The Philosophy Group offers a range of programmes to students at NTU. Undergraduate tracks include the BA (Honours), second major and minor programmes in philosophy. Graduate tracks include the MA and PhD programmes in philosophy.

We also offer courses that can be taken as electives by NTU students outside our philosophy programmes.

What is Philosophy?

The word “philosophy” originates from the Greek word φιλοσοφία (philosophia). Literally, "philosophy" means "love of wisdom": “philo” means to love, and “sophia” means wisdom. 

As an academic discipline, philosophy is concerned with the study of fundamental problems, such as those about the nature of knowledge, reality, existence, mind, language, science, and morality. It involves the broad and systematic critical questioning of the foundations underlying other disciplines.

Some typical questions philosophers ask are:

  • What kind of world do we live in?
  • Is there a God?
  • Is there an external world?
  • What kind of life should we live?
  • Do human beings act freely?
  • Where do moral obligations come from?
  • How do we construct a just society?
  • Where does knowledge come from and what are the limitations of our knowledge?
Philosophers are often concerned with specific questions that have direct applications in other fields:
  • Do the results of quantum mechanics force us to view our relations to objects differently?
  • Do animals have rights?
  • What is the justification for using military force?
  • Is euthanasia morally wrong?
  • What kind of research ethics should medical professionals observe in their research?
While Western philosophers are in general characterized by their analytic ability, Asian thinkers are characterized by their emphasis on self-transformation and their practical concerns for the world they live in. This is particularly the case in Chinese philosophy. Due to the comprehensive concerns of Chinese thinkers, the study of Chinese philosophy is intimately linked with the studies of Chinese literature and Chinese history.

Curriculum Structure 

To graduate, students must complete two categories of requirements, totaling at least 128 Academic Units (AUs):  

A. Major Requirements (66 AUs) 
B. Interdisciplinary Collaborative Core (ICC)

  • Common Core (17 AUs)
  • Foundational Core (10 AUs)

C. Broadening & Deepening Electives (35 AUs)

Curriculum Structure | AY2021-2022 Intake
A. Major RequirementsB. Interdisciplinary Collaborative Core (ICC)C. Broadening & Deepening Electives (BDE)Total (AUs)
CorePrescribed ElectivesFYP or Two HY4000 level coursesCommon CoresFoundational Cores


Duration of study 

The curriculum is designed as a four-year course. Well-prepared students can complete the degree in three and a half years. 


The requirements for a Philosophy major consist of 3 components:

A1. Philosophy Core Courses (21 AUs)
A2. Philosophy Prescribed Electives (37 AUs)
A3. Graduation Project (FYP) or 2 HY4000 level courses (8 AUs)
     (The two HY4000 level courses are for those who are not eligible to do FYP.)

A1. Philosophy Core (Compulsory) Courses (21 AUs)

Course Code and TitleAUs
HY1001 Introduction to Philosophy3

HY1002 Symbolic Logic (Previous title - Logic and Paradoxes)

HY2002 Moral Philosophy3

HY2003 Introduction to Chinese Philosophy


HY2005 Political Philosophy (Previous title - Justice, Society, and the State) OR HY2010 Ancient Philosophy (Previous title - Ancient Philosophy: The Examined Life)


HY2012 Early Modern Philosophy (Previous title - Modern Philosophy: Reason and Experience) OR HY3011 Philosophy of Mind (Previous title - Minds and Machines)


HY3010 Philosophy of Science OR HY3012 Philosophy of Technology OR HY3018 Epistemology



  • Philosophy major​ must take ONE of HY2005 Political Philosophy OR HY2010 Ancient Philosophy
  • Philosophy major​ must take ONE of HY2012 Early Modern Philosophy OR HY3011 Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophy major​ must take ONE of HY3010 Philosophy of Science OR HY3012 Philosophy of Technology OR HY3018 Epistemology

A2. Philosophy Prescribed Electives Courses (37 AUs)

Category A: Prescribed Electives 
Choose 7 courses – At least FOUR (4) from HY4000 level courses AUs
HY2008 Environmental Ethics 3
HY2015 Philosophy of Well-Being3
HY2016 Friendship 3
​HY2025 ​Medical Ethics 3​
HY2026​ ​Business Ethics ​​3
HY2027Popular Culture and Philosophy3
HY2028Food Ethics3
HY2903​ Introduction to Chinese Philosophy​ ​3
HY2905Political Philosophy3
HY2910Ancient Philosophy3
HY2912Early Modern Philosophy3
HY3001 Existentialism
HY3002Philosophy of Medicine3
HY3003 World Religions 3
HY3004 Reason and Faith 3
​HY3014 ​19th Century Continental Philosophy ​3
​HY3015 ​20th Century Continental Philosophy ​3
​HY3019 ​Consequentialism
​HY3020 ​Deontology
HY3021​ Philosophy of Race and Gender​ ​​3
HY3022Comparative Philosophy: East and West3
​HY3024 ​Virtue Ethics ​3
HY3025Philosophy and Literature3
HY3910​ ​Philosophy of Science ​3
HY3911Philosophy of Mind3
HY3912​ Philosophy of Technology​ ​3
HY4002 Knowledge and Reality 4
​HY4003 ​Advanced Epistemology 4​
HY4005 ​History of Analytic Philosophy 4​
HY4006 Philosophy of Physics ​4
​HY4007 ​Aesthetics 
​HY4008 ​Advanced Moral Philosophy
​HY4009 ​Value Theory 
​HY4010 ​Neo-Confucianism
​HY4011 ​Moral Psychology 4​
HY4013​ Language and Being​
​HY4015 ​Philosophical Methodologies ​4
HY4021 Practical Rationality 4
HY4023​ Metaethics​ 4​
​HY4024 ​Metaphysics 4​
HY4025​ Ethics and Public Policy​ ​4
HY4026Social Epistemology4
​HY4027 ​Perception ​4
HY4037​ ​Kant ​4
HY4038Science, Technology, and Lifeworld4
HY4110 Special Topics in Philosophy of Science 4
HY4111 Special Topics in Ethics 4
HY4112 Special Topics in Philosophy 4
HY4113 Special Topics in Chinese Philosophy 4
HY4114​ Special Topics in Logic​ ​4
​HY4116  ​Phenomenology 4​
HY4118 Independent Study I 4
HY4119 Independent Study II 4
HY4120​ Special Topics in Philosophy of Science II​ 4​
HY4121​ Special Topics in Ethics II​ ​4
HY4122 ​ Special Topics in Philosophy II​ ​4
HY4123 ​ Special Topics in Chinese Philosophy II​ 4​
HY4124Special Topics in Logic II4
HY4130​ Special Topics in Philosophy of Science III​ ​4
HY4131​ Special Topics in Ethics III​ 4​
HY4132​ Special Topics in Philosophy III​ 4​
HY4133​ Special Topics in Chinese Philosophy III​ ​4
HY4134Philosophical Issues of Confucianism4

Category B: Interdisciplinary Prescribed Electives
Choose 4 courses AUs 
HC3002​ History of Chinese Thought​ 3​
HA1001 ​Introduction to International Relations and Foreign Policy ​3
HA1002 Introduction to Political Theory 3
HA2005 ​ Contemporary Political Theory​ 3​
HA2011​ Cost-Benefit Analysis in Public Policy​ 3​
HA3001Political Analysis of Public Policy​ 3​
HA3020 ​ Justice 3​
HA3022The Origins of Modern Political Theory3
HA4013Advanced Topics in Democratic Theory: Democracy & Division4
HA4019Methods in Political Theory4
HA4033Political Theory and Psychoanalysis4
HA4041Film & Political Theory4
HG1001​ Fundamentals of Linguistics (A): Mind and Meaning​ 3​
HG2002​ Semantics and Pragmatics​ 3​
HG2012​ Cognitive Linguistics​ 3​
HG2023​ Language and Gender​ 3​
HG4011Language and the Brain4
HG4015​ Psycholinguistics​ 4
HG4044Language Evolution​ ​4
HH1002Asia-Pacific in Global History: Pre-18003
HH2007Health and Illness in History3
HH2021Race, Gender, Class and Colonial Power3
HH3013 ​ Comparative History of Race Science​ 3​
HH3016 ​ History of Madness​ 3​
HH3032Science and Religion in History3
HH4005​ Culture and Heritage: Perspectives from History​ 4​
​HL1001 ​Introduction to the Study of Literature 3​​
HL2006 ​Modernism ​3
HL2007Contemporary Literature and Culture3
HL2024Approaches to Literature3
HL3001 ​Film Theory ​3
​HL3002 ​Film, Politics, and Ethics ​3
HL3003Film & Literature3
​HL3012 ​The Discourse of Love ​3
HL3016Gender and Sexuality Studies3
HL3038Theatre of the Absurd3
HL4010Feminist Studies4
HL4028 ​Science and Literature ​4
HL4042Being Human in Film and Literature4
HP2600 Cognitive Psychology 3
HP3201 ​Evolutionary Psychology ​3
HP3402 ​​Social Cognition ​3
HP3601  Human Memory ​3
HP3901 Cultural Psychology 3
​HS1001 ​Person and Society ​3
​HS1003 ​Social Problems in a Global Context ​3
​HS2003 ​Economy and Society ​3
HS2004 ​Culture, Self, and Identity ​3
HS2019 ​ Science, Technology, and Society ​ 3​
​HS3011 ​Power, Politics and the State ​3
MH1300 Foundations of Mathematics 4
MH2500 Probability and Introduction to Statistics 4
PH2101 Quantum Mechanics I 3
PH3101 Quantum Mechanics II 3

A3: HY4099 Graduation Project (FYP) or TWO (2) HY4000 level courses (8 AUs)​

You can find more information about FYP  here. FYP is compulsory for students with a CGPA of 3.90 and above. Those within holding band of 3.75 - 3.89 are allowed to opt-in to do FYP. Students who are not eligible for FYP must read TWO (2) additional HY4000 level courses to fulfil the 8 AUs requirement. To obtain a Honours (Highest Distinction) or Honours (Distinction), students have to read and complete FYP.


  • ICC-Common Core (17 AUs)
Course TitleAUs
Inquiry and Communication in an Interdisciplinary World2
Navigating the Digital World2
Ethics & Civics in a Multi-Cultural World2
Career and Entrepreneurial Development for the Future World
Science & Technology for Humanity3
Sustainability: Society, Economy & Environment
Healthy Living & Well-being3


  • ICC-Foundational Core (10 AUs)
Course TitleAUs
Effective Communication II2
Digital Literacy II3


  • Broadening & Deepening Electives (35 AUs)

There are no restrictions on the selection of courses to make up broadening & deepening electives. Students can choose any of the following:

- Complete a 2nd Major.
- Complete a Minor in another discipline.
- Earn AUs under an International Exchange programme.
- Any course offered by any School as long as the pre-requisites are satisfied​.