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The bachelor's degree in philosophy provides a basic orientation in the field of philosophy from a historical and systematic point of view. Students get to know the historical development of philosophy as well as questions and methods of practical and theoretical philosophy. In addition, in the form of overview lectures and exemplary processing of philosophical problems in small exercise groups, the course conveys the ability to philosophize independently with the necessary methodological and analytical skills.

Research and teaching at the Institute for Philosophy focus on epistemology and philosophy of science, ethics and political philosophy, metaphysics and philosophy of language, the history of philosophy, cultural and social philosophy as well as the philosophy of mind and cognition. The philosophy at Heinrich Heine University combines in an outstanding way a large variety of represented disciplines and methods with cross-institute research interests, which are expressed in joint projects and colloquia.

Since philosophy is offered as part of a bachelor's degree, individual priorities can be set in the philosophy course by choosing a supplementary subject, for example by combining philosophy with a philology, history or linguistics.

In a first approach, the philosophy can be divided into three large areas, which stand alongside each other on an equal footing and complement each other.

The Theoretical Philosophy deals with the possibilities and the limits of knowledge of the structure of consciousness and the mind as well as their relationship to the body in particular and to matter in general, or with the metaphysical question of what holds the world together at heart.

The Practical Philosophy deals with human action in the broadest sense, for example, with the question of what is good or just as political institutions can be legitimized, or what responsibilities groups or communities belongs as a whole.

The history of philosophy deals with the genesis of philosophical problems and the linguistic and historical requirements that flow into every theory formation. The examination of the philosophy of Plato and the pre-Socratics through Descartes and Kant to the present also provides a rich vocabulary with which problems can be described and analyzed in a differentiated manner.

Philosophizing is learned concretely in lectures, seminars and exercises. Lectures provide a broad overview of various factual debates, research fields and epochs in the history of philosophy. Seminars offer space for critical and constructive discussions. You dedicate yourself to specific texts or topics that are intensively analyzed over the course of a semester. Exercises in small groups serve as an example of practicing basic skills, such as scientific work or arguing, in small groups.


The contents of the philosophy course are divided into three consecutive study sections and arranged in modules, each consisting of two or three content-related events. In the preparatory modules of the first year of study, the historical and systematic basics of the subject are taught and logical and argumentative skills are practiced. They each include a lecture / seminar and a corresponding exercise. The logic module is compulsorily completed by all Bachelor students with a final examination in the form of a written test. Students in the core subject take two more final exams, and in the supplementary subject one more final exam.

In the basic and advanced modules of the second and third year of study, the content is deepened in the three major areas of philosophy: 

  • Theoretical Philosophy
  • Practical philosophy
  • History of philosophy 

Each area has a basic module and an advanced module. Basic modules consist of a lecture and two other events. All three basic modules are each concluded with an examination, which is exemplarily tied to the content of an event. It should be noted that final examinations in the basic modules can only be taken after the modules of the preparatory course have been fully studied.

Advanced modules consist of two courses, whereby each module is concluded with an examination that is based on the content of an event. Examinations in the advanced modules are weighted twice when calculating the overall grade. It should be noted that final exams in the advanced modules can only be taken once the corresponding basic module has been fully studied. An examination in the history of philosophy  advanced module  can only be taken once the history of philosophy  basic module has been  completed.

In the Institute's Philosophical Colloquium, there is the opportunity to discuss topics from all areas of philosophy with speakers and to deal with the positions of domestic and foreign guest speakers. Research colloquia on theoretical and practical philosophy serve to test new research approaches and present current research activities. 


Entry requirements are general or relevant subject-specific higher education entrance qualification and a good knowledge of English. The BA course can only be started in the winter semester.

In addition, you are expected to be willing to do a lot of thorough reading in German and English, to acquire specialist philosophical terminology and to critically question your own supposedly fixed beliefs again and again.

The bachelor's degree in philosophy conveys the fundamentals of the subject with a special emphasis on promoting argumentative competence and the application of analytical thinking to specific problem areas. It also provides the specialist knowledge necessary for further studies. It aims at the acquisition of competences that are of decisive importance for the successful continuation of the course as well as for a professional practice that is taken up after the acquisition of the Bachelor degree. In addition, the course should enable students to use philosophical expertise to cope with specific life and practical problems.


The philosophy course, like almost all university courses, does not constitute a direct professional qualification. However, it conveys a broad spectrum of methodological, analytical and linguistic knowledge and skills that are increasingly in demand in the world of work. The ability to grasp problems quickly, to develop complex interrelationships and to present solutions with language skills is valued in a wide variety of industries. Philosophers are particularly characterized by the fact that they are able to logically penetrate confusing situations and challenges and to develop alternative approaches and solutions.

  • Non-university education, especially adult education
  • Science management and science communication
  • Public relations
  • Business consulting and coaching
  • Management and support of cultural institutions and media houses
  • Advice and management of associations, clubs and foundations
  • Politics and policy advice
  • Marketing and journalism

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