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Philosophy×

University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Moral Philosophy

We have 3 University of Birmingham Masters Degrees in Moral Philosophy

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Are you looking to explore Global Justice topics such as international trade, climate change, war and violence and terrorism and apply ethical theories to these areas?. Read more

Are you looking to explore Global Justice topics such as international trade, climate change, war and violence and terrorism and apply ethical theories to these areas?

This flexible programme offers a range of modules in the field of ethics, in addition to the opportunity to participate in a research seminar or undertake a placement with an NGO or the equivalent. The programme is designed to accommodate those wishing to study part-time around other commitments. It is equally suitable for recent graduates or post-experience students, for those wishing to go on to further research in one or more of the topics, or for those with a personal interest in the field of global ethics.

We also offer this programme by distance learning - see Global Ethics and Justice MSc (Distance Learning).

Course details

You will study six modules, three of which are core Global Ethics modules (see Modules tab for descriptions): 

  • Ethics and Global Ethics
  • Topics in Global Justice
  • Research Skills and Methods

Your remaining three modules are optional, and can be chosen from a range which typically includes:

  • Bioethics 
  • Global Ethics Placement
  • God, Freedom and the Meaning of Life
  • Human Rights  
  • Philosophy of Health and Happiness
  • Philosophy and Mental Health 

Assessment

Modules are assessed by written assignment. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation with support from a supervisor; the dissertation may be entirely literature-based, or may be based on a placement project.  

Learning and teaching

As well as the taught modules you take on this programme, you are encouraged to participate in our weekly Postgraduate Seminar and in the regular meetings of PhilSoc, so you'll be able to gain insight from a range of academics and peers from across the department.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Philosophy

Birmingham's Philosophy postgraduates develop a range of skills that are highly desirable in the job market, including: articulacy; precise analytical thought; clarity; rigour in formulating complex problems; and the ability to analyse and construct sound arguments.

Due to the transferable nature of their skills, Philosophy postgraduates traditionally enter a wide range of employment areas, from teaching and lecturing to publishing. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: BBC; Friends of the Earth; Birmingham Children?s Hospital; Highways England; and University of Birmingham.

Many of our alumni have found that the course provides an ideal foundation for their careers, such as James Hodgson:

"Having studied Global Ethics, I have found that my understanding of the diversity of human experience and philosophies has been greatly expanded. The course taught me to question my own assumptions and opened my eyes to the potential within humanity. The staff and my peers' passion for exploring ideas and concepts created a wonderful learning environment. Since graduating I have worked for international NGOs including Medecins Sans Frontieres and ECPAT International both within the UK and internationally. Currently I am in Kigali, Rwanda working with a number of NGOs here and still finding the skills and knowledge I acquired during my Masters of great value professionally and personally." 

James Hodgson



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Are you interested in learning about the issues at the intersections of International Law, European Law, ethics and international politics and how they are all interrelated?. Read more

Are you interested in learning about the issues at the intersections of International Law, European Law, ethics and international politics and how they are all interrelated?

The MA in International Law, Ethics and Politics will cover the application of International Law, European Law, ethics and international politics to problems such as poverty reduction; international trade; war and terrorism; climate change; and democracy.

This programme is ideal for candidates from the NGO world who wish to improve their academic credentials, and students from the humanities and social sciences who want to take Law courses. The course should also be of interest to graduates in public or European law who want to deepen their understanding of issues that they have previously encountered only within a legal framework.

Course details

The programme contains a broad range of optional modules from the Law, Politics and Philosophy departments. 

You will take a core module in theory and methods, choosing from:

  • Research Skills and Methods,which provides an introduction to the methods of contemporary Philosophy
  • Socio-Legal Theory, which introduces key law and society concepts and theories

You will also attend mandatory pre-sessional generic LLM introductory classes.

In addition, you will take at least one module from each of the Law, Politics and Philosophy departments. You will also be required to take two further modules from any of the three departments. Examples of the modules on offer (split by department) can be found below. 

Assessment

Your core module will be assessed by written assignment; assessment methods for optional modules vary depending on options chosen. You will also complete a dissertation with support from a supervisor; you may choose between a 15,000-word written dissertation or a practice-based dissertation which combines practical research with a written rationale and reflexive essay. Dissertations may be supervised by any of the three schools involved in the MA, or joint-supervision may occur for interdisciplinary dissertations.

Learning and teaching

The MA in International Law, Ethics and Politics has been designed to allow in-depth analysis across multiple disciplines. 

The programme enables you to develop expertise in a range of subjects. You will acquire a systematic understanding of these along with a critical appreciation of the problems that arise these fields. You will be encouraged to demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge together with a practical understanding of how established research techniques are used to create and interpret knowledge.

Studying part-time

The programme may be taken part-time and completed over a period of two years. This mode of study is particularly suitable for professionals who wish to combine professional practice with university-level study, gaining CPD points in the process.

Classes for part-time students on the MA will be scheduled between 9am-6pm and students will typically have between 2-4 hours of teaching each week. Fees are the same as for full-time study but are split over two years.

International students

International students are invited to participate in an orientation course run by the university’s International Office before the start of the academic session. For students from outside the UK, there are also lectures on the British constitution, sources of English law and the working methods of the common law system. The Birmingham International Academy provides a range of support in reading and writing academic English.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).



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Do you want to explore the key issues in the field of philosophy of religion and ethics? Are you looking to develop your professional or academic career path? . Read more

Do you want to explore the key issues in the field of philosophy of religion and ethics? Are you looking to develop your professional or academic career path? 

On the MA Philosophy of Religion and Ethics programme you will explore a variety of questions – for example: Are there shared human values? How do we negotiate different belief systems in pluralistic societies? Is there a conflict between science and religion? Do people with different religious views have the same morals? Is life without God meaningless? 

You will be taught by a vibrant community of philosophers, pursuing original research on a wide range of topics on which expert supervision is available.

We also offer an on-campus programme over one or two years – for more information, see Philosophy of Religion and Ethics MA.

Course details

You will study six modules in total, two of which are core Philosophy modules:

  • God, Freedom and the Meaning of Life
  • Bioethics or Ethics and Global Ethics

You will also study a core module in theory and methods: Research Skills and Methods (for Philosophy) if you are writing a dissertation in Philosophy, or Research Methods in Theology and the Study of Religion if you are writing a dissertation in Theology and Religion.

Your remaining three modules are optional. Distance learning modules available in Philosophy and Theology and Religion typically include:

  • Philosophy of Health and Happiness
  • Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science
  • Contemporary Theology of the Holy Spirit
  • World Christianity in the Twentieth Century

You can also take Bioethics or Ethics and Global Ethics, if not taken as core.

You are permitted to choose one optional module outside your main discipline. 

Assessment

Modules are assessed by written assignment; students are also expected to participate in online discussion. You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation, with support from a supervisor.

Learning and teaching

Although much of the course is delivered through our ‘virtual learning environment,’ support is always available.

You will have a personal tutor and dissertation supervisor to guide you and answer any questions, and you have access to a wide range of online resources too.

You also have the opportunity to meet other students and academic staff through online chats and discussion forums.

For more information on distance learning including answers to frequently asked questions, student experiences and funding opportunities, please see our distance learning website

Employability

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver local support.

In addition to a range of campus-based events and workshops, Careers Network provides extensive online resources, and comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Postgraduate employability: Philosophy

Birmingham's Philosophy postgraduates develop a range of skills that are highly desirable in the job market, including: articulacy; precise analytical thought; clarity; rigour in formulating complex problems; and the ability to analyse and construct sound arguments.

Due to the transferable nature of their skills, Philosophy postgraduates traditionally enter a wide range of employment areas, from teaching and lecturing to publishing. Employers that graduates have gone on to work for include: BBC; Friends of the Earth; Birmingham Children?s Hospital; Highways England; and University of Birmingham.



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