The MLitt in Logic and Metaphysics is a one year taught postgraduate programme run by the St Andrews and Stirling Graduate Programme in Philosophy (SASP), taught by staff from both the University of St Andrews and the University of Stirling. It focuses on topics within metaphysics and logic; with classes covering logic and advanced logic, formal approaches to natural languages and contemporary and historical debates in metaphysics.
Students have the opportunity to study topics through lectures, tutorials and reading groups. Modules are taught in small groups, normally consisting of four to ten students. All postgraduate taught students in the Department participating in the compulsory Current Issues modules. In 2017-2018, there were approximately 40 postgraduate taught students in the Department.
The programme consists of six taught modules taken over two semesters (each assessed by coursework) and a 15,000-word dissertation in an area of your choice.
Every MLitt student is assigned an adviser at the beginning of the year. Your adviser will provide you with individual guidance on essay planning and writing, academic conduct, and advice on how best to apply for a PhD place.
The MLitt in Logic and Metaphysics can also be taken as a part-time programme. Students will be expected to take three modules per year over two years, working on the dissertation over two summers. For more information about part time study, please contact the SASP secretary by emailing [email protected].
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.
The MA in Philosophy provides a combination of taught core and option modules which aim to make you familiar with what is at the centre of contemporary debates. Additionally, in the first term, you will attend dissertation preparation seminars to enable you to write your dissertation proposal. Further support is given during the second and third terms and you will write your dissertation under the guidance of a supervisor. During your third term you and your peers will hold an in-house conference.
This MA will give you up-to-date knowledge of contemporary philosophy across a broad range of subjects and provides essential training for students considering going on to do a PhD.
The MA Seminar is designed to provide students with detailed knowledge of the core areas of Philosophy. The Seminar consists of four modules:
-Topics in Theoretical Philosophy
-Topics in Practical Philosophy
Plus two Option Modules - The option modules likely to be offered in 2018/19 include:
-Contemporary Issues in Bioethics
-Contemporary Ethical Theory
-German Idealism: Moral, Legal and Political Philosophy
-MA Project Essay*
-Metaphysics of Mind
-Philosophy and Cognitive Diversity
-Philosophy of Film
-Philosophy of Psychology
-Philosophy of Art from Hume to Tolstoy
-Wittgenstein and Philosophy
The Postgraduate Research Skills Seminar is taught over two terms and is designed to provide students with a grounding in the skills necessary to contribute to contemporary philosophical debates. They attend at least one research seminar or colloquium every two weeks and maintain a reflective journal of their research experiences throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms. Tutorials are held every two weeks during which students discuss their responses to research events as recorded in their journals and provide mentoring and peer support.
This module will start immediately and continue over the three terms. It is designed to facilitate applicants for AHRC PhD funding who need to have a thesis proposal worked up by the end of the calendar year. This will be particularly beneficial to those who will be pursuing a PhD in Philosophy.
This module is designed to enable students with specialised interests to pursue independently a topic of their own choosing. Students taking this module propose an independent study topic. The proposal will then be considered by the Board of Studies and, if accepted, the student will be assigned a suitable member of staff who will supervise the project. The Project Essay is compulsory for part-time students but can also be taken by full-time students as one of their two option modules.
This module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to practise disseminating their work, which is a distinctive and challenging feature of Philosophy as a discipline.
Students will organise and present a paper at a one-day ‘conference’, which will be attended by at least two members of staff.
As an application of the core knowledge, skills and experience gained in the previous stages of the course, the Dissertation enables students to produce a sustained piece of critical writing on a topic of their choosing. A member of staff with expertise in the relevant area will provide supervision.
This one-year programme (two years part-time) provides an ideal academic environment for those who would like to study the subject at a higher level in preparation for a PhD or as a basis for future employment. Significant numbers of former students go on to further study. The programme includes research training and allows you to write a substantial dissertation on a topic you wish to pursue at PhD level. Our staff members have expertise in a very wide range of areas, so there is considerable flexibility over choice of dissertation topic. Modules are taught via group seminars and one-to-one tutorials.
Candidates shall also study and be assessed in modules to the value of 90 credits from Lists B, C and D. The module titles below are those offered in previous academic years. Not all the modules will necessarily be available every year.
Candidates taking modules from List C must take both modules:
Candidates taking modules from List D must take both modules:
The Taught MA in Philosophy provides the opportunity for in-depth engagement with areas of philosophy in which the Durham department has internationally recognised expertise. In the process, students develop critical abilities and independent research skills that prepare them for further postgraduate study in Philosophy and for a wide range of careers where such skills are highly prized.
Students choose three optional ‘topic’ modules from a list of approximately seventeen. They are also required to take the ‘Philosophical Perspectives’ module and to complete a double-module dissertation. Topic modules are usually taught via seven two-hour seminars and up to four one-to-one tutorials. Seminars incorporate staff-led discussion of topics, student presentations and small group discussions, in the context of a friendly, supportive environment. Seminars serve to (i) familiarise students with topics, positions and debates, (ii) help them to navigate the relevant literature, (iii) refine their oral and written presentation skills and (iv) further develop their ability to independently formulate, criticise and defend philosophical positions. Students are expected to do approximately four hours of reading for each seminar. Students decide upon an essay topic, having received guidance from the module leader. At this point, they begin a more focused programme of reading and independent study, and also benefit from one-to-one supervisions with an expert in the relevant field. These supervisions provide more focused teaching, tailored to a student’s chosen essay topic. Supervisions further enable students to develop and refine their own philosophical positions, convey them clearly and support them with well constructed arguments.
The core modules of the programme are the ‘Philosophical Perspectives’ module and the double-module Dissertation. The former consists of seminars of 2 hours duration. These introduce students to different philosophical methodologies and to contrasting conceptions of what philosophy is. Critical refection upon the nature of philosophy, cultured through seminar discussions and subsequent reading, equips them with the ‘meta-philosophical’ skills required to write a ‘Philosophical Perspectives’ essay. Other seminars include training in library use, referencing, writing abstracts, structuring an MA-level essay and other research-related matters. They also include focused advice and discussion concerning dissertation proposals, which students are required to submit as part of this module.
Having completed the three topic modules and the ‘Philosophical Perspectives’ module, students start work on their Dissertations. They are offered six one-to-one tutorials of up to an hour each, with a supervisor who will be an expert in their chosen field. There is also a Dissertation Workshop during the summer, where students present work from their Dissertation and receive feedback from members of staff and from their peers. The supervisions and the workshop both help them to further refine skills acquired during the academic year (such as presenting and defending an argument in a clear, structured fashion) and to complete a substantial piece of high quality independent research. Through the workshop, they also engage with the work of other students in ways that are mutually informative.
In addition to this core teaching, students benefit from a range of activities, including a student-led ‘work-in-progress group’ and regular meetings of EIDOS, the department’s postgraduate philosophy society. They are welcomed as full participants in the department’s research culture, and are thus strongly encouraged to attend a range of other events, including weekly Research Seminars, and occasional Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, conferences, workshops and reading groups. The Programme Directors remains in regular contact with the students throughout the year and are always available to discuss any issues that might arise (personal or academic).