Open for 2016 entry, Royal Holloway's MA in Modern Philosophy offers a unique approach to postgraduate study of philosophy. Whereas most Masters programmes focus either on an area of Anglo-American ‘analytical’ philosophy, or on ‘European’ or ‘Continental’ Philosophy, our MA enables you to investigate both notional traditions of philosophy.
Incorporating both the analytical focus on technical philosophical problems and the European focus on the social and political implications of philosophy, the MA reflects the way in which many of the most important developments in contemporary philosophy are resulting from a new dialogue between the traditions, as seen in figures like Richard Rorty and John McDowell, who were trained in the analytical tradition but think it is vital to read Hegel and Heidegger, and Jürgen Habermas and Manfred Frank, who, although trained in the European tradition, engage with analytical ideas.
- the programme is well attuned to the growing awareness that work in philosophy which remains within either just the analytical tradition or just the European tradition may soon be outmoded
- you will explore the key issues, thinkers and texts likely to determine the future development of philosophy. The course will give you expertise in the analytical and European traditions, and suggest ways beyond the differences in the traditions
- the course is taught by a staff of experts in both fields
- we offer some studentships and bursaries in support of students taking the MA
- if you wish to continue working in the academic sphere, you will be able to do further research and apply for jobs in a greater variety of university departments than if you had only studied either analytical or European philosophy.
Department research and industry highlights
Members of the teaching staff have a wide range of expertise, having published major works in a number of areas and on a number of figures, including Adorno; Aesthetics and Subjectivity; Altruism; Hegel; Deleuze; French and Continental Philosophy; Greek and Roman Aesthetics; the Holocaust and the Postmodern; Music, Philosophy, and Modernity; Richard Rorty; Romanticism to Critical Theory; Scepticism; Schelling; Time and Politics.
Current projects include: - examining at the possibilities offered by aesthetics, and music in particular, for developing a non-cognitive model of thinking
- investigating the coherence of the notion of tacit knowledge, and its implications for knowledge more generally
- tracing the development of modern French thought to its origins in German Idealism
- imagination in ancient aesthetics
- a pragmatist theory of deliberative democracy
- arguments in defence of associative duties
- psychoanalytic and post-Nietzschean conceptions of agency and selfhood.
On completion of the course graduates will have:
- a knowledge of the broad range of philosophical approaches adopted in the European tradition, such as phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, and transcendental empiricism
- detailed understanding of some of the key philosophers in the European tradition
- an ability to read complex philosophical texts with an appreciation of the role of style and context in their composition
- an understanding of the broader philosophical landscape, and the place of European philosophy within it.
Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework and a dissertation.
Employability & career opportunities
Our graduates are highly employable and would be prepared for careers in a wide range of areas. This course also equips you with the subject knowledge and a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.