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 MA in Historical Research gives you the opportunity to study a wide range of different approaches to the research and writing of history, with a specialised focus on innovative recent theoretical and methodological developments. We also offer a specialised pathway in Social and Cultural History, and a part-time, distance learning pathway in Archival Practice and Local History.
This masters programme offers you the opportunity to refine your knowledge and practice of historical research, and is ideal for those seeking further study in History, a career in the museum or heritage industries, or simply those looking to develop personal research interests.
This programme will equip you with an appreciation of some of the most influential theoretical positions and methodologies in historical scholarship today, which will help you to develop academic independence whilst undertaking your major piece of historical research. You will be able to utilise these independent research skills in a professional context, whether in academia or other working environments, where high level interpretative and analytical ability is required.
On all pathways, students will gain a secure knowledge of the range of primary source material available to research historians, which involves using a range of both quantitative and qualitative data, which students will learn to analyse and exploit critically. You will also have opportunity to develop and present arguments, both oral and written, adapted to specific kinds of audience. As well as expanding your communication skills in this way, this course will also develop your capacity to work independently and with others.
The programme offers exceptional staff-student support, through small-group sessions, one-on-one tutorials and Roehampton's excellent academic learning, library and employability staff. Whether continuing on from undergraduate studies, or returning to study after a break, you will be supported in your studies and personal and professional development.
The course also boasts a broad and rich syllabus, from family history to oral history techniques, from medical to crime history, which allows you to develop methods and skills applicable in any historical research project and environment.
The key modules in the MA Historical Research are focused on developing theoretical skills, and then applying these in your dissertation. Some of the most influential theoretical positions and methodologies in historical scholarship will be discussed on this course, introducing you to the theoretical framework that will underlie the specialised skills you will need as a historical researcher. Particular texts will be studied which deepen your understanding of these concepts, and the texts themselves will be tailored to the specific pathway students follow.
The Distance learning options allow students away from London to follow a pathway in Archival Practice and Local History, supported by our excellent virtual learning environment and flexible part-time study options. There will be an emphasis on working with historical source material, including modules on palaeography.
A research internship is available on all pathways, offering research-led experience in local and national historical, archival and heritage settings, such as the Institute of Historical Research, the Surrey History Centre and the Royal Horticultural Society Lindley Library.
You are also able to study a further four thematic modules from our current range, which changes year by year. These modules are designed to let you practice your research skills, and engage with detailed source material, aiding you in your independent dissertation. If you choose to study full-time, the academic year runs from September to September; and if you study part-time, you can vary the pace of study to suit your needs.
Employment in the creative and heritage industries, e.g. publishing, museums and archives, the media, or in any sector that prizes research and communication skills eg. teaching, marketing, media and law. Also ideal for those interested in further academic study.
During this course we introduce you to social research methods and strategies, and the supporting theories and philosophies. You can also develop areas of specialist interests and integrate these into your methodological training. On a number of the modules, you meet and discuss research issues with students from our other MRes courses and doctoral level researchers.
This course is for you if you have a first degree in any discipline within social sciences and plan to
If you are already working in the field, you and your current employer may see this course as a professional development opportunity, giving you the skills to further your career and current practice.
Our staff are currently involved in research areas including
You study a range of research methodologies throughout the course including • interview-based narrative and biographical research • case study and ethnography • media analysis • surveying and sampling • statistical analysis of large data sets. You critique current developments in research methodology then design and conduct your own pieces of original research.
The MRes includes a research-based dissertation, which may become a pilot study towards a PhD. Several recent MRes students have gone onto doctoral level study, in fields such as education and inequality, and activism and sport.
For an informal discussion about this course, please contact Dr Bob Jeffery by e-mail at [email protected]
This course is hosted by the Faculty of Development and Society Graduate School. The Graduate School website provides a communication hub for students and staff engaged in research, information about our research work, and useful contact information.
You can take individual modules as short courses or combine them towards a PgDip/PgCert Research Methods in Sociology, Planning and Policy.
You need 180 credits for the MRes
You choose up to 120 credits from the following modules:
You may choose to substitute 30 credits from another course within our MRes programme.
To gain the MRes you must present a 60-credit research-based dissertation in an area of your choice. This piece of work is supervised by our staff and gives you the opportunity to demonstrate the skills you have learned and your understanding of the research process and philosophies.
This course gives you the skills needed to carry out independent research. You learn to consider the research problems and associated ethical issues, select a suitable approach, and design and conduct your study. The skills and knowledge you gain are in great demand by many organisations. The Economic and Social Research Council have noted that there is a significant lack of the high-level skills in statistical analysis provided by this course.
Our previous graduates have begun various careers including
Others have moved into PhD research.