Our undergraduate programme offers a diverse, balanced curriculum that incorporates Eastern and Western philosophical traditions.
Our curriculum aims to:
- give students a strong liberal arts education,
- prepare them for advanced work in philosophy, and
- train them in critical thinking as well as written and oral communications skills applicable to a wide range of professions.
In addition to understanding the central issues of philosophy, our students should be able to grasp the contemporary relevance of these issues and bring philosophical reflection to bear on the things that matter in life.
Major features of our programme:
1. Core learning activities:
- written assignments
- interactive small-group tutorials
- oral presentations
- reading groups
We highly encourage students to participate in class and tutorial discussions, through which they can raise critical questions, comment on others’ presentations, put forward their original ideas, and respond to challenges.
2. Language of instruction:
- Courses in Chinese Philosophy are taught mainly in Chinese.
- Other courses on philosophy are taught bilingually (Chinese/English) or in English.
- Tutorials are designed to encourage students to take a more active part by giving presentations (individual or group) and engaging in discussions.
- A tutorial is a small group of around 6 to 10 students guided by either the course teacher or a teaching assistant (TA, a full-time tutor or a postgraduate student of the Department).
- Students will usually take turn to give a presentation based on an assigned reading, which is followed by comments from other students and group discussion.
- Most philosophy courses take the form of a two-hour lecture every week plus a biweekly two-hour tutorial session.
4. Student-run learning activities:
- Our students take the initiative to organize a variety of learning activities, such as out-class study or reading groups, with the support of TAs or teachers.
- We subsidize such activities to encourage students’ self-learning.
- Study or reading groups are held both during the term and more often during the summer vacation.
- The research library in the Department provides better facilities and a convenient venue for such activities.
5. The number of philosophy courses to take:
- Students majoring in philosophy need to take 10 required courses and at least 11 elective courses, in addition to the University Core and Faculty Package courses.
- For elective courses, students should take at least 2 courses from each of the three major elective areas: Chinese/Eastern Philosophy, Western Philosophy, and Philosophical Problems.
The design allows students to concentrate on areas of their own choice while receiving a well-rounded training in different philosophical traditions or across different disciplines. We hope to nurture broad-minded students who will become inquisitive life-long learners.
The following link gives a summary of course requirements and course selection pattern for major programme in Philosophy.
6. Capstone course:
- The Capstone course is a required course to be taken in Year 4.
- Each student will undertake an individual research project under the guidance of a supervisor, and submit a thesis by the end of the course.
- We encourage students to choose a topic of their own interest, be it purely philosophical or interdisciplinary.
- This one-on-one course provides final-year students with an opportunity to integrate and reflect on their learning, and to get prepared for postgraduate studies or careers in various fields.
- We have been offering the annual Internship Programme for undergraduate students since 2014.
- We work with our alumni of broad professional backgrounds to arrange placement opportunities in a wide variety of fields, such as culture, publishing, advertising, movie and television, theatre, education, and so on.
- Participating students not only gain valuable working experience, but also develop skills and networks beneficial to future career development.
- They will also receive travel and meals allowance plus subsidy on daily expenses.
- A briefing session is held annually, during which alumni in-charge and student representatives will share their experience.