MSc Philosophy

Our flagship taught MSc programme

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This is our flagship taught MSc (Diploma) programme in Philosophy. It provides the ideal foundation for future research, such as in our PhD programme. Students are offered a broad cross-section of courses to choose from, and they can either take a general degree or specialise in one of the areas of philosophy where we have particular strength. Students can also take advantage of the highly interdisciplinary nature of research within Philosophy and draw on teaching and research both elsewhere in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences and within other relevant Schools, such as Classics, Informatics and Social and Political Science.

Programme structure

Full programme structure

This degree comprises 180 credits of assessment, taken over one year (full-time). All students take the following core elements:

  • Advanced Philosophical Method (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits, 8,000-10,000 words)
  • Introduction to Philosophical Method (20 credits)

The remaining credits are then devoted to optional courses which the student selects in consultation with the programme director. Usually these courses will be in Philosophy, but with the approval of the programme director students may take up to 40 credits of option courses at level 11 from subject areas other than Philosophy. In addition, with the approval of the programme director students may audit courses at any level and in principle from any subject area.


As part of the Philosophy MSc programme, students can opt to either gain a general degree in Philosophy or else specialise in:

  • Ancient philosophy
  • Epistemology
  • Ethics
  • History of Philosophy
  • Mind and cognition
  • Philosophy of Science

The idea behind these specialisations is to provide students with a very specific programme of research training. For each specialisation you will thus take two core courses (one in each semester) which deal with relevant research and also write your dissertation on a suitable research topic under the supervision of one of the members of staff in the appropriate research cluster.

Entry requirements

Applicants should possess an undergraduate degree in Philosophy of at least 2:1 honours standard (UK) or equivalent (for example, at least high average B or 3.4 out of 4 in the North American grading system). Students whose first degree is not in Philosophy may be considered for admission: such applicants must have achieved a high standard in their undergraduate work and provide evidence that they are capable of converting to study in Philosophy. Informal inquiries about admission to this degree may be addressed to the Programme Director.


Administrative enquiries regarding applications to this programme should be directed to the School Postgraduate Office.

School Postgraduate Office

All other enquiries should be directed to the Programme Director, Dr Martin Smith.

Dr Martin Smith

Find out more

Fees, funding and how to apply