This is a specialist programme geared towards preparing you for higher research in ancient philosophy - partly through direct research training, and partly through modules taught by experts in their field in small-group seminars. Durham has a longstanding tradition of international excellence in the field of ancient philosophy, with several recent doctoral students having gone on to take up academic positions in the UK and abroad. The programme lasts for one year full-time (two years part-time).
You will take modules to a total of 180 or 190 credits. The structure of the course is as follows:
MA modules are 30 credits; you may substitute two 20-credit undergraduate modules for one MA module. You may also take up to 40 credits of modules offered by other Departments (subject to approval).
Not all modules will be offered every year, and new modules (both elective and core) are added regularly.
Optional modules are offered according to the current research interests of members of staff. In recent years, optional modules available in the Department have included:
The MA in Ancient Philosophy is principally conceived as a research training programme which aims to build on the skills in independent learning acquired in the course of the your first degree and enable you to undertake fully independent research at a higher level. Contact time with tutors for taught modules is typically a total of 5 hours per week (rising to 7 for someone beginning Latin or ancient Greek at this level), with an emphasis on small group teaching, and a structure that maximises the value of this time, and best encourages and focuses the your own independent study and preparation. On average, around 2 hours a week of other relevant academic contact (research seminars, dissertation supervision) is also available.
At the heart of the course is a module focused on the range of research methods and resources available to someone working in the field of Classics. This is run as a weekly class, with a mixture of lectures and student-led discussions. Three or four further elective modules deal with particular specialised subjects. You must choose one module involving work with a relevant foreign language (ancient or modern: beginners modules in each language and specialised text seminars for those who have already studied Greek and Latin are offered every year), and one dealing directly with research on ancient philosophy. All those offered will form part of the current research activity of the tutor taking the module. Numbers for each module are typically very small (often no more than five or six in a class). Typically, classes are two hours long and held fortnightly, and discussion is based on student presentations. (Modules for those beginning ancient Latin or Greek are typically more heavily subscribed, but their classes also meet more often: 3 hours per week.) All students write a 15,000-word dissertation, for which they receive an additional 5 hours of supervisory contact with an expert in their field of interest.
All staff teaching on the MA are available for consultation by students, and advertise office hours when their presence can be guaranteed. The MA Director acts as academic adviser to MA students, and is available as an additional point of contact, especially for matters concerning academic progress. MA students are strongly encouraged to attend the Department’s two research seminar series. Although not a formal (assessed) part of the MA, we aim to instil the message that engagement with these seminars across a range of subjects is part of the students’ development as researchers and ought to be viewed as essential to their programme. In addition, MA students are welcomed to attend and present at the ‘Junior Work-in-Progress’ seminar series organised by the PhD students in the Department. Finally, the student-run Classics Society regularly organises guest speakers – often very high-profile scholars from outside Durham.
The Institute of Philosophy offers a comprehensive range of BA, MA, Research Master and PhD degrees, all taught in English. Viewed collectively, our undergraduate and post-graduate degrees aim to familiarise students with the history of philosophy as well as with contemporary movements in analytic and continental philosophy so that they are able to engage with the fundamental areas of philosophical research. The Institute of Philosophy is proud to offer its students a broad philosophical education and a wide range of courses and seminars, as well as personalised study support and guidance.
The Research Master programme is primarily research-oriented and functions as a first step towards the doctoral programme. It focuses firmly on the development of high-level independent research. Your study programme is tailored to this goal. It allows you to concentrate on a particular field of study, supplemented by courses, seminars, and the oral defense of a research-based thesis.
The Research Master of Philosophy is a programme of 120 credits (2 years of full-time study). Students with an MA degree in philosophy are eligible for the Abridged Research Master of Philosophy programme of 60 credits. They in fact enter directly the second stage of the regular 2-year Research Master of Philosphy.
This is a programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
The research master programme offers a diversity of research topics and areas, in line with the research centres of the Institute of Philosophy; this diversity allows a student to focus on practically any key area/domain/period/figure in philosophy, while still promoting the comprehensiveness of the philosophical education students receive at the Institute.
Upon registration you select one out of the following eight majors:
The Major reflects your area of specialization and it includes both course work (specialised research seminars and courses) and individual research (Research Paper in the 1st stage of the 2-year programme, Research Master’s Thesis in the 2nd stage of the programme).
The Research Master’s Thesis has the format of a research article and should demonstrate your ability to conduct original research and eventually pursue doctoral studies. You are encouraged to present your thesis research to the international audience of fellow students, permanent teaching staff and young researchers associated with the institute at the yearly Graduate Student Conference. For any help with the writing process or preparing a presentation, you can turn to the HIW Writing Lab.
The Common Seminar equips you with skills and knowledge necessary for an academic career: formulating a good research proposal (for doctoral studies or financial aid); composing a CV or a grant application; academic publishing; giving a clear, well delivered presentation an international conference…
Students can use the Open Research Seminar as a platform for supervised reading groups of their own devising. Students can also join existing reading groups in the doctoral programme through this course and in this way become closely involved with research done in their research centre or the Institute of Philosophy more generally.
Philosophy has been taught at KU Leuven since its founding in 1425. Throughout the centuries, the university has remained an important and influential centre of philosophical thought, with a strong commitment to the international dimension of education. In more recent times, the Institute of Philosophy, established in 1889, has continued this august tradition and is now an internationally recognised centre of philosophical research and education.
The Institute of Philosophy is international in every sense of the word.
Most of our graduates aspire to an academic career and go on to obtain PhDs in Philosophy, either at the Institute of Philosophy or at universities abroad, even at such prestigious universities as Oxford, Yale, Princeton and New York University (NYU). After completing their PhD they eventually work as professors or researchers, and our placement records are very good.
Other graduates go on to careers in many different sectors, including: business, civil service, politics, education, publishing, media, the socio-cultural sector, journalism, academia and elsewhere. Many employers seek candidates who are not only well grounded in a specific field, but also able to handle the diverse challenges arising in a fast-paced workplace. Graduates in philosophy are well positioned to think clearly and respond effectively in the workplace.
The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme is situated in the curriculum of the Institute of Philosophy after the BA and MA. The MPhil programme is primarily research-oriented and functions as a first step towards the doctoral programme. The MPhil allows each student to concentrate on a particular field of study, supplemented by courses, seminars, and the oral defence of a research-based MPhil Thesis.
This is a programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a one-year advanced Master’s programme of 60 ECTS Credits. Applicants for the MPhil programme should have already obtained an MA degree in philosophy with good results or have an equivalent academic background.
The structure of the MPhil programme focuses firmly on the development of high-level independent research. Each student's study programme is tailored to this goal. Hence, there is a strong concentration on a number of fundamental research seminars and on the MPhil Thesis, during which specialised skills are developed. The research seminars are grouped into 5 "Majors", in line with the Institute of Philosophy's five research centres, which organise these seminars:
Upon registration the student chooses the Major which reflects the student's specialisation. The Major, comprising 2/3 of the student's programme, includes both course work and the MPhil Thesis. The MPhil Thesis should demonstrate the student's ability to conduct original research and eventually pursue doctoral studies.
Students are encouraged to present their thesis research to the international audience of fellow students, permanent teaching staff and young researchers associated with the institute at the yearly Graduate Student Conference. The Institute of Philosophy has hosted the conference with much success for five years now. For any help with the writing process or preparing a presentation, students can turn to the HIW Writing Lab.
The Institute of Philosophy is international in every sense of the word: not only due to its English-language programmes but also thanks to cultural diversity of its teaching staff and student body. We have members of our teaching staff coming from the USA, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Ireland and others. Furthermore, with a large number of visiting scholars and students of some 55 nationalities, the Institute of Philosophy is a vibrant and cosmopolitan intellectual community that celebrates the subject of philosophy in its many forms.
The Institute of Philosophy offers a comprehensive range of BA, MA, MPhil and PhD degrees. Viewed collectively, our undergraduate and post-graduate degrees aim to familiarise students with the historical traditions of philosophy as well as with contemporary movements in English-speaking and continental philosophy so that they are able to tackle the fundamental areas of philosophical research. The Institute of Philosophy is proud to offer its students a broad philosophical education and a wide range of courses and seminars, as well as personalised study support and guidance. The Institute also hosts several international conferences every year with widely varying themes and involving a mix of well-established and up-and-coming philosophers from near and far.All its international programmes are taught in English.
Furthermore, with 5 research centres, some 30 full-time staff and nearly 130 adjunct faculty members, post-docs and doctoral students, the Institute of Philosophy is among the largest research groups in philosophy on the continent. The Institute's library is one of the finest philosophical libraries in the world. It contains more than 90,000 volumes and maintains subscriptions to more than 300 journals. It is user-friendly, with open stacks, a liberal lending policy and an online catalogue. The Institute offers a most attractive opportunity for studying philosophy in Europe. Let this one-year programme open doors for your further research at other universities, or introduce you to our pre-doctoral programme, the advanced MPhil programme.
Students of philosophy deepen their skills of analysis and synthesis and are thus uniquely prepared to take on a variety of different careers. Most of our graduates aspire to an academic career and go on to obtain PhDs in Philosophy, eventually working as professors or researchers.
Other graduates in philosophy go on to careers in many different sectors, including: business, civil service, politics, education, publishing, media, the socio-cultural sector, journalism, academia and elsewhere. Many employers seek candidates who are not only well grounded in a specific field, but also able to handle the diverse challenges arising in a fast-paced workplace. Graduates in philosophy are well positioned to think clearly and respond effectively in the workplace.
This course involves exploring the development of philosophy from Antiquity to early modern and modern times, with a particular emphasis on the genesis of modern scientific disciplines such as psychology, physics or chemistry, out of the traditional body of Aristotelian natural philosophy.
There is no other academic discipline in which the past is so important as in philosophy: today's philosophers are still engaging with the pioneers of the field: Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Wittgenstein. For this reason, the philosophy curriculum at Radboud University consists of a number of historical courses. The specialisation History of Philosophy covers the entire history of philosophy from the Presocratic philosophers up to today, divided into four periods: ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary.
Key authors for this specialisation are, in alphabetical order, Aristotle, Descartes, Epicurus, Galileo, German idealists, Hegel, Hobbes, Hume, Leibniz, Lucretius, Merleau-Ponty, Plato, Pomponazzi, Sartre, and Thomas Aquinas.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/philosophy/history
- We offer a large choice of research courses in the history of philosophy.
- Our programme emphasises the importance of developing and using research skills.
- You will have a personal supervisor who will guide you during the entire programme.
- As a Research Master’s student, you’ll be affiliated with the Centre for the History of Philosophy and Science, which has received top rankings in the field in past national evaluations (2006 and 2013).
- This is an excellent preparation for post-graduate life due to the specialised character of the Research Master's thesis: a publishable article and a PhD research proposal.
- Students have a high chance of obtaining a PhD position in the Netherlands or abroad.
- There is an international climate: more than half of the teaching staff and Research Master’s students are from outside the Netherlands.
Philosophy has a unique role within contemporary society. Unlike other academic disciplines, its subject matter is not limited to one set of questions, or one domain of investigation. Philosophers investigate varied aspects of science and society. In order to do this, they must possess two essential skills; the ability to analyse complex issues logically and conceptually, and the ability to document their conclusions using clear and persuasive language. Such skills require intensive training. The Research Master's programme in Philosophy constitutes the first vocational step towards the acquisition of these skills.
This programme is designed for people aiming to do research in the field. Graduates tend to fall into three groups. The majority of the students continue their research within academia by applying for a doctoral programme in the Netherlands or abroad. We take particular pride in the fact that over 75 percent of our graduates manage to obtain a PhD position within two years of graduating. A second group goes on to teach philosophy at secondary schools. And a third group enter research-related professions outside of education. Our graduates are also represented in journalism, science policy, and politics.
All of the research related to this specialisation is embedded in the Centre for the History of Philosophy and Science. This internationally renowned centre is dedicated to the study of the historical interrelation of philosophy and the sciences. Many of the researchers affiliated with the centre investigate the evolution of natural philosophy since Aristotle and the development of the different natural scientific disciplines (such as physics, chemistry or psychology) since the seventeenth century. Although the centre is best known for its expertise in the ancient, medieval and early modern periods, the researchers also cover the entire period from the Aristotelian corpus up to contemporary philosophy.
The focus on natural philosophy is due to the consideration that, at least up to the eighteenth century, factors such as time, space, the motion of stars, and the nature of the human soul were all integral parts of (natural) philosophy. Nijmegen's Center for the History of Philosophy and Science is the only research centre in the world dedicated to the investigation of this historical development.
The centre is active in organising public lectures, seminars and colloquia, which students are very welcome to attend. Although many research Master’s students choose a topic related to the research activities of the Centre, this is not mandatory. Recent Master’s theses (publishable articles) were about the following themes:
- The use of history in utopian tales
- The Vatican censorship of Paracelsus
- Thought experiments in Locke and Leibniz
- The theme of flight in Plato and Philo of Alexandria
- Bergson’s method of intuition
- Chiffons of Clairvaux on the will
- Perceptual experience in Merleau-Ponty
- Agamben’s reading of Hegel
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/philosophy/history
The Graduate Diploma in Philosophy is a one-year conversion course (two years part-time), designed for those who already have a degree and wish to pursue an interest in philosophy. No formal training in philosophy is required. The programme provides an ideal learning environment if you are interested in progressing to an MA in Philosophy, or simply want the opportunity to learn about philosophy.
The Diploma has two main components:
You can choose from a wide range of modules, which in the past have included:
Students in the Graduate Diploma programme receive an average of eight timetabled contact hours per week over the course of the programme. The contact hours come in the form of lectures, tutorials and seminars, depending on the four modules chosen by the student. In addition, students are offered six hours of one-to-one dissertation supervision with an expert in their chosen research area.
Philosophical development involves not only familiarizing oneself with a body of knowledge but also acquiring skills in critical reasoning and argumentation. Thus, in addition to introducing students to key works in philosophy, the programme offers many opportunities for dialogical interaction. Lecture sessions include time for questions, tutorials consist mainly of structured, critical dialogue in a supportive environment, and seminars provide opportunities for extended discussion. Dissertation supervision meetings give guidance on suitable reading, critical discussion of relevant sources, detailed advice on how to write a 12,000 word piece of research, and intensive critical engagement with the student’s philosophical position and argument.
Timetabled contact is only a part of the learning process; its aim is to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to navigate the relevant literature themselves and to pursue independent learning. Lectures and accompanying documents contextualise material and introduce students to topics, positions and debates. At least four hours of additional study per week are recommended for each lecture or seminar, which includes reading and the completion of assignments. Having completed the reading, students engage in discussion in seminars or return to lecture topics in small group tutorials. These help students to refine their understanding of material and to develop the reasoning skills needed to formulate, present, defend and criticise philosophical positions.
Graduate Diploma students also can benefit from a range of other activities in the department, including the department’s postgraduate philosophy society (EIDOS), weekly research seminars and reading groups, and occasional conferences, workshops and Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures. The programme director remains in contact with students throughout the year and is always available to discuss any issues that might arise, whether personal or academic.
This one-year programme (two years part-time) provides an ideal academic environment for those who would like to study the subject at a higher level in preparation for a PhD or as a basis for future employment. Significant numbers of former students go on to further study. The programme includes research training and allows you to write a substantial dissertation on a topic you wish to pursue at PhD level. Our staff members have expertise in a very wide range of areas, so there is considerable flexibility over choice of dissertation topic. Modules are taught via group seminars and one-to-one tutorials.
Candidates shall also study and be assessed in modules to the value of 90 credits from Lists B, C and D. The module titles below are those offered in previous academic years. Not all the modules will necessarily be available every year.
Candidates taking modules from List C must take both modules:
Candidates taking modules from List D must take both modules:
The Taught MA in Philosophy provides the opportunity for in-depth engagement with areas of philosophy in which the Durham department has internationally recognised expertise. In the process, students develop critical abilities and independent research skills that prepare them for further postgraduate study in Philosophy and for a wide range of careers where such skills are highly prized.
Students choose three optional ‘topic’ modules from a list of approximately seventeen. They are also required to take the ‘Philosophical Perspectives’ module and to complete a double-module dissertation. Topic modules are usually taught via seven two-hour seminars and up to four one-to-one tutorials. Seminars incorporate staff-led discussion of topics, student presentations and small group discussions, in the context of a friendly, supportive environment. Seminars serve to (i) familiarise students with topics, positions and debates, (ii) help them to navigate the relevant literature, (iii) refine their oral and written presentation skills and (iv) further develop their ability to independently formulate, criticise and defend philosophical positions. Students are expected to do approximately four hours of reading for each seminar. Students decide upon an essay topic, having received guidance from the module leader. At this point, they begin a more focused programme of reading and independent study, and also benefit from one-to-one supervisions with an expert in the relevant field. These supervisions provide more focused teaching, tailored to a student’s chosen essay topic. Supervisions further enable students to develop and refine their own philosophical positions, convey them clearly and support them with well constructed arguments.
The core modules of the programme are the ‘Philosophical Perspectives’ module and the double-module Dissertation. The former consists of seminars of 2 hours duration. These introduce students to different philosophical methodologies and to contrasting conceptions of what philosophy is. Critical refection upon the nature of philosophy, cultured through seminar discussions and subsequent reading, equips them with the ‘meta-philosophical’ skills required to write a ‘Philosophical Perspectives’ essay. Other seminars include training in library use, referencing, writing abstracts, structuring an MA-level essay and other research-related matters. They also include focused advice and discussion concerning dissertation proposals, which students are required to submit as part of this module.
Having completed the three topic modules and the ‘Philosophical Perspectives’ module, students start work on their Dissertations. They are offered six one-to-one tutorials of up to an hour each, with a supervisor who will be an expert in their chosen field. There is also a Dissertation Workshop during the summer, where students present work from their Dissertation and receive feedback from members of staff and from their peers. The supervisions and the workshop both help them to further refine skills acquired during the academic year (such as presenting and defending an argument in a clear, structured fashion) and to complete a substantial piece of high quality independent research. Through the workshop, they also engage with the work of other students in ways that are mutually informative.
In addition to this core teaching, students benefit from a range of activities, including a student-led ‘work-in-progress group’ and regular meetings of EIDOS, the department’s postgraduate philosophy society. They are welcomed as full participants in the department’s research culture, and are thus strongly encouraged to attend a range of other events, including weekly Research Seminars, and occasional Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, conferences, workshops and reading groups. The Programme Directors remains in regular contact with the students throughout the year and are always available to discuss any issues that might arise (personal or academic).