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Philosophy of Biological and Cognitive Sciences - MA


University of Bristol Faculty of Arts

Full time & Part time September MA 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

About the course

The Department of Philosophy has outstanding research strength in the fields of philosophy of biology, philosophy of psychology and philosophy of cognitive sciences. We are ranked by the latest Philosophical Gourmet Report (2017/18) as the strongest department in the UK for the philosophy of biology and the joint strongest for general philosophy of science. The department was recently home to a European Research Council project on Darwinism and the Theory of Rational Choice that explored connections between biological and cognitive science research.

This MA builds on these outstanding research strengths. It is intended for graduates of philosophy, psychology or biology who wish to study philosophy of science with an emphasis on the biological and cognitive sciences. The programme

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Entry Requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) with a minimum average of 65 per cent in a science subject (typically biological science or psychology) or philosophy, or a degree with a major philosophical component.


Course Content



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Student Profile(s)

Valeria Motta

5283.jpg I studied Philosophy at University of Buenos Aires. It is a very intellectually vibrant and culturally diverse place but I wanted to expand my experiences and learning horizons so I decided to have an experience in an English institution. I worked for three years to save for my course and then set off to this new adventure!

I chose Bristol for its reputation of excellence in the Philosophy of Science field. I first came to an open day organized by the Philosophy Department and spoke to professor James Ladyman. I participated in a seminar where I could see how involved in the philosophical discussion all the professors from the department are. That has inspired me greatly and I instantly felt part of the community.

The University of Bristol is a place to find inspiration, support and beauty (in the many different senses of the word). It's there, and it is up to you, to grasp and enjoy it. Learning is a way of achieving happiness. It is worth the effort.

I love the fact that there are always interesting seminars, reading groups and different thought-stimulating activities across different departments to which everyone is welcomed to attend. This allows for a multidisciplinary education which I find very valuable.

The city is very diverse, I love the fact that there are different areas each one with its own character. It is a place that's also full of green spaces, nice cafes and restaurants. There is a wonderful free-spirited feel about it. It is an inspiring place!

I really like Cotham House which is our Philosophy Department. I also adore the fact that all the university buildings are so close to each other and surrounded by trees. The buildings themselves are of great beauty.

After completing my course, I would like to remain in academia. At Bristol, I have been able to observe how the best philosophers do their job. I have gained research skills and have been given the training that has made me feel confident that I can do this.

I find this a place where if you work hard enough, you will get results. That is empowering.


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