (Hamilton)
    This course provides students with an in-depth introduction to contested topics in modern political philosophy. Students will be expected to analyse the theoretical basis of these positions, and to consider the practical consequences of them.
    PHILO317Environmental Ethics15.021H (Online)
    Do we have moral obligations toward nature? How should human beings treat the natural world? This paper examines questions such as these in light of our current ethical theories.
    PHILO318Ethics at Work15.021G (Online)
    This is an applied ethics paper focussing on the professions, research and business. It examines contemporary issues relevant to a wide range of occupations graduates might enter.
    PHILO355The Fundamental Structure of the World15.021B (Hamilton)
    What is there? What makes up the furniture of reality? What about holes, chairs, possible worlds, fictional characters, musical works, temporal parts, races, or genders? These are central questions within metaphysics that we explore in this paper. We also explore higher-level questions: what is it to exist, and how should we go abo...
    PHILO390Directed Study15.021A (Hamilton), 21B (Hamilton), 21D (Hamilton), 21G (Hamilton) & 21H (Hamilton)
    This paper offers students an opportunity to undertake advanced research on a specific topic of philosophical interest.
  • 500 Level

    Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
    PHILO533Moral and Political Philosophy15.021A (Hamilton)
    This paper will cover a range of current topics in moral and political philosophy. The exact content will be guided by choices made in class, but will include detailed analysis of foundational problems in modern political philosophy, and exploration of the intersection of moral and political philosophy in practice.
    PHILO536The Philosophy of Mind15.021A (Hamilton)
    In this paper we will discuss recent philosophical work on issues concerning consciousness and intentionality.
    PHILO560Special Topic: Virtue Ethics15.021B (Hamilton)
    This paper focuses on the work of contemporary virtue ethicists, discussing questions related to the nature of virtue, right action, and human flourishing.
    PHILO588Foundations of Philosophical Research30.021A (Hamilton)
    In this paper we engage in focused analysis of a range of philosophical topics relevant to the research goals of students. The paper enhances students' knowledge of long standing and contemporary debates in philosophy. Students cultivate their research skills through seminar development and presentation, and gain a grounding in phi...
    PHILO589Directed Study15.021A (Hamilton), 21B (Hamilton), 21G (Hamilton) & 21H (Hamilton)
    Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
    PHILO591Dissertation30.021A (Hamilton), 21B (Hamilton) & 21D (Hamilton)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
    PHILO592Dissertation60.021X (Hamilton)
    A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
    PHILO593Philosophy Thesis90.021X (Hamilton)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
    PHILO594Philosophy Thesis120.021X (Hamilton)
    An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
  • 800 Level

    Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
    PHILO800Philosophy MPhil Thesis120.021X (Hamilton)
    No description available.
  • 900 Level

    Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
    PHILO900Philosophy PhD Thesis120.021I (Hamilton) & 21X (Hamilton)
    No description available.

2021 Catalogue of Papers information current as of : 23 October 2020 11:20am

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