Masters Degrees in Philosophy explore the fundamental principles underpinning human knowledge, ideas and values - including asking what things like 'knowledge', 'ideas' and 'values' actually are.
These intellectually demanding programmes will train you to reflect on your own thinking and that of other people around you, understanding the 'conceptual architecture' within which ideas operate and the logical conditions according to which they can be held to be valid or invalid.
Courses may be taught or research-focussed. Most will require an appropriate undergraduate degree, but this won't necessarily need to be in Philosophy. Other subject areas with a focus on critical thinking and analysis may also be relevant.
Why study a Masters in Philosophy?
Philosophy may seem like the most abstract postgraduate specialism imaginable and, in a fundamental sense, it is. However, this is a strength, not a weakness.
A Masters Degree in Philosophy will make you a formidable critical thinker, capable of working through the complex ramifications of different ideas and understanding the principles informing different positions. Such skills will be valuable in a wide range of careers.
Philosophy also underpins some professional fields and occupations quite directly. The practice of politics and law, for example, are each grounded in their own philosophical positions (and in the competition between them). Even scientific work is far more closely related to Philosophy than many realise - relying on rigorous definitions of observable knowledge and jointly tackling questions such as the nature of mind and consciousness.