The Philosophy MA enables students to benefit from the acknowledged expertise of UCL's lively, close-knit intellectual community, and also access the stimulation and dynamism of London's wider philosophical community. The programme offers the flexibility for recent graduates in the subject to study chosen topics in greater depth.
The programme allows students to develop an advanced knowledge of problems in contemporary analytic philosophy, the history of philosophy and the study of value. It provides students with an understanding of a representative range of central philosophical debates and of the nature of philosophical problems, and encourages them to develop and defend their own viewpoint.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), six optional modules (90 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
These modules introduce students to graduate study in philosophy. Students will give short presentations on central topics and classic papers which form the basis of discussion.
Options may include the following:
All students undertake an independent research project in any area of philosophy taught and approved by the department, leading to in a dissertation of 12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is taught through a combination of seminars, lectures, and supervisions. Students' performance is assessed through examinations, presentations, coursework, and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Philosophy MA
Applicants for this programme may be eligible for a number of funding opportunities, including UCL graduate scholarships.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme have become successful lawyers, journalists, theatre directors and novelists among other careers. Those who perform sufficiently well on the MA can expect to pursue further research in philosophy in London or elsewhere.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The programme equips graduates with the skills to analyse complex ideas, develop independence of judgement and originality of thought, evaluate arguments rigorously, present views lucidly both orally and on paper, and question orthodox views. The programme provides an ideal basis for future academic study and many graduates proceed to research degrees in the UK and abroad.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
The department has strengths in philosophy of mind, language, political and moral philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology and the history of philosophy.
Our students benefit significantly from our location in London, which is one of the international centres of philosophical activity. London is home of a number of renowned journals (Philosophy; Mind & Language; Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society) and hosts regular visiting speakers from across the world. Over 60 philosophers are active in London making it one of the largest and most varied philosophical communities in the world.
The MA Philosophy provides a rigorous and wide-ranging programme relevant to those entering formal philosophical study as graduates of other disciplines and to philosophy graduates seeking to consolidate and expand their studies.
The MA Philosophy at NCH London engages students with classic and contemporary texts and debates on key topics in theoretical and practical philosophy. It provides excellent preparation for PhD studies.
This Master’s programme can be completed in one year (full-time), or stretched over two years (part-time). International students who require a visa are only eligible to study this programme on a one-year, full-time basis.
Each student completes the compulsory ‘Mind and Reality’ course (20 credits) and the compulsory ‘Values and Society’ course (20 credits), takes a selection of 20-credit optional courses (for a total of 80 credits), and writes a Dissertation (60 credits).
The compulsory courses are designed to engage students with classic philosophy texts and debates and to develop in them the research, speaking, and writing skills that underpin a career in the philosophy profession and (more generally) support an informed, reflective and thoughtful approach to life. Each optional course surveys a different area of philosophy, with students encouraged to specialise further within each course through choice from assignment topics and support through associated individual tutorials.
The structured dissertation provides an opportunity for an extended piece of research on a topic of the student’s choice culminating in a 10,000- to 15,000-word dissertation.
The MA Philosophy will be delivered predominantly through seminars, of five to 15 students, and individual tutorials.
Students who are enrolled full-time should anticipate devoting approximately 35-40 hours per week to their studies for the duration of their degree. In Michaelmas and Hilary terms, this will include approximately six to seven formal contact hours per week, with the remainder consisting of structured independent study.
Independent study primarily comprises preparing both formative and summative work, though it may also include participation in Philosophy Society meetings, Philosophy Research seminars, and professorial lectures. In Trinity term, students predominantly work independently to write their dissertations.
Summative assessment for the MA Philosophy will be by a range of essays and seminar presentations; assessment of some courses may include an exam. Students will also be assessed on a dissertation of 10,000 – 15,000- words.
Timetables are usually made available to students during Freshers’ Week. Teaching can be scheduled to take place during any day of the week. However, when possible, Wednesday afternoons are usually reserved for sports and cultural activities.
New College of the Humanities’ degrees have been designed and created by the College’s world-class professors and faculty. The courses reflect their areas of expertise and research interests, meaning that they are strongly engaged with the material that they will teach you, and there may be opportunities for students to participate in active research.
In the case of the MA Philosophy, the curriculum has been overseen and developed by Dr Naomi Goulder BA, MA (Cantab), PhD (Lond), Head of Philosophy Faculty & Senior Lecturer in Philosophy.
The New College of the Humanities MA Philosophy degree programme is validated by Swansea University as being of an appropriate standard and quality and will lead to the Swansea University award of a Master of Arts (MA).