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Masters Degrees in Philosophy of Science, United Kingdom

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This diverse programme allows you to study the history and philosophy of science, technology and medicine from a range of perspectives to gain a wide range of knowledge and skills. Read more

This diverse programme allows you to study the history and philosophy of science, technology and medicine from a range of perspectives to gain a wide range of knowledge and skills.

You’ll explore the issues, debates and trends that have shaped the study of history and philosophy of science, with core modules that will also allow you to develop your skills in research and analysis. You’ll also have the chance to specialise in the areas that interest you by choosing from a range of optional modules on topics such as science and religion historically considered, modern science communication, and realism and representation in science.

Supported by active researchers at our Centre of History and Philosophy of Science, you’ll benefit from expert teaching and have access to our excellent library resources. You’ll even have the chance to develop your research skills and gain experience as we develop our Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

We have world-class research resources to support your studies. The Brotherton Library houses extensive manuscript, archive and printed material in its Special Collections, including Newton’s Principia, a first edition of his Opticks and thousands of books and journals on topics from the 16th century onwards on topics such as astronomy, botany, medicine, physiology, chemistry, inventions and alchemy. You’ll also have access to the collections of artefacts across campus that we’re bringing together through the Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

The Centre also hosts a number of research seminars given by visiting speakers, staff members and doctoral students and which all postgraduate students are encouraged to attend. There are also regular reading groups on a wide range of topics and the seminar series of other centres within the School are also available.

Course content

From the start of the programme you’ll study one core module in both history of science and philosophy of science, introducing you to the approaches, debates and trends that have shaped these naturally connected disciplines, as well as developing your research skills.

You’ll build on this knowledge when you choose from a range of optional modules, allowing you to specialise in aspects of history or philosophy of science that suit your interests. You could study purely philosophical topics, such as metaphysics of science; historical topics like illness and death in the Middle Ages; or modules that combine the two areas.

Throughout the programme you’ll develop your skills in research, analysis, interpretation and communication. By the end of your programme you’ll showcase these skills by submitting an independently researched dissertation on a specialist topic of your choice. You can choose to take an extended dissertation and research your topic in greater depth, or alternatively you can follow your interests by taking another optional module.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • You’ll take three compulsory modules, though you can choose whether to take a standard (60 credits) or extended (90 credits) dissertation. You’ll then choose one or two optional modules.
  • Current Approaches in the History of Science, Technology & Medicine 30 credits
  • Philosophy of Science: Classic Debates & Current Trends 30 credits

Optional modules

  • The European Enlightenment 30 credits
  • Lifecycles: Birth, Death and Illness in the Middle Ages 30 credits
  • Historical Skills and Practices 30 credits
  • Topics in the Philosophy of Physics 30 credits
  • Science and Religion Historically Considered 30 credits
  • Advanced Topics in History and Philosophy of Biology 30 credits
  • Advanced Topics in Realism and Representation in Science 30 credits
  • History & Theory of Modern Science Communication 30 credits
  • Advanced Topics in Metaphysics of Science 30 credits
  • Special Option (History of Science) 30 credits
  • Special Option (Philosophy of Science) 30 credits
  • Science in the Museum: Interpretations & Practices 30 credits
  • The Origin of Modern Medicine (Birth of the Clinic) 30 credits
  • Analytic Philosophy A 30 credits
  • Analytic Philosophy B 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read History and Philosophy of Science MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read History and Philosophy of Science MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Most of our taught modules combine seminars and tutorials, where you will discuss issues and concepts stemming from your reading with a small group of students and your tutor. You’ll also benefit from one-to-one supervision while you complete 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.

Assessment

We assess your progress using a combination of exams and coursework, giving you the freedom to research and write on topic areas that suit your interests within each module you study.

Career opportunities

The subject knowledge you’ll gain from this programme, as well as the advanced skills in research, analysis and communication, will open doors to a wide range of careers.

This programme is good preparation for fields such as public engagement with science or the museum sector, but graduates from our School have pursued diverse careers in fields such as teaching, consultancy, business management, administration, accountancy and the civil service among others. Many of our graduates also go onto further study at PhD level and continue to work in academia.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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This programme will allow you to explore the philosophical themes and ideas that lie behind modern science. You’ll discuss a range of issues that animate debates in contemporary philosophy of science, gaining an insight into how we understand science and how this has changed over time. Read more

This programme will allow you to explore the philosophical themes and ideas that lie behind modern science.

You’ll discuss a range of issues that animate debates in contemporary philosophy of science, gaining an insight into how we understand science and how this has changed over time. You’ll think about the nature and extent of scientific knowledge and explanation, for example, as well as specialising in topics that suit your interests, from the metaphysics of science to epistemological topics such as realism and representation.

Our core module will introduce you to concepts and trends in philosophy of science, while you’ll select optional modules on topics of your choice. You could even broaden your approach by taking a module in Analytic Philosophy or the history of modern science communication, or gain more research experience by extending your dissertation.

Guided by internationally renowned researchers in our Centre for History and Philosophy of Science, you’ll learn in a supportive and stimulating environment.

We have world-class research resources to support your studies. In addition to its collections in history and philosophy, the Brotherton Library houses extensive manuscript, archive and printed material in its Special Collections, including Newton’s Principia, a first edition of his Opticks and thousands of books and journals on topics in the history of science. The Edward Boyle Library also possesses an extensive collection of works in the philosophy of science and across the full range of scientific topics in general.

The Centre also hosts a number of research seminars given by visiting speakers, staff members and doctoral students and which all postgraduate students are encouraged to attend. There are also regular reading groups on a wide range of topics and the seminar series of other centres within the School are also available.

Course content

From the start of the programme you’ll explore issues and concepts in philosophy of science, as a core module introduces you to classic debates and recent trends in the subject. You’ll then build on this knowledge when you choose from a range of optional modules throughout the year, allowing you to specialise in areas such as the philosophy of physics, philosophy of biology, or realism and representation in science.

Throughout the year, you’ll gain a firm foundation in philosophy of science as well as in-depth knowledge of specialist topics. You’ll take this a step further with your dissertation, an independently researched piece of work on a topic of your choice that gives you the chance to showcase your skills.

If you want to go into greater depth, you have the choice to extend your dissertation. Alternatively, you can select another module on a topic such as modern science communication or analytic philosophy, putting your research into a broader context.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

You’ll take two compulsory modules, though you can choose whether to take a standard (60 credits) or extended (90 credits) dissertation. You’ll then choose one or two optional modules.

Compulsory modules

  • Philosophy of Science: Classic Debates & Current Trends 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Topics in the Philosophy of Physics 30 credits
  • Advanced Topics in History and Philosophy of Biology 30 credits
  • Advanced Topics in Realism and Representation in Science 30 credits
  • History & Theory of Modern Science Communication 30 credits
  • Advanced Topics in Metaphysics of Science 30 credits
  • Special Option (Philosophy of Science) 30 credits
  • Analytic Philosophy A 30 credits
  • Analytic Philosophy B 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Philosophy of Science MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Philosophy of Science MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Most of our taught modules combine seminars and tutorials, where you will discuss issues and concepts stemming from your reading with a small group of students and your tutor. You’ll also benefit from one-to-one supervision while you complete 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.

Assessment

We assess your progress using a combination of exams and coursework, giving you the freedom to research and write on topic areas that suit your interests within each module you study.

Career opportunities

The subject knowledge you’ll gain from this programme, as well as the advanced skills in research, analysis and communication, will open doors to a wide range of careers.

This programme is good preparation for fields such as public engagement with science, but graduates from our School have pursued diverse careers in fields such as teaching, consultancy, business management, administration, accountancy and the civil service among others. Many of our graduates also go onto further study at PhD level and continue to work in academia.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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The MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine is a full-time 9-month course that provides students with the opportunity to carry out focused research under close supervision by senior members of the University. Read more
The MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine is a full-time 9-month course that provides students with the opportunity to carry out focused research under close supervision by senior members of the University. Students will acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests, as well as a critical and well informed understanding of the roles of the sciences in society. Those intending to go on to doctoral work will learn the research skills needed to help them prepare a well planned and focused PhD proposal. During the course students gain experience of presenting their own work and discussing the issues that arise from it with an audience of their peers and senior members of the Department; they will attend lectures, supervisions and research seminars in a range of technical and specialist subjects central to research in the different areas of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine.

The educational aims of the programme are:

- to give students with relevant training at first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focussed research in History, Philosophy of Science and Medicine under close supervision;
- to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests;
- to enable students to acquire a critical and well informed understanding of the roles of the sciences in society; and
- to help students intending to go on to doctoral work to acquire the requisite research skills and to prepare a well planned and focussed PhD proposal.

Visit the website: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hphpmpstm

Course detail

The MPhil course is taught by supervisions and seminars and assessed by three research essays and a dissertation.

The topics of the essays and dissertation should each fall within the following specified subject areas:

1. General philosophy of science
2. History of ancient and medieval science, technology and medicine
3. History of early modern science, technology and medicine
4. History of modern science, technology and medicine
5. History, philosophy and sociology of the life sciences
6. History, philosophy and sociology of the physical and mathematical sciences
7. History, philosophy and sociology of the social and psychological sciences
8. History, philosophy and sociology of medicine
9. Ethics and politics of science
10. History and methodology of history, philosophy and sociology of science, technology and medicine

Format

The MPhil seminars are the core teaching resource for this course. In the first part of year these seminars are led by different senior members of the Department and focus on selected readings. During the rest of the year the seminars provide opportunities for MPhil students to present their own work.

Students are encouraged to attend the lectures, research seminars, workshops and reading groups that make the Department a hive of intellectual activity. The Department also offers graduate training workshops, which focus on key research, presentation, publication and employment skills.

The MPhil programme is administered by the MPhil Manager, who meets all new MPhil students as a group in early October, then sees each of the students individually to discuss their proposed essay and dissertation topics. The Manager is responsible for finding appropriate supervisors for each of these topics; the supervisors are then responsible for helping the student do the research and writing needed for the essays and the dissertation. Students will see each of their supervisors frequently; the MPhil Manager sees each student at regular intervals during the year to discuss progress and offer help and advice.

Supervisions are designed to provide students with the opportunity to set their own agenda for their studies. The supervisor's job is to support the student's research, not to grade their work – supervisors are formally excluded from the examination process.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hphpmpstm

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have:

- Knowledge and Understanding -

- developed a deeper knowledge of their chosen areas of History, Philosophy of Science and Medicine and of the critical debates within them;
- acquired a conceptual understanding that enables the evaluation of current research and methodologies;
- formed a critical view of the roles of the sciences in society.

- Skills and other attributes -

By the end of the course students should have:

- acquired or consolidated historiographic, linguistic, technical and ancillary skills appropriate for research in their chosen area;
- demonstrated independent judgement, based on their own research;
- presented their own ideas in a public forum and learned to contribute constructively within an international environment.

Assessment

- A dissertation of up to 15,000 words. Examiners may request an oral examination but this is not normally required.
- Three essays, each of up to 5,000 words.

Students receive independent reports from two examiners on each of their three essays and the dissertation.

Continuing

The usual preconditions for continuing to the PhD are an overall first class mark in the MPhil, a satisfactory performance in an interview and agreement of the PhD proposal with a potential supervisor.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

- Rausing Studentships
- Raymond and Edith Williamson Studentships
- Lipton Studentships
- Wellcome Master's Awards

Please see the Department's graduate funding page for more information: http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/studying/graduate/funding.html

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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This one-year programme (two years part-time) is designed to give a deeper understanding of historical, philosophical and cultural issues in science and medicine from antiquity to the present day. Read more
This one-year programme (two years part-time) is designed to give a deeper understanding of historical, philosophical and cultural issues in science and medicine from antiquity to the present day. Research training includes historical methods, philosophical analysis and socio-cultural models, providing an interdisciplinary environment for those interested in progressing to a PhD or those simply interested in HPSM studies.

Former students have gone on to attract major doctoral funding awards and jobs in the media, government and NGOs. The core teaching staff are attached to the Department of Philosophy, the Northern Centre for the History of Medicine (co-run with Newcastle University) and the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health. Modules are taught via lectures, seminars, personal tutorials and workshops. The diversity of staff research interests allows you to focus your research on a wide variety of topics, including historical, philosophical and/or cultural aspects of biology, biomedical ethics, the body, the environment, gender, medical humanities, medicine, and the physical sciences.

Programme Structure

Core Modules:
-Research Methods in the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine
-Dissertation (Philosophy, Health, or History)

Optional Modules:
Students choose a total of three optional modules, with at least one from List A and one from List B. The module titles below are those offered in 2015/16. Not all the modules will necessarily run every year.
List A:
-History of Medicine
-Science and the Enlightenment
-Ethics, Medicine and History
-Gender, Medicine and Sexuality in Early Modern Europe
-Gender, 'Sex', Health and Politics

List B:
-Philosophical Issues in Science and Medicine
-Phenomenology and the Sciences of Mind
-Current Issues in Metaphysics
-Philosophy of Social Sciences
-Ethics of Cultural Heritage

Learning and Teaching

The MA in the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine (HPSM) provides the opportunity for in-depth engagement with historical, philosophical and cultural issues in science and medicine from antiquity to the present day. In the process, students develop critical abilities and independent research skills in an interdisciplinary environment that prepare them for further postgraduate study and for a wide range of careers where such skills are highly prized.

Students select three topic modules from two lists of usually five historical and five philosophical options. They are also required to take a Research Methods in the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine module and to complete a double-module dissertation in the Department of Philosophy, the Department of History, or the School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health.

Topic modules are typically taught via seven two-hour seminars, two one-to-one tutorials, and a workshop at the end of the module. 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 historical and philosophical positions. Students are expected to do approximately four hours of reading for each seminar. In consultation with the module leader students decide upon an essay topic, and the most appropriate supervisor available for their topic is allocated. At this point, they begin a more focused programme of reading and independent study, and also benefit from the one-to-one supervisions with the expert supervisor. These supervisions provide more focused teaching, tailored to a student’s chosen essay topic. Supervisions further enable students to develop and refine their own historiographical or philosophical positions, convey them clearly and support them with well constructed arguments. In the workshop students present a draft of their essay and receive further feedback from their peers as well as staff.

The core modules of the programme are the Research Methods module and the double-module Dissertation. The former consists of nine seminars, each of 2 hours duration and a feedback session. They introduce students to relevant methodologies and approaches in the history of medicine, history of science, philosophy of science, and medical humanities, as well as to HPSM resources in the University Library, research tools, MA-level essay composition and format, 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 research methods module, students start work on their dissertations. The nature of the dissertation will vary depending upon the topic studied and the department in which the module is undertaken. Students are offered up to six one-to-one tutorials of up to an hour each, with a supervisor who will be an expert in their chosen field. The supervisions help 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.

In addition to this core teaching, students benefit from a range of activities, including an MA Dissertation Workshop, research seminars of the Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease, and regular meetings of EIDOS, the Philosophy Department’s postgraduate 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 director remains in regular contact with the students throughout the year and is available to discuss any issues that might arise (personal or academic).

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This programme offers breadth across a wide range of historical and philosophical themes. It also encourages intensive investigation and specialisation. Read more
This programme offers breadth across a wide range of historical and philosophical themes. It also encourages intensive investigation and specialisation: a survey of nearly 3,000 years of scientific ideas and communities, and an exploration of the inner workings of science's methods and theories.

Degree information

The programme provides broad-based training in the history of science, the philosophy of science, and an “integrated history and philosophy of science”. The historical coverage is broad, from antiquity to the present, while the philosophical coverage spans causality and the philosophy of medicine as well as the metaphysics of chemistry and computer science.

MSc students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (15 credits), four optional modules (60 credits), three ancillary modules (45 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits). The Postgraduate Diploma programme consists of one core module (15 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and three ancillary modules (45 credits), available in full time mode. The Postgraduate Certificate programme consists of one core module (15 credits) and three optional modules (45 credits), available in full time mode.

Core modules
-Introduction to Science and Technology Studies

Optional modules - students choose four options from the following:
-Science in the 19th Century
-Material Culture and Science in the 18th Century
-Early Modern Science
-Medieval Science and Medicine in Global Perspective
-Science in Antiquity
-Causality, Mechanism, and Classification in Science
-Knowledge, Evidence, and Explanation in Science
-Science, Art, and Philosophy
-Special Topics Seminar in History and Philosophy of Science

One optional module from our sister MSc programme, Science, Technology, and Society, may be substituted here provided it contributes to a coherent programme of study.

Ancillary Modules - students choose three ancillary modules which may be options from our degrees, e.g. Science in the 20th Century and Beyond, and Curating the History of Science, or they might be selected from any other programme at UCL.

Dissertation/research project
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, lectures, tutorials and research supervision. Student performance is assessed through coursework such as long and short essays, advocacy work and project work.

Careers

Our programme provides essential training for students wishing to pursue PhD level study in related fields. It also provides appropriate training for those pursuing careers in education, museum and archival curatorship, or governance and policy-making.

Employability
During the course of this programme, students will develop a wide range of transferable skills, including writing, research, critical thinking, and working in collaboration with others. Most graduates of this programme go on to follow careers that engage with the substance of the degree, including in the museums sector, or in academia. For these students, this programme provides an excellent opportunity to develop the specialist skills and personal connections necessary to succeed. These include basic curatorial skills, developing personal contacts in London museums, and developing personal and intellectual connections with key thinkers in the field.

Why study this degree at UCL?

There is no UK academic department quite like UCL Science & Technology Studies. The department combines award-winning teaching with award-winning public engagement.

We are research-active over an enormous range of topics. Our teaching builds on research not only in our subject specialties but also in the fundamentals of teaching and learning.

Our programme makes unique use of London’s attractions and resources. We have close links with the Science Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Wellcome Library, and UCL Museums & Collections. We also use the city as a classroom, with custom-made walking tours, site visits, and special excursions.

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The Department of Philosophy has outstanding research strength in the fields of philosophy of biology, philosophy of psychology and philosophy of cognitive sciences. Read more
The Department of Philosophy has outstanding research strength in the fields of philosophy of biology, philosophy of psychology and philosophy of cognitive sciences.

We are ranked by the Philosophical Gourmet Report as the strongest department in the UK for the philosophy of biology. The department is also home to a European Research Council project on Darwinism and the Theory of Rational Choice, which explores connections between biological and cognitive science research.

This MA builds on these outstanding research strengths. It is intended for graduates of philosophy, psychology and biology who wish to study philosophy of science with an emphasis on the biological and cognitive sciences. The programme focuses on philosophical issues arising from these scientific disciplines. The history of science is studied in terms of the philosophical debate about the nature of scientific method and knowledge.

You will be an active member of the department's flourishing research culture. All students are encouraged to participate in both the weekly departmental research seminar and in the weekly Philosophy and History of Science research seminar, which often features well-known scholars in the field, from Bristol and beyond. The department has strong links with both the School of Experimental Psychology and the School of Biological Sciences, with whom joint workshops and reading groups are organised.

Programme structure

The MA consists of taught components, examined by essay, and a dissertation. You will take six taught units, normally three in each semester.

Core units
-Scientific Epistemology and Methodology
-Philosophical Writing and Research Seminar
-Philosophy of Biology
-Philosophy of Psychology

Optional units can vary each year but may include:
-History of Science
-Philosophy and History of Mathematics
-Philosophy and History of Medicine
-Philosophy of Physics
-Individual, supervised research project

Dissertation
Satisfactory completion of semesters one and two will allow you to progress to writing a dissertation of up to 15,000 words on an approved topic of your choice. The dissertation is your chance to produce an extended piece of philosophical research that can act as preparation for a graduate research degree. You will have supervisory meetings with a member of staff who will also provide feedback on a draft of your work.

Careers

Students who have completed the MA in Philosophy of Biological and Cognitive Sciences have gone on to careers in teaching and science administration. A number of MA graduates pursue further studies in either philosophy or science.

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The University of Bristol ranks among the top European institutions in the philosophy and history of science. We currently hold four major research grants to study Darwinism and Rational Choice, Epistemic Utility Theory, Homotopy Type Theory and a philosophy and medicine project on breathlessness. Read more
The University of Bristol ranks among the top European institutions in the philosophy and history of science. We currently hold four major research grants to study Darwinism and Rational Choice, Epistemic Utility Theory, Homotopy Type Theory and a philosophy and medicine project on breathlessness. Our expertise is in a broad range of areas related to the philosophy and history of the specific sciences, including physics, biology, mathematics, logic, medicine and psychology.

Our MA draws on these strengths. It is intended both for students who have a first degree in philosophy who wish to specialise in philosophy and/or history of science at a higher level, and also for individuals with a background in pure science who wish to make a transition to philosophy and history of science or to explore foundational issues within the sciences.

The emphasis of the programme is on philosophical issues arising from specific scientific disciplines, with special emphasis on physics, biology and mathematics. The history of science is studied in terms of the philosophical debate about the nature of scientific method and knowledge.

You will be an active member of the department’s flourishing research culture. All students are encouraged to participate in both the weekly departmental research seminar and the weekly Philosophy and History of Science research seminar, which often features well-known scholars in the field, from Bristol and beyond. There is also a weekly postgraduate seminar, where you are encouraged to present your own work, and where you will learn to develop argumentative strategies in a supportive environment.

Programme structure

You will take six taught units (two compulsory and four optional).

Core units
-Scientific Methodology and Epistemology
-Philosophical Writing and Research Seminar

Optional units
-History of Science
-Philosophy and History of Mathematics
-Philosophy and History of Medicine
-Philosophy of Biology
-Philosophy of Physics
-Philosophy of Psychology
-An individual, supervised research project
Please be aware that optional units may vary from year to year.

Dissertation
Satisfactory completion of semesters one and two allows you to progress to writing a dissertation of up to 15,000 words on an approved topic of your choice. The dissertation is your chance to produce an extended piece of philosophical research that can act as preparation for a graduate research degree. You will have supervisory meetings with a member of staff who will also provide feedback on a draft of your work.

Careers

Students who have completed the MA in Philosophy and History of Science have taken up careers in teaching, the IT sector and scientific administration.

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Philosophy, science and religion are three endeavours that shape in far-reaching and fundamental ways how we think, what we value, and how we live. Read more

Philosophy, science and religion are three endeavours that shape in far-reaching and fundamental ways how we think, what we value, and how we live. Public discourse, professional life, politics and culture revolve around the philosophical, scientific and religious ideas of our age; yet they and their relationship to each other are not well understood.

This programme brings together in an authentically interdisciplinary way leaders in the fields of philosophy, science and theology, based both in Edinburgh and across the world.

Students will be brought up to date with the relevant scientific developments – including quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and human origins – the relevant theological issues – including the problem of evil, miracles, theological conceptions of creation, theological conceptions of providence, and eschatology – and the philosophical tools in philosophy of science, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language required to understand the relationship between them.

Students will develop logical acumen and analytical skills, and the ability to express themselves clearly in writing and in conversation with diverse groups of students from around the world. As well as being a leading research institution in philosophy, theology and the sciences, Edinburgh has lead the way in providing high quality, bespoke and intensive online learning at postgraduate level.

The innovative online format of the programme and the flexibility of study it offers make it accessible to those with family or professional commitments, or who live far from Edinburgh.

This MSc/PGDipl/PGCert in Philosophy, Science and Religion is designed to give you a rigorous grounding in contemporary work in the intersection of philosophy, science and religion.

The programme follows an integrated approach with leading researchers in philosophy, the sciences and theology proving teaching on, respectively, the philosophical, scientific and theological dimensions of the programme.

Students will be brought up to date with the relevant scientific developments – including quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and human origins – the relevant theological issues – including the problem of evil, miracles, theological conceptions of creation, theological conceptions of providence, and eschatology – and the philosophical tools in philosophy of science, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language required to understand the relationship between them.

Online learning

This is an online only programme that will be taught through a combination of short video lectures, web discussion boards, video conferencing and online exercises.

You will have regular access both to faculty and dedicated teaching assistants, including one-to-one interactions. You will also interact with other students on the programme as part of a dedicated virtual learning environment.

Programme structure

You will take options from a wide range of courses offered by the Department of Philosophy and the School of Divinity both jointly and individually, and will be required to write a dissertation.

All students will be required to take two core courses: Philosophy, Science and Religion 1: The Physical World; and Philosophy, Science and Religion 2: Life and Mind.

Courses will include online lectures, tutorials, quizzes, discussion sessions and personal tutor contact.

At the dissertation stage, you will be assigned a supervisor with whom you will meet, through video conferencing, to plan and discuss your research and writing.

Learning outcomes

The MSc in Philosophy, Science and Religion aims to develop students to:

  • Demonstrate a good understanding of the key areas in the current science-religion interface—including cosmology, evolution, and the psychology—and will be able to engage with them philosophically.
  • Demonstrate strong analytical skills and philosophical acumen in approaching debates between science and theology.
  • Engage critically with key textual sources in the field.
  • Engage constructively in cross-disciplinary conversations.
  • Demonstrate an openness to personal growth through a commitment to dialogue across intellectual and spiritual boundaries.

Career opportunities

This course is designed to prepare you for doctoral work in relevant areas of philosophy and/or theology.

However, the skills of analytical but creative thinking, clear writing, and the abilities to manage projects that require significant research and to engage in constructive conversations across disciplinary and cultural boundaries, are all highly sought after by employers in a diverse range of fields.



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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. Read more

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.

Course content

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.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

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.

  • Analytic Philosophy A 30 credits
  • Analytic Philosophy B 30 credits

Optional modules

  • Topics in the Philosophy of Physics 30 credits
  • Science and Religion Historically Considered 30 credits
  • Advanced Topics in Realism and Representation in Science 30 credits
  • Advanced Topics in Metaphysics of Science 30 credits
  • Philosophy of Science: Classic Debates & Current Trends 30 credits
  • Metaphysical Issues in Philosophy of Religion 30 credits
  • Special Options in Philosophy A 30 credits
  • Contemporary Readings in Philosophy of Religion 30 credits
  • Independent Study A 30 credits
  • Independent Study B 30 credits
  • Special Options in Philosophy B 30 credits
  • Sin, Public Discourse and Public Life 30 credits
  • Contemporary Issues in Religion and Gender 30 credits
  • Religion, Society and Public Life 30 credits
  • Theology and Public Life 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Philosophy MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Philosophy MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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.

Assessment

We use different forms of assessment, including essays, seminar participation and your dissertation.



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The Graduate Diploma in Philosophy is a one-year conversion course (two years part-time), designed for those who already have a degree and wish to pursue an interest in philosophy. Read more
The Graduate Diploma in Philosophy is a one-year conversion course (two years part-time), designed for those who already have a degree and wish to pursue an interest in philosophy. No formal training in philosophy is required. The programme provides an ideal learning environment if you are interested in progressing to an MA in Philosophy, or simply want the opportunity to learn about philosophy.

Course structure

The Diploma has two main components:
-Four undergraduate modules. At least two of these must be at Level 3 and no more than one should be at Level 1.
-A dissertation of 12,000 words (double module).

You can choose from a wide range of modules, which in the past have included:
Level 1
-Ethics and Values
-Knowledge and Reality
-Introduction to Logic
-Reading Philosophy
-History and Theory of Medicine
-Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science
Level 2
-Philosophy of Mind
-Philosophy of Religion
-Political Philosophy
-Language, Logic and Reality
-Moral Theory
-Theory, Literature and Society
-Biomedical Ethics Past and Present
-Science and Religion
-Modern Philosophy I
-Philosophy of Science
-Philosophy of Economics: Theory, Methods and Values
-Ancient Philosophies West and East
Level 3
-Modern Philosophy II
-Aesthetics
-Applied Ethics
-Issues in Contemporary Ethics
-Twentieth Century European Philosophy
-Language and Mind
-History of the Body
-Philosophical Issues in Contemporary Science
-Metaphysics
-History and Philosophy of Psychiatry
-Gender, Film and Society
-20th Century European Philosophy
-History and Philosophy of Psychiatry
-Ethics in Business Practice
-Formal and Philosophical Logic

Learning and Teaching

Students in the Graduate Diploma programme receive an average of eight timetabled contact hours per week over the course of the programme. The contact hours come in the form of lectures, tutorials and seminars, depending on the four modules chosen by the student. In addition, students are offered six hours of one-to-one dissertation supervision with an expert in their chosen research area.

Philosophical development involves not only familiarizing oneself with a body of knowledge but also acquiring skills in critical reasoning and argumentation. Thus, in addition to introducing students to key works in philosophy, the programme offers many opportunities for dialogical interaction. Lecture sessions include time for questions, tutorials consist mainly of structured, critical dialogue in a supportive environment, and seminars provide opportunities for extended discussion. Dissertation supervision meetings give guidance on suitable reading, critical discussion of relevant sources, detailed advice on how to write a 12,000 word piece of research, and intensive critical engagement with the student’s philosophical position and argument.

Timetabled contact is only a part of the learning process; its aim is to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to navigate the relevant literature themselves and to pursue independent learning. Lectures and accompanying documents contextualise material and introduce students to topics, positions and debates. At least four hours of additional study per week are recommended for each lecture or seminar, which includes reading and the completion of assignments. Having completed the reading, students engage in discussion in seminars or return to lecture topics in small group tutorials. These help students to refine their understanding of material and to develop the reasoning skills needed to formulate, present, defend and criticise philosophical positions.

Graduate Diploma students also can benefit from a range of other activities in the department, including the department’s postgraduate philosophy society (EIDOS), weekly research seminars and reading groups, and occasional conferences, workshops and Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures. The programme director remains in contact with students throughout the year and is always available to discuss any issues that might arise, whether personal or academic.

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We offer research-based teaching in a wide range of philosophical subjects. We foster our students' professional development. A proportion of our recent PhD graduates have permanent academic posts in leading universities. Read more
We offer research-based teaching in a wide range of philosophical subjects. We foster our students' professional development. A proportion of our recent PhD graduates have permanent academic posts in leading universities.

The MPhil/PhD is the direct route to the PhD and is suitable for students who are ready to start writing a PhD thesis.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Birkbeck's Department of Philosophy enjoys an international reputation for research. The department has a flourishing community of research students, and is committed to providing them with a first-rate philosophical training.
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Philosophy at Birkbeck was ranked 15th in the UK, with a research environment judged conducive to producing internationally excellent research.
In the Philosophical Gourmet Report 2014-2015, Philosophy at Birkbeck was ranked among the strongest in the UK, and was highly ranked in philosophy of action, philosophy of art, seventeenth-century philosophy and feminist philosophy.
The research interests of the department encompass a range of areas within the discipline: ancient philosophy, history of early modern philosophy, Kant, Nietzsche, history of analytic philosophy, logic, language, metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, philosophy of psychology, ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, social and feminist philosophy, epistemology, and philosophy of science.
The department has been highly ranked for the standard of its research across a broad range, and especially our research and teaching in the area of feminist philosophy.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Philosophy at Birkbeck was ranked 15th in the UK, with a research environment judged conducive to producing internationally excellent research.

In the Philosophical Gourmet Report 2014-2015, Philosophy at Birkbeck was ranked among the strongest in the UK, and was highly ranked in philosophy of action, philosophy of art, seventeenth-century philosophy and feminist philosophy.

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With a deep and rigorous programme of coursework and research in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, the MSc in Philosophy of Science explores both general questions about the nature of science and specific foundational issues related to the individual sciences. Read more

About the MSc programme

With a deep and rigorous programme of coursework and research in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, the MSc in Philosophy of Science explores both general questions about the nature of science and specific foundational issues related to the individual sciences.

It is primarily designed to be accessible and stimulating for two main audiences: those who have studied science as undergraduates and would now like to study the philosophical foundations and methodology of science in depth, and those who have studied philosophy and would now like to delve deeper into the philosophy of science.

Founded in 1946 by the eminent Philosopher of Science Sir Karl Popper, LSE’s Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method is the ideal place to explore conceptual, methodological and foundational issues in the sciences and along with the closely related Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science enjoys an international reputation for its cutting-edge research, bustling seminar series and distinguished faculty and visitors.

Graduate destinations

This master's programme prepares students for many different possible destinations, including PhD work in philosophy or related disciplines, and employment in many non-academic fields such as science journalism, science administration and science management.

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The MPhil in Health, Medicine, and Society is a full-time 9-month course that provides students with the opportunity to carry out focused research under close supervision by senior members of the University. Read more
The MPhil in Health, Medicine, and Society is a full-time 9-month course that provides students with the opportunity to carry out focused research under close supervision by senior members of the University. Students will acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests, as well as a critical and well-informed understanding of the roles of the history, philosophy, sociology and anthropology of health and medicine.

Those intending to go on to doctoral work will learn the research skills needed to help them prepare a well planned and focused PhD proposal. During the course students gain experience of presenting their own work and discussing the issues that arise from it with an audience of their peers and senior members of the Department; they will attend lectures, supervisions and research seminars in a range of technical and specialist subjects central to research in the different areas of history, philosophy, sociology and anthropology of health and medicine.

The MPhil is jointly run by the Departments of History and Philosophy of Science, Sociology and Social Anthropology. It is a full-time course and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. Its main aims are:

- to give students with relevant training at first-degree level the opportunity to carry out focussed research in Health, Medicine and Society (HMS) under close supervision;
- to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests;
- to enable students to acquire a critical and well informed understanding of the roles of the history, philosophy, sociology and anthropology of health and medicine; and
- to help students intending to go on to doctoral work to acquire the requisite research skills and to prepare a well planned and focussed PhD proposal.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding -

By the end of the course, students will have:

- Developed a deeper knowledge of their chosen areas of history, philosophy, sociology and social anthropology of health and medicine and of the critical debates within them;
- Acquired a conceptual understanding that enables the evaluation of current research and methodologies;
- Formed a critical view of the roles of the health, medicine and society.

Skills and other attributes -

By the end of the course, students should have:

- Acquired or consolidated methodological, linguistic, technical and ancillary skills appropriate for research in their chosen area;
- Demonstrated independent judgement, based on their own research;
- Presented their own ideas in a public forum and learned to contribute constructively within an international environment.

Continuing -

Students admitted for the MPhil can apply to continue as PhD students. The usual preconditions for continuing to the PhD are an overall first class mark in the MPhil, a satisfactory performance in an interview and agreement of the PhD proposal with a potential supervisor.

Teaching

The course is overseen by a Manager who takes responsibility for day-to-day oversight of the course and liaison with staff and students. Students choose a ‘home’ subject (History, Philosophy, Sociology or Social Anthropology), and the Advisor for that subject guides them in formulating a programme of study. Students work with supervisors in writing their essays and dissertation.

The core modules are the main teaching resource for this course. All students attend all core modules which run twice a week during Michaelmas term and are led by different senior members of teaching staff and focus on selected readings. Eight optional modules run during Lent term, and students are advised to attend at least two of these. In Easter term students attend Dissertation seminars which provide opportunities for them to present their own work. Students receive two one-to-one supervisions on the modules on which they choose to write essays and four on their dissertations.

The Advisors assist students in the identification of a topic and a supervisor for their dissertation during Michaelmas term. Students will be expected to start work on their dissertation during Michaelmas and continue working on it throughout the course of the year.

See more on the website - http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hphpmphms/study

Assessment

Thesis:
Students submit a dissertation of up to 15,000 words.

Essays:
Students submit three essays, one of which is up to 3000 words and two of which are up to 5000 words.

How to Apply

Please see details of this on the website here - http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/hphpmphms/apply

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The programme, unique in the UK for its combination of philosophical and sociological perspectives on science and technology, examines the concept of science, the knowledge it provides and the way in which the production of knowledge is organised in society. Read more
The programme, unique in the UK for its combination of philosophical and sociological perspectives on science and technology, examines the concept of science, the knowledge it provides and the way in which the production of knowledge is organised in society. In doing so, it will prepare you for further research or employment in the management and evaluation of science and its impact on society – an increasingly important aspect of science policy.

Based in the department of Sociology the programme draws on staff research interests and expertise in the philosophy of biology, the mind, economics and social science, as well as in the sociology of science and technology.

You will also benefit from close collaboration with Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences(http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/sociology/research/sts/egenis/) a world class research centre at Exeter set up to investigate the meaning and social implications of contemporary genomic science. The Centre offers option modules and other study workshops for participants on the programme.

For further information on this programme please visit our website: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/sociology/philsocscima

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This dedicated masters programme in science and religion is intended for students who wish to engage in the advanced interdisciplinary study of science and religion, including those who wish to prepare for PhD work. Read more

This dedicated masters programme in science and religion is intended for students who wish to engage in the advanced interdisciplinary study of science and religion, including those who wish to prepare for PhD work.

This is one of the world’s very few science and religion programmes.

Much of the recent debate surrounding ‘new atheism’ has taken place within a poorly informed view of the history and philosophy of science and its relationship with religion. This programme aims to inform and engage with the debate in depth, looking at it from scientific, philosophical, historical, ethical and theological perspectives.

The history of science is studied from ancient times through the modern scientific revolution, together with philosophical trends in our understanding of reality. The main areas of dialogue between science and religion are explored in depth, including cosmology, evolution, divine action and miracles, consciousness and the human person.

Programme structure

This programme is run over one year full-time (or two years part-time). You will be taught mainly in small classroom/seminar groups. You will be given training in research methods which offers a practical approach to postgraduate level skills of critical investigation and writing, and receive individual supervision for your 15,000 word dissertation.

Compulsory courses

Compulsory courses comprise History of Science and Religion in the Christian Tradition; Cosmos, Cell and Creator: Current Debates in Science and Religion; and two courses in research methods.

Option courses

You will choose three options, which can be taken from courses in science and religion, such as:

  • Economy, Ecology, and Ethics
  • Key Thinkers in Science and Religion
  • Philosophy of Time
  • Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Debates
  • Science and Religion in Literature
  • Science and Scripture

The options on offer change from year to year, so please consult the Programme Director for advice on what will be available. With the agreement of your Programme Director, you may also choose options from other taught masters programmes, language courses, and advanced undergraduate courses.

Career opportunities

This programme is designed to provide a strong foundation for postgraduate research in the field or for employment in a range of areas requiring critical analysis and empathetic understanding.



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