The main events of the BUPS year are our bi-annual conference, which hosts speakers from among the national undergraduate philosophy community, and well-known keynote speakers from across the world.
The conference is an opportunity for undergraduate philosophers to present their research to other undergraduate philosophers, and to network with students from philosophy departments across the UK.
Tickets for the Summer conference as well as journal copies can be purchased in advance here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens at the conference?
Registration is followed by morning tea, giving delegates the opportunity to meet before the presentations commence. Each session is around 45 minutes, with roughly 20 minutes of presentation followed by 15 minutes of questions, and is followed by an opportunity for more informal discussion over tea.
Do you have a dress code?
No, informal dress is fine, but please make sure you’re sporting your delegate tag, which you’ll be given at registration.
Are all sessions compulsory?
Out of respect for those who’ve worked hard to prepare their papers we ask that everyone attend each conference session.
Is the schedule fixed?
Yes, and it’s a great help if you can make sure you’re in the session venue a few minutes before each paper is due to start.
Will I be sent the papers before the conference?
Yes, you’ll get a digital copy of the British Journal of Undergraduate Philosophy containing the papers to be delivered at this conference (as well as selected papers submitted directly for publication). It’s published around a month before the conference, giving you the chance to get to grips with the papers.
What’s the atmosphere of the conference like?
Collaborative. Not only is the conference a great opportunity for undergraduate philosophers to meet, discuss philosophy, and network with philosophers from across the UK, but it’s also a chance to test out your ideas in front of your peers (that’s why we pick only the best submitted papers). The conference gives delegates the chance to be introduced to new ideas, and speaker the opportunity to have those ideas tested out (by c.200 keen young philosophers!).
What’s the procedure for each session?
The speaker will present their paper, and this will be followed by questions. You can indicate to the session chair that you have a question at any time after the respondent has finished speaking. The session chairs will queue up questions a few in advance, noting who wants to speak. So if you’ve got a question don’t be afraid to let the chair know by raising your hand, and they’ll come round to you in turn. Please ask the speakers your question only when the speaker prompts you to do so. We would also ask that you keep your question short and to the point, so that as many people as possible get a chance to speak.
What if I want to follow up my question at greater length?
If there are other people waiting to ask their question, please bear them in mind. If you can limit yourself to asking, say, one question and one follow-up question or clarification at a time, you’d be giving other people a chance to raise their concerns as well. You can always catch the author during one of the breaks – they’ll be around all weekend and will usually be delighted to discuss their work one-on-one. We try to keep the question-and-answer sessions moving, as we want to give everyone a chance to ask their question. We also want to give the speaker the opportunity to defend their thesis. That said, if there are no other hands going up towards the end of a paper session, feel free to use the time yourself.
Can I leave the event early?
We strongly discourage leaving early, but understand if travel arrangements make this necessary.
What is provided?
Lunch is provided (free) on both days, as well as tea and coffee in the mornings and during breaks.
What happens in the evening?
There are usually drinks, followed by dinner. See a specific conference for details.
Where can I stay overnight?
We are usually able to provide limited accommodation, and there are many good and reasonably priced hotels and B&Bs in the area.
How do I organise travel (and/or accommodation) with other people from my university?
If you wish to travel with a party of delegates from your university then get in touch with the BUPS representative for your university, who’ll be attending the conference.
How much is a ticket?
Tickets are £15, which includes lunch on both days, and tea and coffee throughout.
How do I book a ticket?
You can book a ticket for the forthcoming conference through Paypal (a link will be provided once tickets become available).