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Research (MA)

Course Description

The Department's Open Day for prospective PhD students will take place on Thursday 17 December. For details, please contact Simon James ().

We have a strong research record in many branches of philosophy. Research degrees in the Department of Philosophy are supervised by a member of staff who specialises in the topic. If you are interested in applying for the MA by Thesis or PhD, please request a prospectus from the Postgraduate Secretary. Our departmental staff list and list of current students will give you an idea of topics and potential supervisors.

The department provides its research students with comprehensive training, designed to support their research and professional development, which is integrated into its broader research environment. Students are assigned to a research cluster and co-supervised by at least two staff members. They participate in research group workshops, giving presentations on their ongoing research and receiving detailed feedback and advice from academic staff with relevant expertise. They also present their work at conferences in the UK and abroad, with financial support from the department. This environment ensures that our PhD graduates are well placed for academic employment, and our placement record is correspondingly strong, with many of our PhD students going on to lectureships and postdoctoral fellowships in the UK and abroad.

We have expertise across a broad range of philosophical areas:

Aesthetics: Prof. Andrew Hamilton
Environmental Philosophy: Dr. Simon James & Dr Wendy Parker
Ethics: Prof. Geoffrey Scarre, Dr. Simon James, Prof. Alison Wylie, Dr Benedict Smith & Dr Andreas Pantazatos
History and philosophy of science and medicine (including the social sciences and economics): Prof. Nancy Cartwright, Prof. Julian Reiss, Prof. Alison Wylie, Dr. Wendy Parker, Dr. Peter Vickers, Dr. Matthew Eddy, Dr Robin Hendry & Prof. Holger Maehle
History of philosophy: Dr. Matthew Eddy, Prof. Andrew Hamilton
Metaphysics: Dr. Sophie Gibb & Dr. Matthew Tugby
Phenomenology and continental philosophy: Dr Benedict Smith, Dr. Sylvie Gambaudo & Dr. Simon James
Philosophy of mind and action: Dr. Sophie Gibb, Dr Clare Mac Cumhaill
Philosophy of psychology and psychiatry: Prof. Andrew Hamilton
Feminist philosophy: Dr Sylvie Gambaudo and Prof. Alison Wylie

Postgraduate research facilities

Durham University Library has excellent holdings of books and journals in philosophy, and the history of science and medicine, and access to a wide range of electronic resources. There are dedicated postgraduate rooms with IT facilities in the Department, a Common Room to foster informal interaction between staff and postgraduate students, and a substantial collection of books and journals in the Departmental Library. The Faculty Postgraduate Centre, located nearby, provides generous space for private study and IT facilities. Each full-time research student is a member of a College of the University, which provides pastoral support, and further IT facilities.


Maximum thesis length: 50,000 words (suggested maximum length of 35,000).

Visit the Research (MA) page on the Durham University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

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