Studying the MA in Philosophy will develop your skills in reading and understanding philosophy texts, writing substantial essays in philosophy, and engaging with some areas of contemporary philosophical enquiry. You will hone your ability to think clearly, reason logically, and put forward and evaluate arguments, while exploring contemporary debates and issues in social and political philosophy through reading and understanding philosophy texts and completing a dissertation of your choice. Our MA will give you an excellent foundation for further study or research at doctoral level, and a respected qualification with valuable transferable skills demanded in many areas of business, government and the media.
Postgraduate foundation module in philosophy
This module aims to equip you with postgraduate-level skills including critical analysis, argumentation and clarity of thought and expression. It’s also designed to acquaint you with some contemporary debates in philosophy, around the theme of personhood. You’ll learn to recognise a philosophical problem, find and use resources (in libraries and electronically), read philosophical texts and present your arguments clearly in essays. You’ll also receive guidance on the use of libraries and aids to research such as bibliographic databases – employing the excellent facilities that we offer to all our students. There will be opportunities to engage in online tuition and discussion.
Issues in contemporary social and political philosophy
Building on the philosophy postgraduate foundation module, this module explores issues with a significance that extends far beyond the boundaries of academic philosophy. You’ll look at distributive justice, liberalism versus communitarianism and the metaphysics of social explanation – and go on to examine citizenship, nationalism, punishment and democracy in the light of these themes. You’ll develop your ability to analyse philosophical texts; reflect on the process of philosophical research; and hone your skills in finding and using material. You’ll also be required to show greater independence of thought and the ability to put across a coherent case for a philosophical position.
The philosophy dissertation
The dissertation is the culmination of your MA in Philosophy and tests your ability to present a sustained academic argument in clear, logical prose. Within the rules of the MA, you’ll have considerable freedom in your choice of topic. You’re not expected to make an original contribution to scholarly knowledge, but you must demonstrate a reasonable grasp of work done in the subject area, with a thorough survey of relevant literature. Your tutor will help you decide on the focus of your dissertation, approve your research proposal and comment on draft sections of your work through the module.
Studying philosophy will hone your ability to think clearly, reason logically, and put forward and evaluate arguments. As well as developing skills in reading and understanding philosophy texts, you will be able to engage with some areas of contemporary philosophical enquiry. With an MA in Philosophy you will have an excellent foundation for further study or research at doctoral level, as well as a respected qualification and valuable transferable skills such as critical thinking, research skills, time management, and problem-solving that are in demand in many areas of business, government and the media.
MA in Philosophy
page on the Open University website for more details!
You must hold an honours degree to be accepted for the MA in Philosophy. Your degree need not be explicitly in philosophy, but you must have the basic skills expected of a graduate in that area. The foundation module will bring you up to date with the latest ideas and approaches, but does not offer remedial undergraduate training for those who have an inappropriate bachelors degree or inadequate experience.
Recipient: Open University
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