Philosophy at UWE
22 Jun 2020

We are disappointed to learn of a recent decision by UWE to close their undergraduate level philosophy courses after the current intake.

The philosophy department at the University of the West of England has a strong research and teaching profile and is extremely distinctive – it is one of the few in the UK to offer a wide range of teaching in continental philosophy, along with a strong interest in social and political philosophy, feminism, and ethics of technology.

This decision by the UWE executive is representative of a general trend toward dismantling the academic humanities, and making philosophy a subject that is unavailable at undergraduate level, with ramifications on postgraduate level study.

But in particular it threatens the eventual closure of a unique department which a group of dedicated staff—including long-time Urbanomic friend and author Iain Hamilton Grant—have devoted a great deal of energy and time nurturing, and which is irreplaceable. UWE’s depreciation of philosophy shows a disdain for the work of these staff, the students who have benefitted from their teaching, and those who could have done so in the future.

This is part of a now familiar process in UK universities to move toward the removal of philosophy from the curriculum. Something that should be a matter of concern for all who believe that philosophy has a role to play in contemporary society, that it should be available to those entering higher education, and that the research and teaching at UWE is exemplary of committed and engaged philosophical thinking.

To voice your support for the continuation of UWE Philosophy as a programme, and to register your disagreement with this decision, you can email:

Professor Steve West, Vice Chancellor of UWE:
Dr Marc Griffiths, Pro-Vice Chancellor & Executive Dean:
Professor Amanda Coffey, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost:

There is also a petition on initiated by students at the department.