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.
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.
Information in these tables is based on the 2014/15 publication of the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Longitudinal Survey, produced by the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency. Data is given for graduates of UK Masters degrees and other level 7 postgraduate courses, after 3.5 years. Some figures have been rounded.
Philosophy tackles some of the deepest and most complex questions about humanity and its place in the world. This programme will allow you to study the key debates, trends and approaches in different areas of philosophy while improving your skills in research and critical analysis.
Core modules will give you an overview of different topics in analytic philosophy, from philosophy of mind, religion, language and science to epistemology, ethics, aesthetics and metaphysics. You’ll also choose from a variety of modules specialising in the areas and topics that interest you the most.
You’ll be supported by active researchers in a stimulating environment based around our six research centres, with access to excellent library resources covering a broad span of subjects. It’s an excellent opportunity to gain diverse skills for a wide range of careers, as well as further study.
This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.
Throughout the course you’ll take two core modules introducing you to different topics, approaches and methods in areas of analytic philosophy. You’ll explore current and historical debates in subfields including metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, ethics, metaethics, aesthetics, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of science— all while improving your skills in research and critical thinking.
From this foundation, you’ll build specialist knowledge in areas that particularly interest you with your choice of optional modules. You can take an upper-level undergraduate module (with boosted assessment requirements) to fill gaps in your background knowledge, sign up for an independent study, or choose from several MA modules the School has to offer.
You’ll continue to specialise when you complete your dissertation – an independent research project on a topic of your choice that allows you to showcase the skills and knowledge you’ve gained. You can choose to swap one of your optional modules to extend your dissertation if you want to go into even more depth.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
You’ll study three compulsory modules including your dissertation, as well as a single optional module. If you choose the standard dissertation (60 credits) rather than the extended dissertation (90 credits), you can take a further optional module.
Most of our modules are taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, where you can discuss the issues arising from your reading with fellow students and your tutor. You’ll also have one-to-one supervisions while you work on your dissertation. Independent study is also an important element of the programme, allowing you to develop your skills and pursue your own interests more closely.
We use different forms of assessment, including essays, seminar participation and your dissertation.