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.
The Diploma has two main components:
You can choose from a wide range of modules, which in the past have included:
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.
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.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
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.
This programme will equip you with a range of in-depth subject knowledge, but it will allow you to develop high-level skills in research, analysis, interpretation and communication.
All of these qualities are valuable to a range of employers across sectors and industries, and we’re proud of our record in preparing postgraduates for their careers after graduation. They’ve gone into roles such as teaching, consultancy, business management, administration, accountancy, law, journalism and the civil service among others.
Many of our graduates also progress to further study, and ultimately pursue academic careers.
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
This programme provides you with the opportunity to study Philosophy at an advanced level, with world leading researchers and teachers. Through interactive seminars, written and oral coursework, research skills classes, and—in the dissertation—the production of a piece of independent philosophical research, you will develop and refine the skills which will provide a foundation for PhD research in Philosophy, or for the research, communication and analysis needed in a non-academic career.
The breadth and depth of research expertise in the Philosophy department means that we can offer you an unusually broad range of options for Masters-level study. The department has strengths across all core areas of analytic philosophy and continental philosophy. But, we have particular strengths in Philosophy of Mind and Psychology, Epistemology, Aesthetics, Moral and Political Philosophy, Post-Kantian Continental Philosophy, and 20th Century Continental Philosophy. The influential Leiter report lists us in the top groupings in each of those six areas. In each area, we are one of the top 3 UK departments for that specialism. The strength of research in the Philosophy department was acknowledged in the 2014 REF, in which the department was ranked 4th in the UK overall and 1st in the UK for the quality of published research in Philosophy.
To develop your research skills, you’ll take a core Research Methods module.
To promote breadth of knowledge, you’ll also be expected to take at least one module from three different areas of Philosophy: